Thursday, December 22, 2022



I note that, amongt all the favourable comments surrounding a book condemning the American Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) as economic warfare against Europeans, was a comment that my statement supporting the Act as part of the global fight against corruption, was one that accused me of arrogance. The truth is simply this, for our readers in France who have objected to the Act itself: 

(1) the Organization for European Cooperation and Development has not only come out with an opinion that the FCPA is NOT economic warfare against Europe, it is strongly supportive of the act. Go on the website if you don't believe me.

(2) Of all the disparaging comments appearing on LinkedIn, I do not see one compliance officer among them. Frontline bankers everywhere, who do not want huge civil fines and penalties, support the Act. 

(3) Given that the Act has been given extraterritorial application by US courts, I understand that a lot of people abroad are unhappy about the fact that they might be exposed to American laws. If you commit crimes involving corruption, not only will you be charged with FCPA violations, but as our Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 also has extraterritorial reach, it get worse for you. If you use US dollars, which ultimately confer jurisdiction, or your EU company has branches in the USA, you also risk receiving a 20-year sentence for money laundering, as soon as you deposit or move your bribes or kickbacks through the global financial system.

If the pursuit of justice is arrogant, I plead guilty to your allegation. There has been a special focus on stopping corruption in US foreign policy this year, and it has borne fruit. May it continue, and those in Europe who are oppose it on political grounds are using misplpaced nationalism to shield crime.  As we say, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

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