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Bread Alone

This paper presents main highlights of the IMF Meetings in 1974. Four dominant themes for the annual discussion were clearly stated by Mr. John N. Turner, Governor of the IMF and Bank for Canada. These were inflation, reduced economic growth rates, payments disequilibria, and the crisis situation in many developing countries. There was broad agreement with the opinion of Mr. Yong Hwan Kim, Governor of the IMF and Bank for Korea, that one of the most serious problems facing the world today is inflation.



Corporate governance makes headlines when things go wrong. The collapse of Barings, billion-dollar-plus trading losses at Daiwa Bank and Sumitomo Corporation, embarrassing and costly litigation and regulatory sanctions over derivatives sales practices at Bankers Trust, and other highly publicized cases have raised questions about the adequacy of corporate governance in international financial and other institutions. Given the geographic scope and product complexity of today’s financial markets, some have even wondered whether “good” governance is truly achievable in a global banking or other financial institution.



Efforts by governments to control cross-border money laundering have intensified in recent years. Over the past decade, a broad political consensus appears to have arisen in favor of the implementation of effective anti-money-laundering policies, at least in most developing countries. However, the question has also arisen of whether, in some instances, the war against money laundering may be going too far. For example, a 1998 Wall Street Journal article entitled “How Money Laundering Hit a Wealthy Family”1 related the story of how $54 million—virtually the entire financial assets of a Chilean extended family—were effectively frozen by the U.S. Government under U.S. anti-money-laundering and civil forfeiture legislation.2 The family, formerly prized Citibank customers who held their wealth legitimately, lost control over their U.S.-based assets because the federal government asserted that they had helped to launder money for a Mexican drug lord.



What is striking about pyramid schemes is that while they are very old forms of fraud, modern technology has vastly multiplied their potential for harming our citizens. The Internet in particular offers pyramid builders a multilane highway to worldwide recruits in virtually no time.