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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

U.S. bankers build case for cyber privateers

Today's WSJ headline is U.S. Banks Oppose Tighter Money Rules, and deals with political "kleptocrats" stealing vast amounts of money from their countries (or taking kickbacks from criminal activity) and depositing their IGGs (ill-gotten gains) in trust accounts around the world. Why, you might ask, would we be opposed to demanding that financial institutions determine who the beneficiaries of such trusts might be? The last paragraph of the article quotes Robert Rowe, vice president and senior counsel for regulatory compliance at the American Bankers Association, and the net-net answer to my question is:
"It gets to the point where in order to open an account you'd have to hire a private investigator and do a full investigation. Our position is that that kind of use of resources doesn't make sense."
I think the American Bankers Association has made my case for legalizing cyber privateering. Originally, my post of October 15th built a case that "Cyber privateers must be allowed to hit the bad guys' bank accounts."  If Mr. Rowe's argument against tighter money rules holds, them he is inadvertently making a strong case for licensed and bonded cyber privateers. It would save the banks that money while demanding significant levels of proof for legal account looting.

And besides, I wouldn't mind seeing a chunk of the Libyan dictator's cash hoard given to surviving families of the Lockerbie victims.

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?