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Terrorism, Drugs, Crime, Poverty, and Tax Evasion: The Ties That Bind

Each year, an estimated $1 trillion passes illegally across borders, aided by an elaborate “dirty money” structure comprising tax havens, financial secrecy jurisdictions, dummy corporations, anonymous trusts and foundations, money laundering techniques, and loopholes intentionally left in the laws of western countries. Of this amount, some $500 billion a year comes out of developing and transitional economies into western coffers, fostering crime, facilitating terrorism, voiding trade and investment, dampening economic development, deepening poverty, supporting tax evasion, creating political instability, and, most fundamentally, abusing capitalism’s founding ideals of fair play.

In his new book, Capitalism’s Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System, Raymond W. Baker examines the illicit outflows of “dirty money” across international borders and reveals how dirty money, poverty, and inequality are inextricably intertwined in the global free-market system. The Brookings Center for Executive Education hosts a panel of experts who will address key aspects of the dirty-money equation detailed in Baker’s study: anti-money laundering issues, global inequality, and the philosophical underpinnings of capitalism.

A question and answer session will follow the discussion.




Branko Milanovic

Author, “Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization”; Senior Scholar, Luxembourg Income Study Center; Visiting Presidential Professor, Graduate Center, CUNY


Jack Blum

Lawyer, Partner, Lobel, Novins & Lamont; Co-Author: Financial Havens, Banking Secrecy and Money Laundering


Thomas Pogge

Philosopher, Columbia University; Author: Realizing Rawls; Global Justice


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