VIDEO: Bank Run in Kabul

Monday, September 06, 2010

Hundreds of Afghans have been trying to withdraw money from the country's largest bank, amid concerns that it could collapse.
The panic was sparked by reports that Kabul Bank has lent millions of dollars to members of the political elite, who used the money to make risky investments. A slew of reports has come up with allegations that relatives of Afghanistan's leader Karzai and executives of the bank have sunk 100s of millions of Federal Reserve Notes (FRN) into Dubai and other property investments before prices took a sharp dive.

According to a BBC report,

Armed police in pick-up trucks have been stationed outside the main branch of Kabul Bank as customers continue to withdraw money amid fears the Afghan bank may collapse.
Barbed wire has also been placed across the road to hold back the crowds.
The run on the bank began earlier (last) week after allegations of corruption and mismanagement, although officials have maintained the bank will not fail... 
Customers have been told that the branch is the only one that holds US dollars but they can only withdraw a maximum of $10,000. 
"I am withdrawing my money because I am taking a trip and I also believe my money will not be safe in this bank," said 26-year-old Waheed Shirzoi... 
Kabul Bank, Afghanistan's largest commercial bank, is reported to have run up huge debts that it cannot afford to pay. 
Last week, newspaper reports said the bank's two top executives - chairman Sherkhan Farnood and chief executive Khalilullah Ferozi, who each own 28% of the bank's shares - had been replaced and Mr Farnood ordered to surrender $160m worth of property purchased in Dubai.
I note that the only difference in today's bank runs is that they are recorded in HD full color vs. the last ones in the 1930s: 50 Seconds Bank Run Video From Germany 1931


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