Thursday, February 25, 2010

Money Laundering Laws Force Banks to Spy on Us, But They Are Ineffective Against Crime

by Dan Mitchell
The University of Basel’s Institute of Governance recently published a map showing the nations most linked to dirty money. What made the map interesting is that only one of the 28 nations listed was a so-called tax haven, thus exposing the left-wing lie that low-tax jurisdictions are somehow hotbeds of dirty money.
A more fundamental question is whether anti-money laundering laws are an effective way of fighting crime. The evidence is not encouraging. The system costs billions of dollars each year. Banks are forced to set up expensive monitoring systems to snoop on their customers. They are then required to send reports to the government for all large or unusual transactions. Theoretically, these reports are supposed to alert law enforcement to patterns of criminal activity, but since banks are compelled to send millions of reports every year, it is impossible to sift through haystacks of data to find needles of criminal activity. This is why conservatives, such as a former Reagan Justice Department official John Yoder, think the laws do more harm than good. This six-minute video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity explains why the time has come for politicians to reconsider the current approach.

from: big

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