Bill Clinton as the Central Asian Rainmaker

clinton_nazarbayev.jpgThey say that for about a $100,000 donation to his foundation, you can get former U.S. President Bill Clinton to show up practically anywhere for a speaking engagement. And apparently for $31.3 million, you can even get him to hop on a plane with you to Kazakhstan, and offer the president-for-life Nursultan Nazarbayev political backing for the OSCE in exchange for a lucrative uranium mining deal. I am pretty late in getting around to posting about this Clinton news, but thought I would do so for those who haven’t had a chance to read it yet. This is one wild, wild story from the New York Times, and one that exhibits a lesson (or bad example, depending on your view) for foreign investors looking to land energy and mineral extraction deals in the region. You can’t exactly blame the Kazakhs for bringing politics into the decision regarding Kazatomprom’s new partner – after all it was a clever Canadian and a former president looking to raise funds that thought up this particular quid pro quo.