There is hope in Iran but the country is in sorry shape. It’s as bad as Chicago.
(From PJ Media)
The Islamic Revolution presided over an orgy of corruption, brutality, and mismanagement. Despite the Obama administration’s cash infusion and the lifting of sanctions on oil exports, the government is nearly bankrupt. It has allowed several major banks to fail, wiping out the savings of millions of depositors, after the banks lent vast sums to regime cronies for real estate speculation. Forty-five percent of Iranian bank loans are toxic and the cost of cleaning up the bank mess is estimated at half of GDP (to put that in perspective, the U.S. Treasury set aside $700 billion, or 1/20th of U.S. GDP, to bail out the banks in 2008, and needed only a fraction of it. The Iranian banking crisis is a full order of magnitude worse than the U.S. 2008 crisis).
Iran’s pension funds, as I report in Asia Times, are bankrupt. The civil service pension fund has only 100 employees paying in for every 120 employees receiving a pension. The government is on the hook for the rest.
*Paintings from Thomas Cole’s The Course of Empire