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Does Ukraine merit a new handout?

Yesterday the International Monetary Fund approved a further bailout of more than US$1 billion for Ukraine, a country trying to deal with an aggressive eastern neighbour and a ruling elite compromised by corruption. If the decision to resume payments was based on the normal loan conditions, the outcome would have been an obvious no. Ukrainian […]

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McDonnell walks. Reforms needed

The Justice Department on September 8 announced that it is dropping its corruption case against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. Earlier this year, the US Supreme Court decided to throw out McDonnell’s conviction on the grounds that jurors had been provided an erroneous definition of “official act.” The Court’s unanimous decision […]

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Cairo

Playing with numbers won’t cure Egypt’s corruption

“There is corruption in local government,” admitted President Abdel Fattah el Sisi at a presidential youth forum in Cairo in early August. “But, what can we do?” he laughed. “Sack and jail Hisham Geneina” was one sarcastic suggestion on Twitter. Geneina was the head of Egypt’s top auditing body until earlier this year when he […]

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How to steal billions

From 2009 to at least 2013, private individuals were allegedly able to siphon off more than $3.5 billion from the wealth fund of Malaysia and go on a high-end luxury shopping spree in several countries including the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland for property, museum-quality art and a private jet. Gatekeepers such as […]

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Three reasons why attacking Egypt’s top auditor is bad news

Putting Egypt’s top auditor on trial sends a clear message: the Egyptian government is waging a war. Not against corruption but against those who fight against it. When President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi came to power in 2013, he made fighting corruption a top priority; “There should be full trust in the monitoring bodies and their […]

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US Department of Treasury

U.S. response to the Panama Papers: A step in the right direction but more action is needed

The massive leak dubbed the Panama Papers has given the UK Anti-Corruption Summit on May 12 an unexpected boost. Those coming to the summit, now including the U.S., are lining up to make announcements about the steps they are taking to tackle corruption and specifically financial secrecy. On Thursday the Obama Administration announced a series […]

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SPEAK UP, South Africa: the impact of the Nkandla ruling

In March this year South Africa’s highest court upheld a landmark investigation by the courageous Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that showed how taxpayers’ money had been used to upgrade President Jacob Zuma’s personal residence. This underscored the importance of the role of the Public Protector in holding those in power to account. It is the […]

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THE PANAMA PAPERS AND TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL

  Communicators are strong swimmers. We don’t always sprint, but we can handle long distances and the hard swim upstream. The Panama Papers have exposed a global web of secrecy and corruption that hurts all of us. It has also exposed the Chair of our chapter in Chile and that deeply troubled us. He of […]

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Public pressure forces Iceland’s prime minister to step down over Panama Papers

Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson resigned on Tuesday just one day after thousands of people marched in the streets protesting his use of secret bank accounts facilitated by Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm which had as clients Gunnlaugsson and his wife. Iceland was the only country that jailed top financial executives behind bars in […]

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Secret company ownership: a global solution for a global challenge

The way the rich and powerful hide their ill-gotten gains is headline news around the world today. The Panama Papers show everyone how easy it is to set up secret companies that let people avoid taxes and launder money. Kings do it, business tycoons do it, footballers do it, presidents and prime ministers do it.  […]

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