Keep the Dictators Out of Malibu

Dictators will continue to hide their ill-gotten riches in America unless we close corporate loopholes that allow them to easily launder money.

Comments: 11

  1. As long as America's elite can sell their real estate and art treasures at big prices to these despots, nothing will change. In America, money talks, while justice and doing the right thing only merit lip service.

  2. Dear NYT Editorial Board,

    The current Administration, its A.G., and the entire DOJ has been unable to locate and procicute those responsable for 2008 financial crisis. Why do you believe that they can do any better here?

  3. This sort of law in the US and other Western developed countries is long overdue. As the article makes clear, these dictators, corrupt officials and their offspring move their ill-gotten gains into jurisdictions where the very rule of law and good government they disdain and deny their own people ensures their stolen wealth will be secure and it can be spent in an environment of peace and plenty the people they govern could not imagine. The US over the last few years has developed a special program to increase cooperation and work with the Chinese government to deal with corrupt officials attempting to stash their stolen wealth in the US. Programs like this should be broadened and a in this Internet age a "name and shame" program should be rigorously pursued. Just one example; just in Paris their have been maps published that identify the obscene number of incredibly expensive homes owned directly or indirectly by third world dictators. The information is there let's use it.

  4. What we have here is a gigantic can of worms. Take note:

    Levin Floor Statement - Introduction of Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act
    "I am introducing today with my colleagues Senators Conrad, Bill Nelson, Sanders, Shaheen, and Whitehouse, the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, legislation which is geared to stop the $100 billion yearly drain on the U.S. treasury caused by offshore tax abuses. Offshore tax abuses are not only undermining public confidence in our tax system, but widening the deficit and increasing the tax burden on middle America."

    "The 2012 U.S. election campaign has put the spotlight on the issue of secrecy in the First State of Delaware. Last spring, an anonymous $1 million donation to a super PAC supporting Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney came from a Delaware LLC that was dissolved four months after it was created — leaving little trace of who was behind it. The donor, a former managing director at Bain Capital, the private investment company Romney co-founded, came forward in August amid much media scrutiny."

    For really deep depth. Note paragraphs 15-18. US Chamber of Commerce and the ABA.

  5. HOw about the Chinawattra of Thailand family. The previous Primisnister is (not exactly) hiding in Dubai and is the brain of the current administration with his younger sister (his "cloning") as a Priminister who is actively sort an entrance to the U.S. for her Bro. by trying to exchange the utilization of U-Tapao for U.S. air/sea base. I, as a U.S. citizen have a hard time agreeing with this strategy. The idea of leasing U-Tapao is good but the exchange is not and should not what U.S. stands for. The Chinnawattra family is Marcos, Berluscony, Sugarno, Suharto, etc,etc, combine.

  6. Good article.

    The truth is even more disturbing since America basically turns a blind eye towards this kind of corruption while these leaders are in power, knowing all the while what they and their family members are doing.

    You and others should not think that all administrations in the US did not know or have the means to know what all these despots have been doing in and to their countries and citizens!

    As was and still is the case, the US has the means to know what other leaders do and how they go about stealing the wealth and patrimony of their countries and citizens, they just choose not to do anything about it as long as there is some specific or strategic interest to be gained in that country or with that leader in place.

    This case is rare indeed and perhaps is the beginning of a shift in policy by the US. I kind of doubt it but hopefully I am wrong.

    What is more likely the case is, this was either too blatant to be ignored with a potential to backfire on someone or, as I suspect, it is a warning shot over the bow of this leader and his family as well as a signal to a few others in the same region (perhaps Angola??) that they need to clean up their acts or better still play along with whatever it is the government wants them to do or else.

    The past if full of cases like this where the US turns a blind eye to corruption and outright pillaging of countries by corrupt leaders and then turns on them when it is convenient or necessary.

    Noone is clean in these games!

  7. What irony.

    The figurative Somali pirates of the world want to stash their cash here.

    Yet, a candidate for our Presidency, the cowardly bully, bIshop Willard, prep school cheerleader, VietNam draft dodger Romney prefers to keep his ill gotten gains in Swiss, Irish and Grand Cayman banks.

  8. How can corporations outnumber people in Delaware? Corporations _are_ people, my friend.

  9. Small Change and Old News!
    Here's a real question or two:
    Where did Dick Cheney hide the money he got through Haliburton War Profiteering, and what did Hank Paulson do with the Millions he made from the Goldman Sachs deal he made before riding off into the sun set with Bush?

  10. Doing this would have ramifications far beyond the stated goal, to slow international money laundering. Just of the top of my head and not very sophisticated, I'm thinking of real estate that is held in this way, US corporations that use such means out side of US borders, and sometimes in them, At the very least, this would make a lot of lawyers very happy with the fees from finding new ways to accomplish what shells concealing ownership do now.

    Then look at countries like Bahrain. Nobody want's to go there really except that it became a good portal for money so it's built up, a whole country that is like Las Vegas.

    I don't know if a known vice is better than the new one that will be cooked up. This needs consideration as well as a push from an international law perspective that puts the US on equal footing with other, I hesitate to say "civilized" nations. If this is going to be the standard, then it needs to be respected by all like other issues of international implication like currency manipulation, pollution and human rights. A good argument can be made claiming anti-laundering will support suppression of both. In this case burning forests.

    Then on the other hand, the US alone doing this will fan flames of hatred since we are already perceived as meddlers globally.