Naomi Fowler ■ The Kleptocracy Curse and the threat to global security
This is well worth watching: journalist and author of Author of ‘Fragile Empire‘ and ‘This Is London‘ and Ben Judah presents his report at the Hudson Institute on how kleptocrats and what he calls the ‘global wealth defence industry’ (or the secrecy and tax avoidance/evasion industry) is wreaking havoc on the global economy and represents a serious threat to international peace and security. He draws on our research on quantifying offshore funds and our Financial Secrecy Index.
He kicks off by saying,
“Not only can you not understand the world economy without placing corruption (and kleptocracy) right at the heart of it, you can’t understand contemporary authoritarians without placing corruption right at the heart of it, and you can’t understand the contemporary foreign and domestic threats to the United States and the West without addressing corruption.”
And he continues,
“…as we are more observed and more trapped than ever before, money is less observed and less trapped than it’s been at any point over the last 70, 80, 90 years. One of the core features of the world economy now is that billions are travelling the world, circling the world, clicking through cyberspace completely incognito.”
Moderating the discussion is Benjamin Haddad Research Fellow, Hudson Institute. Also speaking is Charles Davidson, Executive Director, Kleptocracy Initiative, Hudson Institute. The panelists are Karen Dawisha, author of Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?, Hannah Thoburn Panelist, Research Fellow, Hudson Institute and Thomas Firestone Panelist, Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP.
We interviewed Ben Judah on our monthly podcast the Taxcast along with journalist and author Oliver Bullough on Londongrad and its offshore threat to global security which you can listen to here. Our blog here is also worth a re-read which looks at Ben Judah’s article Why Russia no longer fears the West. It’s the offshore, stupid… and How Britain Betrayed Ukraine.
Hat tip: Luc Dockendorf