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Tales from AlbaradoPonzi Logics of Accumulation in Postsocialist Albania$
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Smoki Musaraj

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501750335

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501750335.001.0001

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The Pyramid Way

The Pyramid Way

Speculation in Construction

(p.138) 5 The Pyramid Way
Tales from Albarado

Smoki Musaraj

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the analogies of the former “kreditorë” regarding the modalities of financing and accumulation at the pyramid firms that captured the expression “the pyramid way,” which refers to a particular logic of investment and accumulation whereby initial investment relied on an unsustainable future return. It focuses on a practice of financing in construction known as “klering” or nonliquid payment arrangements among developers, subcontractors, and buyers. Developers typically promised to pay subcontractors with apartments or other construction materials rather than cash or credit. The chapter describes the empty klering apartments in Tirana's peripheries in the late 2000s that led to a crisis of liquidity. It traces the partial connections of different financial activities and suggests that the construction industry relied on social networks and remittance flows as sources of financing in order to avoid formal sources of credit and debt.

Keywords:   kreditorë, pyramid firms, pyramid way, klering, Tirana, liquidity, construction industry, remittance flow

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