Monday, September 14, 2009

We promise not to appropriate...this time.

Where there is no contract, no legal remedy for destruction or "appropriation" of property, only the credible threat or use of physical force can provide sufficient security for capital investment.

It is clear that opprobrium and international condemnation of Zimbabwe's "farm" polices are not having the desired effect. Calling an alcoholic a reprobate because he drinks too much will probably not alter his behavior.

So if these deals get struck, they will likely be with players who can negotiate private security and also monitor the arms purchases of the Zimbabwe government (or even better earmark any revenues from the mining operations into specific public projects)

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s PresidentRobert Mugabe will this week ask investors to plow their money into platinum, chrome and gold projects to help the country recover from a decade-long recession.

They’ll need to put aside concerns over a farm seizure program that destroyed Zimbabwe’s biggest export industry, recurrent threats of nationalization and a proposed law to force miners to sell 51 percent of their assets to Zimbabweans that the government now says is being reconsidered.

In what’s being billed as Zimbabwe’s biggest ever mining conference Mugabe will present a united front with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the former opposition leader with whom he formed a coalition government. They are seeking investors to help them exploit the world’s second-biggest platinum and chrome reserves and companies to reopen idled gold mines and dig coal pits.

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