Criminal Capital: How the Finance Industry Facilitates Crime
Most criminal activity is driven by economic incentives—the larger the scale, the greater the need for financial services. Increased globalization has also increased global criminal activity, and combating criminal organizations that cut across national boundaries becomes more challenging. This book cites numerous examples of criminal activity and shows how the global banking system is linked to these crimes. The first chapter looks at the banking industry to expose its culture of risk management and accountability. Each of the subsequent nine chapters examines a type of criminal activity and shows how financial institutions are facilitating each one. The last chapter outlines the causes for “bad behavior” and suggests ways to change.
Earlier chapters highlight flawed assumptions with current banking regulation, but it’s the last chapter that addresses the root causes and possible solutions. While financial institution are held accountable for their actions, the individuals—who ultimately make decisions—are not. This results in institutional loses while top executives reap hefty bonuses. Since the 2008 financial crisis, government regulation has focused on systems and procedures. While that is necessary, the greater need is to change the banking culture, which can be done by holding individuals accountable. Readers may not agree with all the recommendations, but this book is a sobering and insightful read.
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