1. Ambassadors without portfolios?
What happens when you’re an ambassador whose government has been overthrown?
With the Ukrainian government being deposed last week, I’m wondering about the fate of the country’s envoys and their families. As key appointees of President — now fugitive — Viktor Yanukovich, have they been replaced and evicted from their embassies in Washington, New York (the United Nations ambassador), London or Paris? Or are they all professional foreign service officers, able to roll with the punches?
Who at the new regime in Kiev would assert to whom in the host country that the incumbent ambassador no longer represents Ukraine and should be evicted from the embassy, if that is to be their fate? Where would they and their families go? What about the staffs and their families?
In the particular case of Ukraine, is the fate of its ambassador in Moscow different from that of his colleague in Washington because Russia still supports Yanukovich?
This ought to be a compelling story, a mix of protocol, geopolitics and family dynamics. For context, a reporter could start by finding out what happened after the revolutions in Libya or Egypt. Egypt might be particularly intriguing: Did Hosni Mubarak’s man in Washington get thrown out by the Muslim Brotherhood government, only to make his way back when the Muslim Brotherhood was deposed?
2. Why the five-year delay in Federal Reserve Board minutes?
In Gretchen Morgenson’s February 22 column analyzing transcripts of meetings of the powerful Federal Reserve Board Open Market Committee during 2008, the savvy New York Times finance reporter writes, “they paint a disturbing picture of a central bank that was in the dark about each looming disaster throughout 2008.”