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This is a really great, informative article. I was in the Southern Gobi from 2009-2011, relatively near OT's site outside of Khanbogd and it'd be interesting to read more about the effect of the cash transfers ending in 2012 on the unstable economic situation. You write about the increase in applications for social benefit support, and as I remember the regular lines, sometimes going out the doors of the bank in my soum, to receive the payouts, I also remember Mongolians expressing very mixed emotions about receiving the money. One small, nit-picky point - I would just translate soum as town since it's applied pretty liberally to any town smaller than an aimag center. Thanks for the post!