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The Despot's Guide to Wealth ManagementOn the International Campaign against Grand Corruption$
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J. C. Sharman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501705519

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501705519.001.0001

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The United States

The United States

A Superpower Stirs

(p.53) 2 The United States
The Despot's Guide to Wealth Management

J. C. Sharman

Cornell University Press

This chapter begins by tracing the origins of the anti-kleptocracy cause in the United States, starting with the harsh Cold War environment and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977. It explores the status quo ante of dictators being able to launder their funds in the US financial system with impunity immediately before and after the turn of the century. At this time, there was no law prohibiting American banks and other institutions receiving the proceeds of foreign corruption. The USA Patriot Act closed this legal loophole, yet practice lagged, and laws at first failed to have much of an impact. More recent cases indicate at least partial effectiveness, however, with instances of successful prevention and some looted wealth confiscated and returned.

Keywords:   United States, anti-kleptocracy, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Cold War, US financial system, USA Patriot Act

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