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(The Hill)   You'll be shocked, SHOCKED...well, not THAT shocked, to learn that internal emails show career EPA staffers were uniformly opposed to the Agency's new asbestos rule, fearing it could make it EASIER to use asbestos in new products   ( thehill.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, New York Times, United States Environmental Protection Agency, asbestos, EPA, Proposal, career staff, Federal government of the United States, new approach  
•       •       •

868 clicks; posted to Politics » on 10 Aug 2018 at 6:54 PM (17 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



43 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2018-08-10 12:59:15 PM  
Internal emails obtained by the New York Times show that career staff involved with the development of a key proposal meant to prevent companies from returning to use of the carcinogenic chemical felt that steps being taken by senior officials could allow for some legacy uses to return anew.

You'd think the proposal would insult against that.
 
2018-08-10 01:44:52 PM  
Trump just likes any product which allows him to say 'ass'.
 
2018-08-10 03:54:08 PM  
Hmm. Wonder why they're loosening the rules on asbestos.

img.fark.netView Full Size


I can't possibly think of the reason.
 
2018-08-10 06:58:14 PM  

Cagey B: Hmm. Wonder why they're loosening the rules on asbestos.

[img.fark.net image 800x613]

I can't possibly think of the reason.


Trump also has a long, storied history with asbestos. TL;DR, he didn't like it being banned because having to remove it cost him money. Also he apparently thinks it was banned because of the mob.
 
2018-08-10 07:02:17 PM  
See, if Obama had just come out against holding your breath, we wouldn't be going through all this.
 
2018-08-10 07:04:59 PM  
They are literally advocating to poison people.  There is clear scientific proof how bad this stuff is for you, this isn't like DDT where people arguably over reacted without doing enough research.  The EPA is literally killing people now.
 
2018-08-10 07:06:16 PM  

Cagey B: Hmm. Wonder why they're loosening the rules on asbestos.

[img.fark.net image 800x613]

I can't possibly think of the reason.


Neither can I:

Trump on Asbestos and United Nations and the 9/11 World Trade Center fires
Youtube R-Litk_H6fw
 
2018-08-10 07:06:24 PM  
Wonder if those mesothelioma commercials got re-upped on Fox recently.
 
2018-08-10 07:11:50 PM  
Has the Trump administration issued a single policy change that wasn't designed to piss off the people with expertise in the subject?  I can't think of one.
 
2018-08-10 07:12:18 PM  
Working for the EPA or one of the many other three lettered Government agencies must be like trying to fit yourself into the Czernobog/Bielobog duality every election cycle.

/Who even was that invisible God of Money anyway?
 
2018-08-10 07:12:38 PM  

Cagey B: Hmm. Wonder why they're loosening the rules on asbestos.

[img.fark.net image 800x613]

I can't possibly think of the reason.


If that company wasn't Russian you just know Donnie would have sued them in a hot second for not giving him a cut.
 
2018-08-10 07:13:07 PM  
Yes but in order for Russia to continue to help Republicans win elections, we have to import more asbestos.
 
2018-08-10 07:17:20 PM  

raius: The EPA is literally killing people now.


Death by SNURSNUR?
 
2018-08-10 07:22:28 PM  
So in my lifetime only two people i can think of wanted MORE asbestos

Donald Trump and Bart Simpson

Congrats Donald, the other one is a cartoon who didn't know what asbestos even is and what it causes.
 
2018-08-10 07:23:45 PM  

texanjeff: So in my lifetime only two people i can think of wanted MORE asbestos

Donald Trump and Bart Simpson

Congrats Donald, the other one is a cartoon who didn't know what asbestos even is and what it causes.


It used to be a big industry in Quebec, a few people there keep trying to start it up as well.  Hopefully Trump doesn't want Canadian asbestos.
 
2018-08-10 07:24:33 PM  
"...creates "a regulatory framework that allows us to evaluate asbestos as it's never been evaluated before." "

Trump like phrasing detected.

