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Chasing Dirty Money: The Fight Against Money Laundering / Edition 1

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Overview

There is currently no empirical base to assess the effectiveness of the current anti-money laundering regime in terms of suppressing money laundering, a new study, Chasing Dirty Money: The Fight Against Money Laundering, from the Institute for International Economics finds.

This study by Peter Reuter and Edwin M. Truman addresses an extremely important element of the international financial system: money laundering. Money laundering is a quintessential global issue that combines many of our previous themes. But combating it requires a cooperative, global, and special anti-money laundering (AML) regime, and this study provides the first comprehensive effort to assess the effectiveness of the existing regime.

The authors first describe the activity of money laundering. They then provide an overview of the global AML regime as it has evolved over the past 15 years. Finally, they assess the regime's effectiveness in addressing three underlying goals: reducing crime, protecting the integrity of the core financial system, and controlling three types of global "public bads"-terrorism, corruption, and failed states. They find evidence the regime has helped increase the integrity of the banking system in the United States and many major financial centers. However, there is an absence of systematic evidence that it has made money laundering more than marginally more difficult for those who need to clean dirty money or finance terrorism.

The study concludes with recommendations for improvements in the US and global AML regime during its next phase, which will probably be one of consolidation following its rapid expansion to date. They stress the need for increased international cooperation on tax evasion, not covered by the current US AML regime, to solidify support for the international AML regime. They emphasize the role for greater financial as well as technical assistance for poorer countries to tighten the global fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. They recommend that the United States volunteer for an IMF/World Bank assessment of its own financial system, including regulations affecting money laundering and terrorism, because of the central global role of the United States. They also recommend the revival of the National Money Laundering Strategy, which the United States previously submitted to the Congress and published regularly, but with changes from those produced from 1999 to 2003. They conclude with a systematic research agenda to identify the costs of the AML regime and improve its efficiency going forward.

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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
Successful criminal activities produce lots of cash, which must be "laundered" to be useful and to obscure its illegal origins. Like many other activities, money laundering has become increasingly international, which has spurred attempts at coordinated responses by financial and law enforcement authorities. This book reviews and examines, in greater detail than some readers will want, the variegated nature of money laundering and the response of national governments, serving as a useful source of analysis and information from diverse sources. As with most shady illegal activities, limited information is available. The authors present much material, and discuss the difficulties of evaluating quantitatively or even qualitatively the various measures that have been adopted in the absence of hard and systematic evidence of their impacts. But what is clear is that following the money across national boundaries has pushed authorities to much closer transnational cooperation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881323702
  • Publisher: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 218
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.21 (d)

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