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Tackle illicit financial flows for the new bottom billion
July 13th, 2011
Poverty ain’t what it used to be, nor for that matter where it used to be either. As the nature and location of poverty continues to change, the illicit financial flows agenda becomes all the more important for development. Historically, the vast majority of people living on less than a dollar a day (or $1.25, where the World Bank’s line is now drawn) did so in low-income countries (LICs); that is, in countries with per capita gross national incomes less than $1005. So: income-poor people lived in income-poor countries. Simples. And true: twenty years ago, 93% of those in...
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Ask a Man How Many of His Fish Are Being Stolen…
June 1st, 2011
‘Give a man a fish’, goes the old saying, ‘and he’ll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he’ll eat forever.’ In its time, this was a progressive message, arguing for sustainable development approaches over simple aid-giving, but it now sounds rather dated. Worse than the apparent gender bias is the underlying assumption that development solutions involve ‘us’ teaching ‘them’ how to avoid being poor. The thrust of Christian Aid’s work on financial integrity, and that of the Task Force and its other members,...
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Time to Choose: Transparency for All, or Competition to the Bottom?
March 25th, 2011
It’s an interesting moment of flux for Task Force issues, especially if you’re sitting in London. On the one hand, you can see a key piece of UK legislation on financial integrity at serious risk; on the other hand, you can see the potential for a powerful step forward at the European level. Both are still in the balance, so if you’ve got any political pull at all – now’s the time to choose. The nature of both discussions points to a broader point, however, which is this: national- or regional-level responses to financial integrity issues will always risk a...
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Mexico 2012: A G20 for Financial Integrity?
February 10th, 2011
OK, it seems a bit premature to be thinking about Mexico’s G20 before we’re anywhere near November 2011 and Paris. But there are good reasons to start thinking about 2012 – and good reasons to think that it could be the first G20 that puts financial integrity and the combating of illicit flows right up front and centre. There are important measures that can be pursued in 2011, and pressure must be maintained on President Sarkozy to deliver concrete actions to back his administration’s strong words on the damage done by secrecy in tax havens. With luck, however, the French...
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