/The worst timeline
 
2018-08-10 07:27:00 PM  

Kiler: "...creates "a regulatory framework that allows us to evaluate asbestos as it's never been evaluated before." "

Trump like phrasing detected.

/The worst timeline


Have we evaluated asbestos as a fuel additive? What about as an artificial sweetener? As a suppository? I mean, if we REALLY think outside the box and evaluate it like it's never been evaluated before...
 
2018-08-10 07:30:09 PM  

texanjeff: So in my lifetime only two people i can think of wanted MORE asbestos

Donald Trump and Bart Simpson

Congrats Donald, the other one is a cartoon who didn't know what asbestos even is and what it causes.


There's also Dick Cheney FYI
 
2018-08-10 07:33:23 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-08-10 07:33:24 PM  
As someone who routinely wears a powered respirator with asbestos being an occasional concern, anyone who knows the cost of asbestos remediation is not going to farking buy asbestos products. Making it easier to buy doesn't magically make it not-hazmat to clean up.

img.fark.netView Full Size


And it won't magically make asbestos not give you mesothelioma either, for fark's sake. Any company would look at that cost benefit analysis and go oh, hell to the no. Fark no. I don't care what we save on the front end we will pay for it on back end a thousand fold.

/just getting an absbestos remediation certification card is no small feat
//and it's state to state, so like being an EMT your card may not be valid except where you took the class
 
2018-08-10 07:42:32 PM  
Can we then sue Scott Pruitt and other top EPA muckety-mucks for greenlighting this bad idea when we all get mesothelioma?

/sure, Pruitt was gone by the time this got greenlit, but undoubtedly this shiat has his stink all over it
 
2018-08-10 07:45:58 PM  

Ringshadow: As someone who routinely wears a powered respirator with asbestos being an occasional concern, anyone who knows the cost of asbestos remediation is not going to farking buy asbestos products. Making it easier to buy doesn't magically make it not-hazmat to clean up.

[img.fark.net image 850x292]

And it won't magically make asbestos not give you mesothelioma either, for fark's sake. Any company would look at that cost benefit analysis and go oh, hell to the no. Fark no. I don't care what we save on the front end we will pay for it on back end a thousand fold.

/just getting an absbestos remediation certification card is no small feat
//and it's state to state, so like being an EMT your card may not be valid except where you took the class


Because companies have never done knowingly done things that harm their consumers, especially if it was only beneficial in the short term.

I don't think it would be a widespread problem, but it definitely opens the door to some shiatheads doing not so good things.
 
2018-08-10 07:49:18 PM  

dywed88: Ringshadow: As someone who routinely wears a powered respirator with asbestos being an occasional concern, anyone who knows the cost of asbestos remediation is not going to farking buy asbestos products. Making it easier to buy doesn't magically make it not-hazmat to clean up.

[img.fark.net image 850x292]

And it won't magically make asbestos not give you mesothelioma either, for fark's sake. Any company would look at that cost benefit analysis and go oh, hell to the no. Fark no. I don't care what we save on the front end we will pay for it on back end a thousand fold.

/just getting an absbestos remediation certification card is no small feat
//and it's state to state, so like being an EMT your card may not be valid except where you took the class

Because companies have never done knowingly done things that harm their consumers, especially if it was only beneficial in the short term.

I don't think it would be a widespread problem, but it definitely opens the door to some shiatheads doing not so good things.


The big problem is the removal many years later, the company that used it could easily by bankrupt or dissolved and there is no one left to go after.  You could make a killing and disappear pretty easily before lawsuits start to happen.
 
2018-08-10 07:53:25 PM  

texanjeff: So in my lifetime only two people i can think of wanted MORE asbestos

Donald Trump and Bart Simpson

Congrats Donald, the other one is a cartoon who didn't know what asbestos even is and what it causes.


Early on in the Reign of the Fanta Menace, possibly in the before times, I posted the "More asbestos" video.  I thought it was moderately funny then. I didn't think it was going to be an actual policy.

I'm so very glad, that while the state environmental protection agency I work for is treated like a red headed step child I never left for the 'greener pastures' of an EPA job.
 
