"James Passin, a hedge fund manager at Firebird Management, believes the nuclear-armed country sits on as much as a billion barrels of crude — enough to make it as big a producer as Oklahoma. If the oil exists, he wants to help unlock it."
Now get a load of how he characterises the North Korean people:
“You have a country with 25 million people — young, highly disciplined, literate — and a strong military-industrial complex,” he said in an interview.
I'm not sure I can make a remark rude enough in reply to that.
"Mr. Passin, 44, studied philosophy at St. John’s College in Maryland. He was inspired to enter finance, he said, in part by the story of Thales, a philosopher in ancient Greece who got rich by monopolizing olive presses before a bumper harvest he had foreseen in the stars."
Yeah I make all my financial decisions that way.
"Contrarian instincts have led Mr. Passin to out-of-the-way markets like Chechnya, Congo and Somalia."
'Contrarian instincts'.... also known as a fetish for warzones.
"Mr. Passin is also wagering on distressed debt in the South Pacific. Firebird has been suing the tiny, destitute island nation of Nauru for repayment on about $24 million of defaulted government-backed bonds, equal to about one-sixth of the country’s gross domestic product."
Well I bet the people there didn't want hospitals, schools or drinking water anyway.
"Firebird, which bought the bonds from the original creditors at a fraction of their face value, stands to make money if it wins. The hedge fund has been fighting in Australian courts to garnish Nauru’s state bank accounts — and briefly succeeded in freezing the accounts.
The tactics are similar to those used by larger, more prominent firms like Elliott Management, run by the billionaire investor Paul E. Singer, who has sued Argentina over debt repayment.
In December, Australia’s highest court denied Firebird access to Nauru’s state bank accounts. But Mr. Passin might still try to claim any wealth the eight-square-mile coral atoll holds outside Australia."
Time to relocate this guy to Somalia permanently I think.
"Mr. Passin’s investment also raises legal questions. Alexandra López-Casero, a sanctions lawyer at the Boston-based law firm Nixon Peabody, said the investment might violate American sanctions against North Korea absent a license from the Treasury Department in Washington. Other experts disagree, noting that the United States has not issued a blanket prohibition on investing in the North.
Mr. Passin said that Firebird had neither sought such a license nor needed one. He added that an expert had reviewed the venture for him and concluded that it was legal."
An expert on doing whatever the fuck you like, for or to anyone, evidently
Oh? Oil will do that will it? Just like much of the Middle-east - that bastion of tolerance and freedom.
"Besides, he argued, if the West avoided commerce with unsavory nations, much of the world would be off limits."
Sure...let's just climb in bed with any baby-murdering totalitarian scumbag...
There is a reason I don't have thugs for friends, or business partners.
There is a reason they don't just blossom into nicer people with the soft psychic perfume of my presence.
It's because that is not how reality functions.
Now this guy is obviously intelligent in a way... but the telescopic powers of delusion inherent in these ambitions, and the puerile quality of the pat justifications, and sociopathic will to fuck people over wherever they are vulnerable, demonstrates that it would probably be better if he ran a family hardware store back in Maryland.