Trade News from PIERS & Datamyne Blogs: Money Laundering & New BRICS

From Datamyne: More Bank Accounts Seized.  This past year has seen an explosion of seizures of bank accounts by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for alleged trade-based money laundering or “structuring.”  Structuring is the deposit of $10,000 or less in cash repeatedly in a bank account to avoid the filing by the bank of a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen), US Department of the Treasury. [See 31 CFR 1010.314.]

A CTR is required to be filed by all banks whenever a deposit of cash over $10,000 is made in a single day into a single account, or by a customer into different accounts. Be aware that deposits of cash into multiple branches of a bank or in multiple transactions are still considered structuring. [See 31 CFR 1010.313.] When a bank suspects that its depositor or customer is making deposits of $10,000 or less to avoid the requirement that the bank file a CTR, the bank will often file instead a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR). SAR reports are analyzed by FinCen, and often referred to the DEA or ICE for investigation.

From PIERS: Finding the Next BRICs.  The coining of the acronym BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) by Goldman Sachs in 2001 has brought considerable prominence to these growing global powerhouses.  With the possible exception of Russia, these countries have been extraordinary success stories in global trade over the last decade.  In an attempt to emulate the success of the BRIC moniker, Goldman Sachs has introduced the Next Eleven (N11), while HSBC’s list uses the acronym CIVETS (Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa).  Fidelity has chosen a similar acronym MINTs (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey), and Citi has created their Global Growth Generators, or 3G countries.

There are three factors that seem to be the underlying prerequisites for explosive global growth: a stable sociopolitical environment, human capital, and infrastructure. The only country that was selected by all four institutions was Indonesia, followed by Nigeria, Vietnam, Turkey, and Egypt which were included in three of the four analyses.  Other countries mentioned more than once include Bangladesh, Mexico, and the Philippines.

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