The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Stuart Levey’s Modest “Financial Action Task Force” Proposal

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Stuart Levey, a senior fellow for national security and financial integrity at the Council on Foreign Relations, who primarily served Israel’s interests as the AIPAC-inspired undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence in George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s administrations, has just co-authored an op-ed piece in Foreign Policy which proposes a “simple reform” which could “cut off the flow of funds to some of the world’s worst regimes” i.e., those governments that get on the wrong side of Tel Aviv, Wall Street, and the City of London:

At present there are no real consequences, beyond the civil and criminal penalties that the United States imposes, for those who violate U.N.-mandated sanctions. The United Nations lacks enforcement mechanisms with real teeth — a reality that is unlikely to change given the attitude of some Security Council members. There is, however, one step that could make a significant difference: The world’s premier standard-setting body for combating terrorist financing and money laundering, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), should develop and enforce standards for sanctions implementation.

FATF is well positioned to take on this mission. This organization, created by the G-7 in 1989, already has developed standards used by countries around the world to combat terrorist financing and money laundering; the expansion of its work to broadly cover sanctions implementation would be consistent with its mission of protecting the international financial system from abuse. Furthermore, more than 180 countries — notably including China and Russia, which have often been difficult or reluctant partners on sanctions — have committed to follow the group’s standards and voluntarily subject themselves to evaluations by their peers. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the private sector pays close attention to FATF’s assessments and its identification of jurisdictions that pose a risk to the financial system.

These facts mean governments have a strong economic incentive to meet FATF’s standards and respond meaningfully to its evaluations. If the United States and other concerned countries are serious about using financial tools to help solve some of the world’s most intractable problems, enlisting FATF in the effort may be the single most effective step they can take to make sanctions work.


Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 5, 2011 at 8:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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