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The HSBC Deferred Prosecution Agreement: Just how much money are we really talking about?
December 13th, 2012
HSBC Bank USA N.A. and HSBC Bank Holdings plc, its parent company, agreed to forfeiture and penalties of a little more than $1.9 billion dollars for systemic and willful violations of U.S. anti-money laundering and foreign sanctions laws. This penalty is making headlines in the press as the largest fine ever imposed on a bank, but we note that not one person is being prosecuted in this case. $1.9 billion may sounds like a lot, but does the penalty fit the crime? We have decided that you should be able to make an informed judgment about that...
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Heather Lowe: Players: The Role of Facilitators and Super-Fixers
June 25th, 2012
Thank you to the Center for Complex Operations and the State Department for providing me with an opportunity to speak to you here today. I have been asked to present on this particular panel because my organization, Global Financial Integrity, attempts to quantify illicit capital flight leaving developing countries and find ways to curtail that illicit capital flight. Our definition of illicit capital flight is where the movement of money is breaking laws in either the country of original, a country of transit or the destination country. We look at how the international financial system facilitates, and indeed...
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A Standard of Security
November 16th, 2011
Imagine for a moment that airline security were left up to individual states, rather than the federal government. It’s perhaps not too much of a stretch of the imagination to conclude that different states would adopt different levels of security. For example, some states might require their passengers to provide identification to ensure they aren’t terrorists and pass their bags through x-ray machines to ensure those passengers aren’t trying to load illicit materials onto the airplane. Other states, though, might think it’s advantageous to reduce their security requirements. They might argue that by reducing screening, they could trim down...
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