When last we looked in on octogenarian Canadian tycoon Peter Munk, he had just purchased the impoverished country of Montenegro. Plans were afoot to reboot the residual rump state, leftover from the breakup of Yugoslavia, into an independent homeland for stateless wanderers in need of casinos, tax shelters, and berths for their mega-yachts.
Still smarting from his forced retirement from the company he founded, Barrick Gold, Munk is consoling himself with this retirement project in the Bay of Kotor. And, unlike Barrick, which has shed about two thirds of its value over the past three years, things seem to be moving in the right direction in Porto Munkenegro.
Yacht berths are leased at 95% capacity, the new five star Munk Meridien Hotel is now open, and hundreds of locals have found gainful employment swabbing decks, changing sheets, and otherwise servicing the needs of the super-rich.
And leave it to the ever-crafty Munk to come up with a winning strategy to lure the mega-yachts away from Monaco - cheap gas!
Thanks to Mr. Munk’s adept political skills, fill-ups at Porto Montenegro are about half the price it would be elsewhere in the European Mediterranean. That’s because Mr. Munk negotiated a sweet deal with the Montenegrin government that allows yachties to avoid fuel taxes and excise charges. As a result, big yachts from all over the Med find that it pays to tie up at Porto Montenegro.
Yup, that's how they roll in the bigs! You use your "political skills" to cut a deal on fuel taxes that
cheats a near-bankrupt state out of revenue... hey, an octogenarian maybe, but he still has his chops!
And best of all, he'll be leaving a legacy that's about more than dispossessed peasants and leaking