Hello from bankrupt Kiev, 4x4 capital of Europe
I have been following the outrage over the AIG bonuses via the news channels on my tour of crisis-stricken Eastern Europe. Here in the Ukraine the situation is really perilous: the IMF's projected loan of $16bn is on hold until the country meets conditions. But these are becoming ever less stringent as it becomes clear the political situation is fragmented and the government cannot deliver.
However I can't help wondering what would happen if we substituted the words "BMW X5" for "AIG bonus". The West is, right now, via the IMF, preparing to bail out countries where a lot of people seem to drive top-of-the-range 4x4s; indeed, as the lead singer of a local ska band I have just interviewed put it, "there are more 4x4s here in this city than in most West European cities".
Its made me wonder what would happen if the IMF, as well as insisting on cutting wages and closing nurseries, simply ruled that all top-range 4x4 automobiles be banned in any country receiving a bailout. I think it might help concentrate the minds of the politicians and the business elite.
Watch my report from Ukraine below: