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The EU’s Euro Problem
April 22nd, 2011
For years economists have talked about the “end of the euro.” These apocalyptic warnings have become only more severe in recent years and months, with the weakening of Europe’s economic and financial position and the debt crises in Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Ireland, which have triggered discussions of these countries unilaterally dropping the euro. In truth, however, economists have talked about the end of the euro since the beginning of the euro, when even after it was formally adopted as the third pillar of the European Union in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 many economists have remained...
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Treasure Islands: Following The Money To The Heart Of The Global Financial System
April 15th, 2011
Transcendent New Book Links Financial Crisis, Corruption, Crime to Offshore System It links terrorism to the financial crisis, corporate tax evasion to Mexican drug cartels, corrupt kleptocrats in developing countries to the ruling elites in some of the biggest countries in the world. It is the very opaque offshore financial system, and it is the focus of Nicholas Shaxson's enlightening new book, "Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens," which was just published in the United States this week. Reading like a John le Carré thriller, Treasure Islands whisks you from the echelons of...
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“Illegal Fishing Crosses Borders – So Must Law Enforcement”
March 25th, 2011
Illegal fishing is a crime. When crime crosses borders, so must law enforcement. Gunnar Stølsvik, head of the Norwegian national advisory group against organized IUU-fishing, argues that the UN Convention against transnational organized crime (UNTOC) provides a tool that facilitates criminal investigations on illegal fishing. Some estimates suggest that illegal fishing causes annual financial losses of up to USD 23.5 billion globally. It results in a major loss of revenue and the effects on coastal states, and developing countries in particular, can be seen throughout the world. Illegal fishing (or illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, often referred to as IUU fishing)...
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From Mexico to Kosovo: the Lands Ungoverned
December 17th, 2010
In August 2010, the bodies of 72 immigrants were discovered in Tamaulipas, a state in northeastern Mexico. While nobody knows the sequence of events that led to this massacre, it is well known that Tamaulipas is at the center of a turf war between two powerful drug cartels, the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel. Control of territory and trafficking routes is critical as it enables the cartels to expand their criminal operations to include other moneymaking endeavors like fuel bunkering, prostitution, kidnapping, and even software piracy. Across the Atlantic, a recent report for the Council of Europe...
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