2018-08-10 07:53:50 PM  

raius: dywed88: Ringshadow: As someone who routinely wears a powered respirator with asbestos being an occasional concern, anyone who knows the cost of asbestos remediation is not going to farking buy asbestos products. Making it easier to buy doesn't magically make it not-hazmat to clean up.

[img.fark.net image 850x292]

And it won't magically make asbestos not give you mesothelioma either, for fark's sake. Any company would look at that cost benefit analysis and go oh, hell to the no. Fark no. I don't care what we save on the front end we will pay for it on back end a thousand fold.

/just getting an absbestos remediation certification card is no small feat
//and it's state to state, so like being an EMT your card may not be valid except where you took the class

Because companies have never done knowingly done things that harm their consumers, especially if it was only beneficial in the short term.

I don't think it would be a widespread problem, but it definitely opens the door to some shiatheads doing not so good things.

The big problem is the removal many years later, the company that used it could easily by bankrupt or dissolved and there is no one left to go after.  You could make a killing and disappear pretty easily before lawsuits start to happen.


I was thinking more: was in China or Russia the entire time and just ignores any lawsuits, but your point is also true.
 
2018-08-10 08:34:51 PM  

HST's Dead Carcass: [img.fark.net image 425x425]


Makes me wonder if this subject came up during Donnie's and Putin's one-on-one meeting so there'd be no direct proof of quid pro quo.
 
2018-08-10 08:50:04 PM  
Be Best (os)
 
2018-08-10 09:00:13 PM  

fusillade762: Cagey B: Hmm. Wonder why they're loosening the rules on asbestos.

[img.fark.net image 800x613]

I can't possibly think of the reason.

If that company wasn't Russian you just know Donnie would have sued them in a hot second for not giving him a cut.


Who says they're not?
 
2018-08-10 09:16:31 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size


ASBESTOS!? IN MY VAGINA!?
 
2018-08-10 09:45:52 PM  
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/bu​s​iness/corporate-spy-double-agent.html

Investigative firms usually keep client names secret. But Mr. Moore said he was told during a chance conversation in late 2013 that the client in the asbestos case was a little-known investment firm in Singapore, the Kusto Group.

Unsure whether it was true, Mr. Moore tried to ferret out more information. He said he had found nothing at first on Kusto's website to connect the firm or its founder and chairman, a Kazakh businessman named Yerkin Tatishev, to asbestos. Rather, Mr. Moore said, he stumbled over a link in 2014 when K2 Intelligence assigned him to go back to Thailand.

...

Mr. Moore said the official had recognized two of the executives from their work with a previous company and told him that "those are the guys who sold us asbestos from the oligarch." The same official added that Mr. Tatishev had once visited a roofing tile company in Thailand to urge it to keep using asbestos, according to Mr. Moore.

Those leads weren't conclusive. But Mr. Moore says he began to focus his efforts on understanding what part, if any, Kusto or Mr. Tatishev was playing in the asbestos industry. In one 2015 email, for instance, he suggested to an anti-asbestos activist that they start looking into Kusto and the role of Russian asbestos producers in blocking bans in Southeast Asia. And he contacted journalists and filmmakers about making a documentary with him about the asbestos trade.
 
2018-08-10 09:45:57 PM  
Hmm. How many states don't ban asbestos?

I just checked my state's(CA) relevant laws, and I'm pretty sure the only thing you can do with it here is get rid of it. Federal law can't force states to allow a substance banned under state law into the state. And I'm pretty sure CA can refuse to allow it to enter the state at all.

I'm going to see if I can find a multi-state survey on the issue. This might be just incredibly stupid and not actually dangerous.
 
2018-08-10 09:48:24 PM  
Asbestos is only an issue if it is in an easily aerosolized form, like the blown stuff they used for insulating ductwork. It's a rite of passage for historical archaeology students to be tricked into licking asbestos tiles, which are not at all problematic. I swear I saw a ton of those green tiles from a single dig.
 
