The Washing Machine_ How Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Soils Us_ Amazon.co.uk_ Nick Kochan_ 9781587991592_ Books money laundering london

As some one who in their job has to consider the impact of financial crime and anti-money laundering (and not just anti-terrorist financing), I believe the importance of books like this cannot be under-estimated. Allowing the decline of financial banking systems by recycling the proceeds of crime plus inadequate international controls allowing the transfer of the proceeds of kleptocracy governments (the abacha administration in nigeria being the main one covered here) and causing the destruction of their domestic eceonomies, has a real domino effect on the robustness of the global economy.

The book covers all the main signposts and cases seen in recent years and so in terms of content is spot on for the historical aspects. The core problem and why this book fails as a good read or a primer for action is the author comes across as totally overwhelmed by the material.Money laundering london

chapter after chapter seems an attempt to brain dump all the data he has read in his research on the specific subject. This is demonstrated by each chapter relying heavily on a few key government papers or reports of enquiry. The consequence is a very piecemeal style of writing and the fact that so many chapters have numerous references to content in other chapters shows a lack of order and discipline in compiling and blending the themes and overall story.

As a general background read and primer to the subject it is fine though for people who do not encounter such financial crime and laundering in their work, better use of some simple examples and diagrams to explain the scams would I think have helped considerably, especially on the use of cross border flows and sham structures.

The book by the end is heavy on case data especially citibank who come out very badly in their actions over the years but light on how effective the many checks and balances put in by regulators since 9/11 especially could be applied to work better.Money laundering london one cannot help but feel the current regimes in many countries will only catch the small fry and the incompetent and a radical rethink is needed. The end story of how the irish republic government has applied different tactics relying on extracting money and assets off the crooks than putting them in jail initially is one of the few cases I have seen of such a rethink to date.

As some one who in their job has to consider the impact of financial crime and anti-money laundering (and not just anti-terrorist financing), I believe the importance of books like this cannot be under-estimated. Allowing the decline of financial banking systems by recycling the proceeds of crime plus inadequate international controls allowing the transfer of the proceeds of kleptocracy governments (the abacha administration in nigeria being the main one covered here) and causing the destruction of their domestic eceonomies, has a real domino effect on the robustness of the global economy.Money laundering london

The book covers all the main signposts and cases seen in recent years and so in terms of content is spot on for the historical aspects. The core problem and why this book fails as a good read or a primer for action is the author comes across as totally overwhelmed by the material. Chapter after chapter seems an attempt to brain dump all the data he has read in his research on the specific subject. This is demonstrated by each chapter relying heavily on a few key government papers or reports of enquiry. The consequence is a very piecemeal style of writing and the fact that so many chapters have numerous references to content in other chapters shows a lack of order and discipline in compiling and blending the themes and overall story.

As a general background read and primer to the subject it is fine though for people who do not encounter such financial crime and laundering in their work, better use of some simple examples and diagrams to explain the scams would I think have helped considerably, especially on the use of cross border flows and sham structures.Money laundering london

The book by the end is heavy on case data especially citibank who come out very badly in their actions over the years but light on how effective the many checks and balances put in by regulators since 9/11 especially could be applied to work better. One cannot help but feel the current regimes in many countries will only catch the small fry and the incompetent and a radical rethink is needed. The end story of how the irish republic government has applied different tactics relying on extracting money and assets off the crooks than putting them in jail initially is one of the few cases I have seen of such a rethink to date.

Money laundering is a gift-that-keeps-on-giving topic. Like other financial scams and money-related bad behavior, it keeps changing, growing and shifting as governments plug old holes in their regulations only to open new ones. As finance globalizes, minor nations compete to be snug havens for ill-gotten or tax-averse money, and bankers continue to be dissatisfied with their eight-figure bonuses, the opportunities and tools available for turning black money white will continue to morph and expand.Money laundering london

This is a two-edged sword for any author wanting to concoct the authoritative text on the subject. On the one hand, there’s so much to write about, and anything involving so many zeroes and so many shady characters can’t help but be interesting; on the other hand, whatever s/he writes will be out-of-date in five years or less.

Nick kochan, a british journalist and financial reporter for such publications as the financial times and the economist, has been cut by both edges of this sword. The washing machine is chock full of information and has some interesting stories to tell. Having been written in 2004-5, however, it can only speculate about the effects of the PATRIOT act and its foreign analogues. The changes wrought by subsequent anti-terrorism legislation and the dodd-frank act aren’t even on its horizon.

The author attempts a broad survey of the different flavors of money laundering, though (as you might guess from the subtitle) his main concern is how terrorist groups and supporters use the methods and vehicles of the megawealthy and the drug cartels to hide and clean their funds.Money laundering london he covers conflict diamonds, arms trafficker victor bout (a chapter less about laundering than fun with front companies), private banking for kleptocrats, colombian drug cartels (how quaint), and how irish and tamil terrorists installed the pipes that mideastern terrorists now use to move their money around. It’s a lot of ground to cover — perhaps too much.

If you’ve been following my reviews for awhile, you’ll know I’ve been looking for a book about money laundering that actually explains how it’s done. Kochan actually does spell out how some of the processes work, although he doesn’t make it easy for the reader to follow. This isn’t by any means the for dummies intro to money laundering. You’ll want to have explored this subject in other books (such as crime school: money laundering) before you plow through this one.

Which leads to my major quarrel with this book: it reads like a 280-page feature article in some serious newspaper.Money laundering london that style and tone works when the piece is just on the front page and a couple jump pages; it gets old after the first fifty pages here. Part of this is down to kochan’s no-doubt ingrained journalistic habit of squeezing as much information as possible into every paragraph. The chapter on victor bout, for instance, screams for some diagrams to help the reader sort out the tangle of shell companies and false fronts that the merchant of death used to cover his tracks. I can’t help but think a couple simple graphics could better explain the black market peso exchange than do the blocks of prose the author throws at it. The processes of money laundering are deliberately opaque and confusing, and unfortunately, kochan doesn’t always succeed in making them less so.

Still, there’s a lot of good information in this book if you can only get to it. The bibliography is useful if you want to do further study, even though the sources are now more than ten years old.Money laundering london it’s because of this that I struggled with the overall rating. I’ll find it useful down the road (four stars), even though the prose made the reading a chore (two stars). Three stars it is, but with a pack of caveats you should keep in mind depending on your purposes for reading this.

The washing machine throws you into the deep end of a very broad and deep subject. It will download a lot of information that was au courant a decade ago, but is now dated as the state of the art has marched on. As long as that works for you, and you already have some acquaintance with the subject, give it a try. Don’t expect the road to be smooth or the going easy, but at least you’ll come out more informed than you were going in.