Article: Wildlife trafficking: a new frontier for organised financial crime

Article - Media

Wildlife trafficking: a new frontier for organised financial crime

JOHN BASQUILL, 15 June 2021

Pressure is growing on financial institutions to toughen their approach to environmental crime, with G7 leaders vowing to crack down on the illicit fund flows supporting wildlife trafficking and campaign groups warning that the activity has morphed from a conservation issue to a financial crime concern.

In a communique issued ahead of June’s annual G7 summit, the finance ministers and central bank governors of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US jointly sounded the alarm that greater attention is being paid to wildlife trafficking. Continue reading “Article: Wildlife trafficking: a new frontier for organised financial crime”

Article: Crypto Must Apply Safety Lessons of the Existing Financial System

Article - Media, Publications

Crypto Must Apply Safety Lessons of the Existing Financial System

Rick McDonell,  25 March 2021

There is a revealing, albeit slightly morbid, maxim that “safety standards are written in blood.” Humans and human-created systems generally tend to be reactive rather than proactive when it comes to developing protective rules. Nevertheless, today’s construction workers and consumers are more shielded from danger than those of the past because we’ve learned from prior mistakes.

Rick McDonell was the executive secretary of the Financial Action Task Force from 2007 until 2016. Prior to that, he was chief of the United Nations Global Program against Money Laundering at the UNODC. He is now executive director of ACAMS, the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists.

The same dynamic exists in financial regulation, where it could be said that “financial standards are written in fraud.” For example, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t exist in the first iterations of the stock market. It was only after “Black Tuesday,” the 1929 stock market crash so severe that it was a major contributing factor to the Great Depression, that new laws and regulations were introduced that continue to define modern finance. But the world has morphed into two: the real world and the virtual world. The old rules do not suit either of them.

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