Proposal to Buy Siberia

Walter Russell Mead's plan (Opinion, July 19) to have the United States buy most of Siberia is splendid, except that politically the Russians cannot sell it. A variant which the Russian people might accept is to securitize Siberia.

In order for such a plan to go into effect as soon as possible, it would have to be grand and simple and make use of existing institutions. For example:

1. American investors would invest a trillion dollars in Siberia at the rate of $50,000,000,000 per year (invest, not spend).

2. In return, they would receive a 49% interest in a series of corporations which would own all of the production of the affected area of Siberia.

3. By treaty, American commercial law would apply for a period of 25 years.

4. American banks would be permitted to operate in the area just as foreign banks are allowed to function in the United States.

5. Initially, again in the interest of saving time, the corporations would be organized by American investment bankers. There would be at least two competing corporations in each industry.

Time is of the essence. Think what it would mean to the people of Russia to have $50,000,000,000 per year invested now, to have all of those jobs, and to have those industries training Russians.

JACOB OLIKER, Venice

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