PtP in the News: World Financial Review article on PtP and stolen assets

A new article focusing on PtP has been published in the latest edition of The World Financial Review. Noting that past experience with the return of stolen assets to governments has too often led to disappointing results, this brief piece, “Where Should All the Stolen Money Go?,” urges consideration instead of applying the Philanthropication thru Privatization, or PtP, concept, which calls for the placement of such assets into carefully structured, private charitable foundations as exemplified in the BOTA Foundation in Kazakhstan and many other foundations around the world. This solution produces win-win benefits for countries and citizens alike, helps mobilize citizens for anti-corruption action, and ensures that preciously needed resources are used transparently and accountably to benefit citizens and not dumped into government coffers or returned to the corruption stream. In this challenging time, when massive emergency funding from governments has intensified concerns about potential corruption, it is more important than ever to ensure that when corruption-generated resources are identified and returned they are truly dedicated to citizen needs. The PtP approach is a proven alternative for achieving this. Please feel free to share the article with those in your networks. You can read the full article from The...

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PtP Highlighted at Recent World Bank Spring Meeting Session on Combatting Corruption

At the recent the World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, DC, Project Director Lester Salamon had an opportunity to introduce PtP’s potential for encouraging citizen involvement in anti-corruption efforts—a point which was highlighted as one of the “6 Takeaways From the World Bank Spring Meetings,” as excerpted below. By Sophie Edwards // 19 April 2018   WASHINGTON — Representatives from the World Bank, business, technology companies, media, and law enforcement discussed ways in which they can work together to combat corruption during the Spring Meetings….   Wednesday’s session brought together a diverse range of actors from government, the private sector, media, and academia to discuss new ways and challenges to ending corruption.     6. New models for spending seized assets “Citizens will not get serious about working on corruption unless they see a better result coming from the capture of corrupt assets than they are seeing now,” according to Lester Salamon, director of the Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins University. “Currently, these assets are put back into government agencies and flow back into corruption,”...

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“How to Apply PtP to Stolen or Stranded Assets” by Aaron Bornstein and Lester M. Salamon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chelsea Newhouse According to a recent UN report, close to US$4 trillion is stolen from governments or generated by bribes or other forms of corruption each year in countries around the world—an annual sum well above the total budgets of numerous developing and transition country governments. Despite often heroic efforts, however, the record of successful discovery, confiscation, and effective return for social re-use of these vast assets has been frustratingly meager. This limited success in returning such assets for effective social re-use is largely due to the complexity of the process. Also at work, however, is that so much of the attention has had to focus on the challenges of locating, documenting, freezing, and confiscating stolen assets that too little attention has been available to focus on the all-important question of what to do with these assets if and when they become available for potential return. The document being released today seeks to remedy this shortcoming by focusing on one of the most promising of the social re-use and return options available. This is the option exemplified by the case of the BOTA Foundation in Kazakhstan, and by close to 600 other foundations that have...

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The PtP Beat Goes On: A New Cache of PtP Foundations

The recent identification of stolen or stranded assets as another asset class to which the PtP concept can be applied has surfaced a number of new PtP foundations. Already, the PtP Project has issued a case study focusing on one foundation that emerged from this asset class—Kazakhstan’s BOTA Foundation—which came into being out of the confiscated proceeds of a bribe paid to the then-president of this Central Asian country.   Now, however, a new route to the capture of significant resources from illegal activity has come into view: settlements from legal cases in which corporations have been charged with improper, illegal, or negligent behavior.   While such settlements often involve penalty payments to governments, the penalty payments are also often accompanied by settlements in which the offending company agrees to commit resources to help ameliorate a problem similar to one that its behavior helped to perpetuate. Thus, for example, to offset the damage done by the explosion of their Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico and the subsequent leak of millions of barrels of oil into the surrounding ecosystem, oil giant BP and its drilling partner, Transocean, were required to commit US$20.8 billion for reclamation and...

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NEWS RELEASE | The BOTA Foundation: A Model for the Safe Return of Stolen Assets?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chelsea Newhouse     We are pleased to announce the publication of The BOTA Foundation: A Model for the Safe Return of Stolen Assets?, the first in a series of reports from the Philanthropication thru Privatization Project (PtP) examining important examples of significant charitable endowments that have resulted from the sale or other transformation of government-owned or -controlled assets.   Prepared by international development specialist Aaron Bornstein and edited with an Introduction by PtP Project Director and Johns Hopkins University Professor Dr. Lester M. Salamon, this report analyzes the major example to date of the application of the PtP concept to stolen or disputed assets: the case of the BOTA Foundation in Kazakhstan, which arose from the seizure of assets totaling US$84 million that an American citizen secured from U.S. oil companies in the 1990s and channeled to high level officials in the Government of Kazakhstan in order to secure oil drilling rights in the Caspian Sea.   As such, it profiles one of over 550 charitable foundations that have emerged from some type of transaction transforming a government-owned or government-controlled asset into a charitable foundation. In the process, it helps point the way to...

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