In the worst cases, bouts of capital flight can gain momentum until the value of the currency collapses, plunging the nation into crisis.
.. Balance of payments records show that 10 of the last 12 major currency crises, dating back to the Mexican peso meltdown of 1994, began when residents started sending money abroad, which was typically two years before the currency collapsed. Often politicians blamed “evil” and “immoral” foreign speculators for these crises, but it was the locals who first saw trouble coming.
.. Right now, this forensic accounting offers clear evidence of looming financial difficulty in only one major country: Turkey.
.. Starting early last year, affluent Turks began effectively moving large sums of money out of the country by exchanging their lira bank deposits for dollars and euros, while foreigners continued to buy Turkish assets.
.. Turkey’s millionaires appear to be fleeing both deteriorating financial conditions marked by very high inflation, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on his critics, including those in business.
.. Owing largely to the stability and glitter of the most famous emirate, Dubai, the United Arab Emirates in 2017 had a net inflow of 5,000 millionaires, increasing the size of its affluent population by 6 percent, the largest gain in the world.
.. Britain was among the millionaire havens until 2016, but may continue losing ground until it can resolve the uncertainties raised by Brexit.
.. Savvy locals are also the first to return when a country’s fortunes begin to turn for the better.
.. More broadly, economists and politicians might rethink the blame they heap on “immoral” foreigners in periods of capital flight. They assume global money managers are more sophisticated than provincial locals
but those longtime residents are in fact quicker to spot and respond to trouble in their own backyards
.. The current unrest looks different. So far, the middle class and the highly educated have been more witnesses than participants. Nonviolence is not a sacred principle. The protests first intensified in small religious towns all over the country, where the government used to take its support for granted. Metropolitan areas have so far lagged behind.
.. they all mention unemployment, inflation and the looting of national wealth: A woman asks President Hassan Rouhani to live on only her salary of $300 a month
.. The chants are also different this time. “Where is my vote?” and “Free political prisoners!” dominated in 2009. Today they have been replaced with “No to inflation!” and “Down with embezzlers!” and “Leave the country alone, mullahs.”
.. emerged as a resonant, nationwide cry for justice and equality.
the very day that two of Ivanka Trump’s and Jared Kushner’s children were serenading the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, at Mar-a-Lago, the People’s Republic of China approved new trademarks allowing Ivanka to peddle jewelry, bags and spa services to a nation of 1.4 billion where she is a role model for aspirational oligarchs.
.. a culture of self-enrichment and self-dealing in which corporate C.E.O.s, lobbyists and foreign officials seeking the first family’s favor hold parties at Mar-a-Lago and at the Trump International Hotel in Washington
.. Mr. Trump struggled for years to close deals across the Middle East; now that he’s president, doors are opening. His family is seeking or holds trademarks in Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, where the president’s sons just opened a golf course in Dubai, and in Jordan, whose King Abdullah II just visited the White House to discuss joint efforts against ISIS.
.. That leaves Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has the legal authority and the resources to investigate and hold the administration to account. Anyone familiar with Mr. Chaffetz’s record of partisan, ineffectual witch-hunting won’t be surprised to learn that he’s done nothing.
.. But that’s hardly a match for an administration filled with people who seem determined to wring every last dollar and ounce of trust from the American people.