2018-08-10 09:52:05 PM  
I have a great idea if folks think that asbestos is safe: make the CEOs wear masks made of the stuff, and any Congresscritters who think that the threat is overblown, send them some masks too. Just to show their solidarity. Just wear them for a week to prove to us how safe it is.

Y'all actually believe that it's safe, right? Why NOT prove it to the Doubting Thomases in the audience then?
 
2018-08-10 09:54:04 PM  
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20​1​7/08/21/trumps-business-of-corruption

[great background article on the plays and players, but without linking to asbestos]

One foreign deal, a stalled 2011 plan to build a Trump Tower in Batumi, a city on the Black Sea in the Republic of Georgia, has not received much journalistic attention. But the deal, for which Trump was reportedly paid a million dollars, involved unorthodox financial practices that several experts described to me as "red flags" for bank fraud and money laundering; moreover, it intertwined his company with a Kazakh oligarch who has direct links to Russia's President, Vladimir Putin. As a result, Putin and his security services have access to information that could put them in a position to blackmail Trump. (Sekulow said that "the Georgia real-estate deal is something we would consider out of scope," adding, "Georgia is not Russia.")
The waterfront lot where the Trump Tower Batumi was supposed to be built remains empty. A groundbreaking ceremony was held five years ago, but no foundation has been dug. Trump removed his name from the project shortly before assuming the Presidency; the Trump Organization called this "normal housekeeping." When the tower was announced, in March, 2011, it was the centerpiece of a bold plan to transform Batumi from a seedy port into a glamorous city. But the planned high-rise-forty-seven stories containing lavish residences, a casino, and expensive shops-was oddly ambitious for a town that had almost no luxury housing.

Trump did very little to develop the Batumi property. The project was a licensing deal from which he made a quick profit. In exchange for the million-dollar payment, he granted the right to use his name, and he agreed to visit Georgia for an elaborate publicity campaign, which was designed to promote Georgia's President at the time, Mikheil Saakashvili, as a business-oriented reformer who could attract Western financiers. The campaign was misleading: the Trump Tower Batumi was going to be funded not by Trump but by businesses with ties to Kazakh oligarchs, including Timur Kulibayev, the son-in-law of Kazakhstan's autocratic ruler, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and a close ally of Putin. Kazakhstan has the largest economy in Central Asia, based on its vast reserves of oil and metals, among other natural resources. Kazakhstan is notoriously corrupt, and much of its wealth is in the hands of Nazarbayev's extended family and his favored associates.

...

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1991, Batumi had been a popular resort town, but by the early aughts it had fallen into disrepair. Its beachfront hotels housed refugees from the nearby Abkhazia region, which had broken away from Georgia in 1992. Batumi was the capital of the semiautonomous Adjara region, which was itself on the verge of declaring independence. Saakashvili saw the redevelopment of Batumi as critical for maintaining Georgian sovereignty there. Batumi residents promised to turn the city into the Monaco of the Black Sea.

But nobody seemed willing to put money into Batumi. Levan Varshalomidze, the governor of Adjara at the time, told me that Saakashvili and other Georgian officials sought financial backers, but they could not get anyone to invest in a run-down Georgian port.

Then, in 2005, something remarkable happened. Saakashvili and President Nazarbayev, of neighboring Kazakhstan, announced that B.T.A. Bank-the largest bank in Kazakhstan-was giving several hundred million dollars in loans to help develop Georgia. The loans would pay for the construction of hotels in Batumi, the expansion of the Georgian telecommunications industry, and the growth of a Georgian bank. Curiously, all the loans went to subsidiaries of one company: the Silk Road Group, which specialized not in real-estate development but in shipping crude- and refined-oil products, by rail, from Kazakhstan to other countries. Its senior executives had very little experience in telecommunications, banking, or hospitality. The Silk Road Group, which had annual revenues of roughly two hundred million dollars, was planning, in an instant, to venture into several new industries. Compounding the risk, this expansion involved taking on a debt one and a half times its annual revenue.

