The Spark Behind Iran's Unrest: Millions of Defrauded Investors

(Wall Street Journal) Farnaz Fassihi and Asa Fitch - The call to protest came through a group channel on the smartphone app Telegram. Most of the group's thousand members had lost their savings when a financial firm promising huge returns went bankrupt amid bad investments and corruption. Millions of Iranians have been hit by losses at loosely regulated credit institutions. The business of financial firms boomed under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the mid-2000s. Iranians, whose purchasing power was diminishing from inflation and the devaluation of the currency, flocked to them. The firms appeared to have the backing of the country's central bank. Iranian analysts and economists say the firms were doomed to fail. They were owned and managed not by financial experts but by people with close links to religious institutions, the judiciary and the Revolutionary Guards.

2018-01-12 00:00:00

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