As in much of the developed world, Kazakhstan has determined that the global crisis has left it with few choices.

A string of moves to shore up troubled banks since last fall hit a crescendo last week when the Kazakh government snapped up a 78% stake of BTA Bank for 251 billion tenge ($2.1 billion) and said it would do the same to a 76% chunk of Alliance Bank. The conduit for these mega purchases is the aptly-named Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund.

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