Academic journal article Journal of International Affairs

The Money Laundry: Regulating Criminal Finance in the Global Economy

Academic journal article Journal of International Affairs

The Money Laundry: Regulating Criminal Finance in the Global Economy

Article excerpt

THE MONEY LAUNDRY: REGULATING CRIMINAL FINANCE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

J.C. Sharman

(Ithaca: Cornel1 University Press), 224 pages.

Those inclined to believe that financial malfeasance is widespread will find abundant evidence in this past summer's headlines alone. Standard Chartered, ING, and HSBC--three of the world's largest banks--agreed to pay hundreds of millions in fines to settle charges of helping pariah states subvert international sanctions. Walmart, under pressure from regulators, launched an internal investigation into allegations of bribery and money laundering by its Latin American affiliate. And in the U.S. presidential campaign, accusations about offshore financial havens and Swiss bank accounts have flooded the airwaves.

In The Money Laundry, J.C. Sharman of Australia's Griffith University raises his acutely cocked eyebrow not at the prevalence of money laundering (which he concedes is rampant) but at the ability of existing policies to halt its spread. Sharman has gathered data not only through meticulous research and experience consulting for international organizations but--with a dash of brio in a field that can otherwise seem dry--by posing "as a would-be money launderer, soliciting offers for prohibited anonymous shell companies and bank accounts. …

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