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As the euphoria of the overturning of a much disliked government wanes, there are several important matters to deal with.

Perhaps the most difficult will be the question of corruption which has been endemic and systemic for many years.

Strangely, the one person who might be credited with kick-starting the widespread rejection of corruption might be the one person who is first amongst those whose conduct will be open to question.

The USA makes a lot of noise about money laundering, etc. and since the early 1990s, it's been at the forefront of pointing out the inadequacies of other jurisdictions while having a surprisingly lax, even holey, regime at home. Let's not forget that there were times when death threats were made to politicians who supported an improved KYC regime and civil rights groups protested in the streets and in forceful terms in the a media that was more than happy to accommodate them. Yes, the USA PATRIOT Act improved matters and there have been incremental improvements but equally there have been serious mistakes. But today is a good day as raft of helpful requirements comes into force under the headline "Customer Due Diligence
Requirements for Financial Institutions." Yet, today is also a bad day: as usual with the USA, it's a half-arsed attempt that falls short of what is actually required.

There are few things about Malaysia's Najib government that have caused as much anger amongst the populace as the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax ("GST") which is, in fact, a form of Value Added Tax. It was an election promise that Mahathir's coalition would repeal it and reinstate the old Sales Tax. Even during a press conference yesterday, before he was sworn in, Mahathir was asked to confirm that the promise would be kept and he did. Popular though such a policy would be, it is a horribly retrograde step that will cost the country, and businesses, dear. He should revise GST, which was not, in some detail, properly...

Editorial Staff
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In Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, it was shortly after 5 a.m. on 10 May. The call for prayers from the mosques in the Pudu area of the city was unusually loud and sounded somehow lighter than usual. There were car horns blasting in the city's streets. Two hours later, all is quiet. There are the usual sounds of trains running, traffic passing and birds twittering as they hunt insects high above the ground. Monkeys chatter in the trees and today has become normal. Except it isn't.

Peter Lee
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Media - newspapers, magazines, internet publishing
Nigel Morris-Cotterill

London 10 May 2018 - Vortex Centrum Limited, publisher of PleaseBeInformed.com regrets that its subscribers and readers were inconvenienced by an extended period of service failure yesterday.

The issue arose because of the latest in a long series of faults at NamesCo, an internet hosting company.

Yesterday, US President Trump announced the long-telegraphed withdrawal of the USA from the Iran nuclear sanctions agreement, known as the Comprehensive Plan of Action. According to the US Treasury "The President confirmed that the US will begin the process of re-imposing all US sanctions previously waived under the JCPoA." That's going to cause huge complexity for businesses all over the world because no other government of any international importance is adopting the USA's position. Also, there's a gold-rush about to start.

World Money Laundering Report
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One has to wonder what is happening at FinCEN's media room. As if its abolition of the possessive apostrophe in its emails isn't illiterate enough, they often make no sense. Here's an example in which both the English (American, we should say) doesn't make sense and the subject matter is, well, bemusing. Here comes the tech bit..

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FinCEN's biggest problem is that it is incredibly low profile and hardly anyone knows what it is or, even, in broad terms what it does. That's been its problem since its early days. For years it dined out on the single case that really hit the news: the Black Market Peso Exchange but that was old hat even in the late 1990s. Now it's got a new plan and it's aping, well, everyone else who wants to get their name in the papers. (free content)

The news that Australia is to be the latest country to limit, in some circumstances, cash transactions above a certain financial limit has raised some questions. WMLR takes a critical look at some comments.

Yesterday, the USA's President Trump announced that the US would leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action a.k.a. the Iran Nuclear Deal. Below is a list of resources.

Editorial Staff
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For the past week, all the news in Australia has been about the huge give-aways planned for today's budget. Every single news broadcast since Thursday has had the story up front and pushed a message that for the first time in years, there is money in the kitty and the government intends to spend it. But the big stories are about tax reform and measures against tax evasion including banning large cash transactions. That's the headline. It's not quite the reality and, as always, a budget speech is a declaration of intent not fully reasoned legislation. Even so - it's a significant move. (edited)

Recent collapses in criminal cases in the UK and Australia have been the result of prosecutors failing to deliver all evidence within their control or knowledge to defence teams. But there is another side to the story - the not mythical death by paper where so much evidence is delivered that the defence cannot handle it or identify the nugget in that mountain that would aid their case.

Editorial Staff
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On 19th April, Australia's newest national bank, Members' Equity Bank a.k.a. ME Bank, announced that it was to increase its interest rates on existing home loans, with effect from 19th April. Then it made a silly error. Given that the banking sector in Australia is under the most intense scrutiny and that it would be logical to assume that, if at any time, this is the time where banks will double, triple even quadruple check their actions, the stupidity of the error raises a serious question: is the financial sector in Australia simply under-skilled and, therefore, unfit for purpose?

Editorial Staff
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On 20th November 2012, HP issued a press release saying "“HP is extremely disappointed to find that some former members of Autonomy’s management team used accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company, prior to Autonomy’s acquisition by HP." That started a large pile of poo rolling downhill and, as we found out this week, Sushovan Hussain, Autonomy's Chief Financial Officer, was at the bottom of that hill.

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