Monday, September 19, 2011

Jason Sharman: new book on money laundering

There are quite a lot of books on money laundering, but this one looks particularly interesting, by virtue of its being authored by Jason Sharman, who has done a lot of extremely useful work in this area. He has found, as has TJN, that the biggest culprits in terms of financial secrecy and other offshore shenanigans often tend to be found in big OECD countries.

A review of Sharman's book in The Economist highlighted his research, which updates earlier work.
As a test, he tried creating companies in various places without using a real (verified) ID. Of the 47 providers of registration services he approached in OECD countries, no fewer than 35 agreed to form shell companies without requiring proper documents. Some also helped to open bank accounts. Classic tax havens were on the whole much more rigorous.
The Economist review appears to be a little confused about what a tax haven is but it nevertheless highlights this crucially important point, which bears repeating, repeatedly.


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