He Loves to Fly, and It Shows

Hey, why let a $420 million national debt get you down? Last fall SAPARMURAD NIYAZOV, the President of Turkmenistan, wanted an official plane for a state visit to Beijing. Though his country is saddled with that substantial debt, and although at least one bank refused a request to finance the purchase, Turkmenistan still wound up buying a pricey Boeing 737-300 by tapping into a multimillion-dollar German bank account with its share of the former Soviet Union's oil and gas pipeline proceeds. The new plane's cost: $40 million.


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