Can we curtail global crime while we welcome tax evasion? In my opinion the answer to this question is a resounding “NO.” But this is what we are trying to do.
Let us be very honest with ourselves. We in the West have over the past 4 or 5 decades built a global shadow financial system designed to move tax evading and tax avoiding money across borders. I think by now all of us are familiar with its elements – tax havens, secrecy jurisdictions, disguised corporations, anonymous trust accounts, fake foundations, money laundering techniques, trade misinvoicing is the most commonly used component of this structure, and then there are holes left in the laws of our western countries that facilitate the movement of money through this shadow financial system and ultimately into our own economies.
In May 2015, Professor Thomas Pogge delivered the keynote address at a conference, titled “Financial Transparency and Human Rights in Africa: Fostering Greater National and Regional Economic Opportunity in Africa through Human Rights and Financial Transparency,” co-hosted by Global Financial Integrity, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) in Johannesburg, South Africa.
A member of GFI’s Board of Directors, Dr. Pogge is the Director of the Global Justice Program and the Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University.
Testimony Urged U.S. Department of Labor to Reject Proposed QPAM Waiver by Credit Suisse
Heather Lowe, GFI’s legal counsel and director of government affairs, testified at a U.S. Department of Labor hearing in Washington on January 15, 2015, urging the department to maintain a ban on Credit Suisse’s ability to engage in high-risk transactions with the pension fund money that they manage following their November 2014 criminal conviction for aiding in tax evasion and the Swiss bank’s long history of systemic compliance failures at the institution and its affiliates.
GFI President Raymond Baker participated in “Illicit Financial Flows on the Post-2015 Development Agenda,” a panel discussion organized by the World Bank ‘s Integrity Vice Presidency on October 11, 2014 during the 2014 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings. The forum addressed the issue of illicit financial flows in the context of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Joining Mr. Baker on the panel were (in alphabetical order) Hans Brattskar, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway; Mogens Jensen, Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation, Denmark; Marcel, Senior Director, World Bank Group; Leonard Mccarthy, Integrity Vice President, World Bank Group; Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor, Central Bank of Bangladesh; and Nena Stoiljkovic, Global Practices Vice President, World Bank Group.
Contributing to a Safer and More Secure World Demands That Financial Intelligence Units Work to Change the System from Within
GFI President Raymond Baker delivered the keynote address before the 22nd Plenary of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units in Lima, Peru.
Raymond Baker, the President of Global Financial Integrity, addresses the issue of illicit financial flows while speaking at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada at “Beyond 2015: Towards a New Consensus on Global Poverty,” a conference marking the launch of the Canadian chapter of Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP).
Frank Vogl, Co-Founder of Transparency International and Author of the New Book, Waging War On Corruption, Spoke about What Inspired Him to Write His New Book
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC
Book Launch: Waging War on Corruption
Money does not move on its own. It has to be moved by a person. And if the money is illicit, efforts have to be made to disguise the source, movement and destination of the funds. Attorneys, bankers, hawaladars, governments that permit the creation of anonymous shell companies and bearer share companies, couriers, title and real estate companies, escrow agents, and others must be involved.
All of these people can be classified as facilitators for their different roles, but this panel must not end without everybody in this room understanding that every facilitator who has some level of knowledge that the money they are handling may come from some sort of crime is a criminal in their own right. These facilitators are money launderers.