Cuban bank assets deposited in foreign financial institutions that belong to an international reporting system showed a stunning plunge of $1.55 billion, or 24 percent, in just the last three months of last year.
“It’s highly unusual for those deposits to drop so much, especially because Cuba had been building up its liquidity until then,” said Luis R. Luis, a former chief economist at the Organization of American States who first reported the fall.
A Bank for International Settlements report dated June 4 showed Cuban bank deposits in the BIS’s 43 member central banks and financial centers nosedived from $5.65 billion at the end of September to $4.1 billion at the end of December.
Luis, on the board of directors of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy, said that there are no confirmed reasons but lots of possibilities for both the growth of Cuban assets in BIS institutions until September, and their plunge afterwards.
The government may have shifted the money to financial institutions in countries like China and Venezuela, where the banks are not BIS members, the economist noted, in order to streamline its growing commercial trade with those countries.
Or something. As Alberto puts it,
It did not go to help the Cuban people, and it certainly did not go to pay back the dozens of creditors the Castro regime has stiffed for decades and continues to owe billions to.
It’s out there.