Social Science > Criminology

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Mr. Dong He, Annamaria Kokenyne, Xavier Lavayssière, Ms. Inutu Lukonga, Nadine Schwarz, Nobuyasu Sugimoto, and Jeanne Verrier
Capital flow management measures (CFMs) can be part of the broader policy toolkit to help countries reap the benefits of capital flows while managing the associated risks. Their implementation typically requires that financial intermediaries verify the nature of transactions and the identities of transacting parties but is facing the rising challenge of crypto assets. Indeed, crypto assets have become a significant instrument for payments and speculative investments in some countries. They can be traded pseudonymously and held without identification of the residency of the asset holder. Many crypto service providers operate across borders, making supervision and enforcement by national authorities more difficult. The challenges posed by the attributes of crypto assets are compounded by gaps in the legal and regulatory frameworks. This paper aims to discuss how crypto assets could impact the effectiveness of CFMs from a structural and longer-term perspective. To preserve the effectiveness of CFMs against crypto-related challenges, policymakers need to consider a multifaceted strategy whose essential elements include clarifying the legal status of crypto assets and ensuring that CFM laws and regulations cover them; devising a comprehensive, consistent, and coordinated regulatory approach to crypto assets and applying it effectively to CFMs; establishing international collaborative arrangements for supervision of crypto assets; addressing data gaps and leveraging technology (regtech and suptech) to create anomaly-detection models and red-flag indicators that will allow for timely risk monitoring and CFM implementation.
Nadine Schwarz, Ms. Kristel Poh, Ms. Ke Chen, Ms. Grace Jackson, Kathleen Kao, Ms. Francisca Fernando, and Maksym Markevych
The purpose of this note is to discuss the necessary anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures and provide examples of practical solutions to implement them. In June 2020, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) noted that both the public and private sectors have made progress in the implementation of the standards for virtual assets (VA), in particular through updates to national laws and the development of solutions to assist with the travel rule. However, challenges remain; many virtual asset service providers (VASPs) are only beginning to adopt the required AML/CFT measures, a number of jurisdictions are yet to implement the standards for VA and those that have are at the early stages of developing a supervisory regime for VASPs. At the time of drafting, no country had been assessed against the new standards and many country authorities were in the process of establishing how best to incorporate the new standards in their AML/CFT framework. For these reasons, this note does not refer to specific country examples. References to specific products and projects are made for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of these initiatives. This Fintech Note is based on the FATF standards and guidance, in particular those aspects that pertain to VA and VASPs.
Nadine Schwarz, Ms. Ke Chen, Ms. Kristel Poh, Ms. Grace Jackson, Kathleen Kao, and Maksym Markevych
The purpose of this note is to assist countries in their understanding and mitigation of the money laundering (ML), terror financing (TF), and financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (PF) risks related to virtual assets (VAs). This is the first of two Fintech Notes dedicated to VAs and anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). This first note is broad in scope. It explains why VAs are vulnerable for misuse for ML/TF/PF purposes and clarifies which assets and service providers should be subject to AML/CFT measures. It discusses the measures that all countries should take, and the type of action necessary in instances of criminal misuse of VA. A second Fintech note focuses on the AML/CFT regulatory and supervisory framework for virtual asset service providers (VASPs). Both notes are based on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards and draw heavily on the FATF’s 2019 “Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers.” They aim at providing policy makers and authorities with AML/CFT responsibilities with an overview of the legal and operational considerations that the implementation of a sound AML/CFT framework for VAs and VASPs raises. In some instances, the notes make reference to specific types of VAs, VASPs, and related products. These references are made for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an endorsement of the specific VAs, VASPs, and related products. Finally, at the time of drafting, no country had been assessed against the new standards and many country authorities were in the process of establishing how best to incorporate the new standards in their AML/CFT framework. For these reasons, this note does not refer to specific country examples.
Mizuho Kida and Simon Paetzold
The Financial Action Task Force’s gray list publicly identifies countries with strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes (i.e., in their policies to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism). How much gray-listing affects a country’s capital flows is of interest to policy makers, investors, and the Fund. This paper estimates the magnitude of the effect using an inferential machine learning technique. It finds that gray-listing results in a large and statistically significant reduction in capital inflows.