That wasn't the only puzzling thing about the loans. At the time that B.T.A. was lending all this money to the Silk Road Group, the bank's deputy chairman, Yerkin Tatishev, was apparently crossing an ethical line-positioning himself to exert improper influence over some of the very Silk Road Group subsidiaries that were benefitting from the loans. B.T.A. Bank had representatives on the boards of those subsidiaries, but one representative serving on two boards, Talgat Turumbayev, was simultaneously working for Tatishev's company, the Kusto Group, supervising mergers and acquisitions. (Turumbayev told me that serving on the boards wasn't a conflict of interest, because it didn't take "a lot of time.")

I spoke with people who had knowledge about the subsidiaries. They told me that the subsidiaries were co-owned by the Silk Road Group and secret partners. The source at one subsidiary told me he suspected that Tatishev-who repeatedly participated in company meetings-was a hidden owner.

...

Although Tatishev had repeatedly assured me that he was not involved in making decisions about Silk Road Group projects that had been funded by B.T.A. loans, I continued to accrue contradictory evidence

... [be cool]

In one e-mail exchange, from earlier this year, Tatishev weighed in on a decision about which investment bank the Silk Road Group should use for a transaction. "We are cool guys," Tatishev wrote. "And should always work with cool guys." Borger responded, "Dear Yerkin, in this case can you please help us to get a cool deal with them?" He then asked Tatishev to describe how he wanted the deal to be structured.

...

Video from Trump's visit to Georgia provides further evidence that Tatishev was a key part of the Silk Road Group-and suggests that Trump recognized his importance. During a speech that Trump gave in Tbilisi, Tatishev can be seen sitting in the audience next to Ramishvili. Trump says, "We have two great partners." He points toward the seats where Tatishev and Ramishvili are sitting. "And they're going to do a fantastic job." (Giorgi Rtskhiladze, the Silk Road Transatlantic Alliance executive who met me in Manhattan, told me that Trump must have thought it was him, not Tatishev, sitting next to Ramishvili. But Rtskhiladze and Tatishev look nothing alike: Rtskhiladze is clean-shaven, with light-colored hair; Tatishev is nearly bald, with dark facial hair.) Tatishev accompanied Trump to meet Saakashvili at the Presidential Palace, in Tbilisi. When Michael Cohen, the Trump Organization executive, went to Georgia in 2010 to discuss building a tower with the Silk Road Group, he also met with Tatishev.
 
2018-08-10 10:01:03 PM  
also from the newyorker article above

In 2009, when Ablyazov fled to London, the Kazakh government seized control of B.T.A. Bank. (Tatishev moved to Singapore in 2013.) A lawyer representing the bank, Roman Marchenko, informed the Silk Road Group that he had reason to believe that it had participated in Ablyazov's loan scheme. The Silk Road Group denied any wrongdoing. A settlement was reached, for fifty million dollars-a bargain price, considering that the loans had totalled three hundred million. Marchenko believes that the Silk Road Group was deeply entwined with Ablyazov, but Kazakh government officials decided to stop investigating. They were pursuing Ablyazov's stolen assets all over the world, and there was more money in other countries.

The Kazakh government placed B.T.A. Bank's assets under the authority of its sovereign-wealth fund. Soon after, Timur Kulibayev-the powerful son-in-law of the country's dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev-became the director of the fund. Kulibayev and his staff had access to all the bank's internal documents. Recently, Kulibayev became the majority owner of the bank, giving him total control over B.T.A.'s archives, as well as ownership of its assets.

...

Keith Darden is a political scientist at American University who has written extensively on the use of compromising information-kompromat-by former Soviet regimes against people they want to control. He told me that Kazakh intelligence is believed to collect dossiers on every significant business transaction involving the country. This would be especially true if a famous American developer was part of the deal, even if it would not have occurred to them that he might one day become the U.S. President. "There is no question-they know everything about this deal," Darden said.

