The Sentry’s report points to major ways the international community must act to deny kleptocrats the “brain trust” on which they rely to perpetrate their crimes. It’s up to the U.S. to be a leader, not a laggard, in implementing a robust anti-money laundering regime.
To tackle global corruption, the U.S. must start by cleaning up its own house through the reforms discussed in this blog, as well as by working collaboratively with African nations, civil society actors, and professionals to properly stem the root causes and key loopholes that enable capital flight, illicit financial flows, and corrupt or criminal financial abuses.
On the occasion of the U.S. publication of investigative journalist Oliver Bullough’s latest book, Butler to the World: How Britain Helps the World’s Worst People Launder Money, Commit Crimes, and Get Away with Anything, the author joined the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, alongside legislators and advocates from the U.S. and U.K., to discuss the problems caused by dirty money in the U.K. and U.S. and how to foster transatlantic competition to crack down on dirty money in both jurisdictions.
Africa loses significantly more cash to capital flight than it obtains from development aid, external borrowing, or foreign direct investment. In a real sense, Africa is a “net creditor” to the rest of the world.
As a reporter in Uganda, I often saw how access to quality health care and education was limited because of low government revenues and budget allocations. While Uganda and other African countries are certainly recipients of foreign aid from the West, and generate their own tax revenues, it is also clear that illicit financial flows are bleeding out of the African continent, enabled in part by the policies of the West. We now need new partnerships with Africa to “stop the bleeding.”
Operating in financial secrecy, bad actors are free to profit from environmental degradation, and in doing so undermine the global fight against climate change. As global leaders make new commitments this week at COP26, it’s time that politicians promise to shine a light on global financial secrecy, particularly the use of anonymous shell companies, as a crucial climate reform.