05 March, 2011

Global Financial Integrity is fighting the good fight the way it should be fought: on paper.

"Some take the view that as long as the country enshrines bank secrecy - it is a criminal offence for Swiss citizens to reveal bank details - it acts as an enabler of illicit transfers of cash. Egypt lost US$57.2 billion (Dh210.1bn) to illicit capital flight between 2000 and 2008, according to Global Financial Integrity, an advocacy group based in Washington that monitors transfers of illegal funds.

The rapid collapse of dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia, and the spread of sanctions to Libya, has left banks in a tricky position as they try to deflect public outrage.Some are more cynical about the Swiss government's zeal in hunting illicit assets.

"This doesn't mean that there's a big crackdown under way," says Nicholas Shaxson, the author of Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World. "Countries need to be seen to be doing something.""

Shaxson's book looks interesting, I'll have to look for it and read it.

Translating today again. Busy busy busy! Wish I had time to study, but I'm full up until the 14th, agh. Still, it beats sitting around the house shooting coyotes and rabbits in Red Dead Redemption all day. Or does it.

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