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What Office Space Can Teach Us About Money Laundering
July 12th, 2012
Remember the scene in Office Space when Peter, Michael, and Samir accidentally steal $300,000? They realize they can’t give it back without admitting they stole it in the first place, so they think the only way out is to keep the cash and launder the funds. But three law abiding guys don’t really know how to launder money,, so they try looking up “money laundering” in the dictionary, hoping for a clue of how to do it. They don’t find an answer and give up on the idea. Bu then again, the dictionary doesn’t exactly give you a step by...
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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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The Changing Dynamics of Terrorist Financing
January 11th, 2012
In 1998, an article in the Washington Post argued bin Laden was able to “shroud his finances in such secrecy and with so many front companies that American officials acknowledge it could take years to decipher them.” At the time, U.S. officials understood that the key to bin Laden’s power was wealth—which was extensive as he inherited a substantial sum of money from his prosperous Saudi father. Yet they were often stymied in their ability to track his or other terrorists’ resources as they did not have the capability to comprehensively track, freeze, and seize assets. After 9/11...
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The Forces Behind Famine
August 12th, 2011
There is a lot about the world that defies explanation. But if we do know one thing it’s that the world is a complicated place. That answers aren’t always obvious. That you have to look at short-run and long-run dynamics, with the full inter-play of all the forces, to truly begin to understand why things in our world happen as they do. The tragic famine that struck Somalia this summer is no exception to this rule, which occurred as East Africa faced one its worst droughts in 60 years, precipitated by dangerously low rainfall, depleting food supplies, and rising...
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