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Stolen Assets and the Financial System
November 5th, 2010
The issue of stolen assets and their management, or lack of adequate management, by the global financial system is a component of the broader issue of illicit money and how it flows through the financial system to be transformed into licit, “usable” money. This physical process, often referred to as money laundering – a sort of modern alchemy, it is important for anyone to understand who is genuinely concerned with the fight against political or business corruption. In order to be successful at fighting corrupt practices, we need to know what these practices are and which ones work and which...
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Will the G20 Fall Prey to Collective Amnesia?
October 21st, 2010
BERLIN—On Friday and Saturday this week (October 22d-23th), the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank governors are due to meet in South Korea. The G20 had raised big expectations at a time when it promised the end of bank secrecy (London, April 2009). At that time, capital markets were reaching their lowest point over several years. Since then, they have partially recovered and the G20 tone has considerably softened. Would we have a correlation between Dow Jones levels and G20 softness? Without going that far, we can only reaffirm that transparency and the fight against corruption still have...
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New Revenue Watch Index Promotes Transparency, Good Governance as Paths to Global Development
October 8th, 2010
On Wednesday, October 6th in Washington D.C., the Revenue Watch Index was co-launched by Revenue Watch Institute and Transparency International. This is an important step in the Promoting Revenue Transparency project, an important project advocating, among other things, country-by-country reporting of all extractive corporations, and not only those active on Wall Street. It is good to take a step back and know what this whole project is about. Why are we interested in the extractive industries? When there is money, there is a corruption risk, when there is big money, there is a big corruption risk, and oil...
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Secrecy Jurisdictions, Offshore Centres, Tax Havens: which terms to use with the big corporations?
September 26th, 2010
Terminology is essential to any serious action against secrecy jurisdictions. The term of secrecy jurisdiction is relatively recent and we owe it to Tax Justice Network and others, which have demonstrated the important secrecy component of a certain number of jurisdictions. The term tends to replace “offshore centres”, a more descriptive and a bit misleading expression which does not refer to offshore islands but tries to depict the role of the centre as a financial intermediary in a trade conducted elsewhere, with most assets and most liabilities being invested or held abroad. The advocacy value of the term...
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