Darden explained that Kazakh intelligence agents work closely with their Russian counterparts. Kulibayev himself has direct ties to Russia's leadership. In 2011, he was named to the board of Gazprom, the Russian gas behemoth, which is widely considered to be a pillar of Putin's fortune. In "The Return: Russia's Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev," Daniel Treisman, a political scientist at U.C.L.A. who specializes in Russia, wrote, "For Putin, Gazprom was a personal obsession. He memorized the details of the company's accounts, its pricing rules and pipeline routes. He personally approved all appointments down to the deputy level, sometimes forgetting to tell the company's actual C.E.O., Aleksey Miller." Kulibayev could not possibly be serving on Gazprom's board without Putin's assent.
 
2018-08-10 10:08:02 PM  
 
2018-08-10 10:26:29 PM  
Looks like the EPA drones are just upset that they would have to do something, verify the safety of new use ideas instead of having a blanket rule.
 
2018-08-10 10:51:02 PM  

Saiga410: Looks like the EPA drones are just upset that they would have to do something, verify the safety of new use ideas instead of having a blanket rule.


Right! Just think of all the new interesting ways it can destroy and kill people. There's gotta be some we've missed.
 
2018-08-10 11:07:13 PM  

FatherChaos: [img.fark.net image 317x240]

ASBESTOS!? IN MY VAGINA!?


It's more likely than we think?
 
2018-08-10 11:11:12 PM  

wyltoknow: Saiga410: Looks like the EPA drones are just upset that they would have to do something, verify the safety of new use ideas instead of having a blanket rule.

Right! Just think of all the new interesting ways it can destroy and kill people. There's gotta be some we've missed.


Then they have an easy gd job
 
2018-08-10 11:38:46 PM  

whatsupchuck: Has the Trump administration issued a single policy change that wasn't designed to piss off the people with expertise in the subject?  I can't think of one.


Nah. The policy changes are designed to subvert and undermine the purpose of every federal agency. "Piss off people with expertise" is would be too easy in and of itself, just by insisting that idiocy was fact, and they do that every day. It's not enough for the EPA to piss off experts, their new job is to actively make an effort to damage the environment.
 
2018-08-11 12:21:24 AM  

21-7-b: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20​1​7/08/21/trumps-business-of-corruption

[great background article on the plays and players, but without linking to asbestos]

One foreign deal, a stalled 2011 plan to build a Trump Tower in Batumi, a city on the Black Sea in the Republic of Georgia, has not received much journalistic attention. But the deal, for which Trump was reportedly paid a million dollars, involved unorthodox financial practices that several experts described to me as "red flags" for bank fraud and money laundering; moreover, it intertwined his company with a Kazakh oligarch who has direct links to Russia's President, Vladimir Putin. As a result, Putin and his security services have access to information that could put them in a position to blackmail Trump. (Sekulow said that "the Georgia real-estate deal is something we would consider out of scope," adding, "Georgia is not Russia.")
The waterfront lot where the Trump Tower Batumi was supposed to be built remains empty. A groundbreaking ceremony was held five years ago, but no foundation has been dug. Trump removed his name from the project shortly before assuming the Presidency; the Trump Organization called this "normal housekeeping." When the tower was announced, in March, 2011, it was the centerpiece of a bold plan to transform Batumi from a seedy port into a glamorous city. But the planned high-rise-forty-seven stories containing lavish residences, a casino, and expensive shops-was oddly ambitious for a town that had almost no luxury housing.

Trump did very little to develop the Batumi property. The project was a licensing deal from which he made a quick profit. In exchange for the million-dollar payment, he granted the right to use his name, and he agreed to visit Georgia for an elaborate publicity campaign, which was designed to promote Georgia's President at the time, Mikheil Saakashvili, as a business-oriented reformer who could attract Western financiers. The campaign was misleading: the Trump Tower Batumi was going to be funded not by Trump but by businesses with ties to Kazakh oligarchs, including Timur Kulibayev, the son-in-law of Kazakhstan's autocratic ruler, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and a close ally of Putin. Kazakhstan has the largest economy in Central Asia, based on its vast reserves of oil and metals, among other natural resources. Kazakhstan is notoriously corrupt, and much of its wealth is in the hands of Nazarbayev's extended family and his favored associates.

...

