The Ultimate Insurance Policy

Ashby Monk

The recent financial crisis has illustrated the extent to which some countries conceive of their SWFs as ‘insurers of last resort’.  Maldives President Nasheed has taken this to a new level.

In discussing his country’s future challenges from climate change, Mr. Nasheed acknowledged that contingency plans are now in place should the Maldives be completely submerged. A key part of this contingency plan apparently depends on the creation of a new SWF (sourced from tourism revenues) that will go out and buy property / land in areas with similar cultures, such as India or Sri Lanka, that could become a new home for the 300,000 islanders.

If I understand this right, Nasheed views a SWF as a way of sustaining some notion of the Maldives even if the Islands themselves disappear–SWF as a life insurance policy. Fascinating.

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This website is a project of Professor Gordon L. Clark and Dr. Ashby Monk of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Their research on sovereign wealth funds is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and The Rotman International Centre for Pension Management.

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