The bank run at Afghanistan’s largest bank, Kabul Bank, was precipitated by the takeover of the bank by Da Afghanistan Bank, the country’s central bank, last week. By Friday nearly all of its currency reserves and most of its capital had been withdrawn by nervous customers, with no end in sight.
According to the Miami Herald, the Venezuelan government has introduced what socialist President Hugo Chavez is calling a “Good Life Card” to be used to purchase groceries at government-owned stores. Speaking to Venezuelans on the government’s television channel, Chavez explained, “It’s a card for you to purchase what you are going to take and they keep deducting. It’s to buy what you need, not to promote communism, but to buy what [sic] just what you need.”
There is no doubt that excessive consumption of alcohol was a critical health problem in the Soviet Union. Trapped in a grim purgatory empire, the serfs of socialism had few outlets for human expression and drinking provided one of the few means of escaping the endless rhetoric of Marxist paradise so contrary to everyday experience. The realm of Putin, the KGB officer, and his henchmen continues to inspire ordinary Russians to seek solace in vodka.