Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Good Excuse To Cancel Class

I like this story:
Tarhouni, who teaches economics and finance at the University of Washington, returned to Libya a month ago after more than 35 years in exile to advise the opposition on economic matters.

The rebels' national council appointed another U. S. educated academic, Mahmoud Jibril, to head the interim administration.

As the top financial official for the rebels, Tarhouni will also oversee oil affairs. He said oil is not an immediate issue because the only significant yields are coming from the Sarir and Sidra fields, which amount to roughly 130,000 barrels a day, a relatively small total.

"Right now, there is no immediate crisis kind of need for cash. We have some liquidity that allows us to do the basic things," he said, such as paying salaries and immediate needs.

He added that many countries have agreed to provide credit backed by the Libyan sovereign fund, and the British government has agreed to give the rebels access to $1.1 billion that London did not send to Gadhafi.

Tarhouni, who began teaching at the UW in 1985, has opposed Gadhafi for 40 years, a news release from the university said.

James Jiambalvo, dean of the UW's Foster School of Business, said in the release that he and Tarhouni's colleagues are "proud to have one of our longtime faculty members playing a significant role in Libya's transitional government."

This is partly weird identity politics since I'm an academic, but I feel more confident in the nascent rebel government with this guy as Finance Minister rather than some local banker whom I'd be more likely to suspect of corruption.

1 comment:

Charlene said...

Front page of the NY Times this morning is a piece about how Gadhafi and sons took a piece of every business operating in the country. They even went as far as to make foreign oil companies pay for the $1.5 billion fine Lybia paid to settle the Lockerbee Scotland crime.

I hope Tarhouni gets a chance to work with a new government in the country.