Mr. Shekhar Aiyar and Manasa Patnam
This paper examines whether IMF lending is associated with increases in outflows to offshore financial centers (OFCs), known for bank secrecy and asset protection, relative to other international destinations. Using quarterly data from the BIS on bilateral bank deposits, we are unable to detect any positive and statistically significant effect of IMF loan disbursements on bank deposits in OFCs. The result holds even after restricting the sample to the duration of the IMF program, where disbursement quarters and non-disbursement quarters should be subject to similar degrees of macroeconomic stress. It is also robust to using the scheduled tranche of disbursements as an instrument for actual disbursements. While the effects vary by the type and conditionality of the IMF program, as well as the amount of lending, none of the effects are found to be positive and statistically significant. We also estimate whether the recent surge in emergency lending, during the Covid-19 crisis, is associated with an increase in outflows to OFCs but find no evidence to support this.
Maksym Ivanyna and Andrea Salerno
The government’s ability to deliver inclusive growth crucially depends on the quality of governance. This paper reviews the linkages between governance and inclusive growth, and key policies to improve governance. The policies include (1) structural reform, automation, improving rules and procedures (including for fiscal and monetary policies) to limit the discretion and hence the space for policy errors; (2) human resource policies, capacity building, effective anti-corruption frameworks to incentivize public officials to make decisions in the best public interest; and (3) transparency, accountability, and inclusive political institutions to inform and monitor policymaking.
Mr. Anil Ari and Gabor Pula
Ukraine’s economic performance has been anemic since the early 1990s. A major impediment to productivity growth has been low investment, held back by lack of strong and independent institutions. This paper aims to assess the major areas of institutional weakness in Ukraine and quantify the long-term growth impact of catching-up to Poland in terms of the quality of major economic institutions and market development. Our analysis identifies the legal system as the area where the institutional quality is weakest compared to Poland, followed distantly by market competition, openness to trade and financial depth. Using a methodology that accounts for positive spillovers between the structural reform areas, we estimate that even under the most optimistic scenario, where institutional gaps are fully addressed, Ukraine would need 15 years to catch up to Poland’s current income level.
Dmitry Plotnikov
This paper presents a structural model of crime and output. Individuals make an occupational choice between criminal and legal activities. The return to becoming a criminal is endogenously determined in a general equilibrium together with the level of crime and economic activity. I calibrate the model to the Northern Triangle countries and conduct several policy experiments. I find that for a country like Honduras crime reduces GDP by about 3 percent through its negative effect on employment indirectly, in addition to direct costs of crime associated with material losses, which are in line with literature estimates. Also, the model generates a non-linear effect of crime on output and vice versa. On average I find that a one percent increase in output per capita implies about ½ percent decline in crime, while a decrease of about 5 percent in crime leads to about one percent increase in output per capita. These positive effects are larger if the initial level of crime is larger.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Five years after the first stirrings of the crisis, some countries have recovered, but others are still struggling. F&D looks at the world today and sees a complex and mixed picture for the future of the world economy. In "Tracking the Global Recovery" we learn that most emerging markets seem to have moved on from the effects of the crisis, but most advanced economies have not. "Fixing the System" looks at how the pace of reforms to strengthen financial regulation has now slowed. World Bank trade economist Bernard Hoekman takes stock of incipient moves toward protectionism in "Trade Policy: So Far So Good?". "Bystanders at the Collapse" looks at how emerging markets and low-income countries weathered the global recession. Financier Mohamed El-Erian weighs in on the potential threat posed by large payment surpluses and deficits in "Stable Disequilibrium." Also in the magazine, we explore what's happening in commodities markets, assess the rise of green technologies, take a look at the shifts in South Asia's labor force, and uncover the harm money laundering can inflict on national economies. F&D's People in Economics series profiles Laura Tyson, Minder of the Gaps, and the Back to Basics series explains how money markets provide a way for borrowers to meet short-term financial needs.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Five years after the first stirrings of the crisis, some countries have recovered, but others are still struggling. F&D looks at the world today and sees a complex and mixed picture for the future of the world economy. In "Tracking the Global Recovery" we learn that most emerging markets seem to have moved on from the effects of the crisis, but most advanced economies have not. "Fixing the System" looks at how the pace of reforms to strengthen financial regulation has now slowed. World Bank trade economist Bernard Hoekman takes stock of incipient moves toward protectionism in "Trade Policy: So Far So Good?". "Bystanders at the Collapse" looks at how emerging markets and low-income countries weathered the global recession. Financier Mohamed El-Erian weighs in on the potential threat posed by large payment surpluses and deficits in "Stable Disequilibrium." Also in the magazine, we explore what's happening in commodities markets, assess the rise of green technologies, take a look at the shifts in South Asia's labor force, and uncover the harm money laundering ca