For the Hudson Institute's Kleptocracy Initiative, I wrote about the distance - or lack thereof - between American and European anti-money laundering efforts:
Last year’s Panama Papers release not only revealed the sheer scale of the global offshoring regime, but also reminded constituents and researchers alike just how little Western governments have done to actually follow through on pledges to bring more transparency to their financial and company formation sectors. Indeed, European officials have long promised greater oversight for domestic shell companies and trusts – and, when faced with criticism about their slow pace, could always point to their American counterparts’ shortcomings to show just how much more oversight governments from Lisbon to London to Ljubljana offer than officials in Washington.
To be sure, American jurisdictions – most especially Wyoming, Nevada, Delaware, and South Dakota – present some of the most egregious failures when it comes to the basics of shell company and trust oversight. But a new report from Transparency International illustrates that the distance between American and European oversight is perhaps not quite the chasm European authorities have claimed.