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1991, Batumi had been a popular resort town, but by the early aughts it had fallen into disrepair. Its beachfront hotels housed refugees from the nearby Abkhazia region, which had broken away from Georgia in 1992. Batumi was the capital of the semiautonomous Adjara region, which was itself on the verge of declaring independence. Saakashvili saw the redevelopment of Batumi as critical for maintaining Georgian sovereignty there. Batumi residents promised to turn the city into the Monaco of the Black Sea.

But nobody seemed willing to put money into Batumi. Levan Varshalomidze, the governor of Adjara at the time, told me that Saakashvili and other Georgian officials sought financial backers, but they could not get anyone to invest in a run-down Georgian port.

Then, in 2005, something remarkable happened. Saakashvili and President Nazarbayev, of neighboring Kazakhstan, announced that B.T.A. Bank-the largest bank in Kazakhstan-was giving several hundred million dollars in loans to help develop Georgia. The loans would pay for the construction of hotels in Batumi, the expansion of the Georgian telecommunications industry, and the growth of a Georgian bank. Curiously, all the loans went to subsidiaries of one company: the Silk Road Group, which specialized not in real-estate development but in shipping crude- and refined-oil products, by rail, from Kazakhstan to other countries. Its senior executives had very little experience in telecommunications, banking, or hospitality. The Silk Road Group, which had annual revenues of roughly two hundred million dollars, was planning, in an instant, to venture into several new industries. Compounding the risk, this expansion involved taking on a debt one and a half times its annual revenue.

That wasn't the only puzzling thing about the loans. At the time that B.T.A. was lending all this money to the Silk Road Group, the bank's deputy chairman, Yerkin Tatishev, was apparently crossing an ethical line-positioning himself to exert improper influence over some of the very Silk Road Group subsidiaries that were benefitting from the loans. B.T.A. Bank had representatives on the boards of those subsidiaries, but one representative serving on two boards, Talgat Turumbayev, was simultaneously working for Tatishev's company, the Kusto Group, supervising mergers and acquisitions. (Turumbayev told me that serving on the boards wasn't a conflict of interest, because it didn't take "a lot of time.")

I spoke with people who had knowledge about the subsidiaries. They told me that the subsidiaries were co-owned by the Silk Road Group and secret partners. The source at one subsidiary told me he suspected that Tatishev-who repeatedly participated in company meetings-was a hidden owner.

...

Although Tatishev had repeatedly assured me that he was not involved in making decisions about Silk Road Group projects that had been funded by B.T.A. loans, I continued to accrue contradictory evidence

... [be cool]

In one e-mail exchange, from earlier this year, Tatishev weighed in on a decision about which investment bank the Silk Road Group should use for a transaction. "We are cool guys," Tatishev wrote. "And should always work with cool guys." Borger responded, "Dear Yerkin, in this case can you please help us to get a cool deal with them?" He then asked Tatishev to describe how he wanted the deal to be structured.

...

Video from Trump's visit to Georgia provides further evidence that Tatishev was a key part of the Silk Road Group-and suggests that Trump recognized his importance. During a speech that Trump gave in Tbilisi, Tatishev can be seen sitting in the audience next to Ramishvili. Trump says, "We have two great partners." He points toward the seats where Tatishev and Ramishvili are sitting. "And they're going to do a fantastic job." (Giorgi Rtskhiladze, the Silk Road Transatlantic Alliance executive who met me in Manhattan, told me that Trump must have thought it was him, not Tatishev, sitting next to Ramishvili. But Rtskhiladze and Tatishev look nothing alike: Rtskhiladze is clean-shaven, with light-colored hair; Tatishev is nearly bald, with dark facial hair.) Tatishev accompanied Trump to meet Saakashvili at the Presidential Palace, in Tbilisi. When Michael Cohen, the Trump Organization executive, went to Georgia in 2010 to discuss building a tower with the Silk Road Group, he also met with Tatishev.


Lest we wonder why the Mueller investigation is taking so long.

The investigation has career criminals wound throughout.
 
2018-08-11 12:37:44 AM  
I think Trump is pulling a real snow job on us with his boneheaded ideas about asbestos!

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  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

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