This rapid turnabout in Kabul Bank’s fortunes has led Afghans to question whether Western-style free-market capitalism is just another broken U.S. promise, along with secure neighborhoods, transparent elections and ambitious development. Many here blame the United States, saying it did not provide strong oversight and alleging American complicity in last week’s financial meltdown.
“The problem with the U.S. is they always implement the modern formula in Afghanistan, and that’s not possible in a country like this,” said Siddiq Ahmad Usmani, chairman of the Afghan parliament’s Budget and Finance Committee. “They’re responsible for whatever crisis will come to our country.”
Depositors have mobbed Kabul Bank over the past week, withdrawing $300 million of its $500 million in cash assets. Some have sought to move their money into accounts at one of two national banks run by the Finance Ministry. Those two banks have received new deposits this week totaling $60 million, a ministry official said.