Seeing GFI’s report on illicit financial flows in 2006-2015 through three Marys’ eyes

This comment on the latest annual update of GFI’s estimates of illicit financial flows affecting developing countries, now covering 2006-2015, draws on three Marys – Mary I (Mary, Mary Quite Contrary), tidiness guru Marie Kondo and the Mary Celeste – to find the report cluttered and adrift. Together they point to how future GFI reports in this series can be improved.

Review of “South Africa: Potential Revenue Losses Associated with Trade
Misinvoicing”, Global Financial Integrity, November 2018.

This note, finalised 4 December 2018, focuses particularly on GFI’s estimates of South African trade misinvoicing and the way those estimates are used to make further estimates of “potential revenue losses”.

Improving coherence in the illicit financial flows agenda, co-authored with Fredrik Eriksson, published as U4 Issue 2018:8 by the Chr. Michelsen Institute, 30 November 2018.

This Issue paper focuses – constructively – on some of the incoherence impeding progress with IFFs as well as seeking to suggest ways to overcome similar problems seen in linkages between the IFF agenda and the anti-corruption agenda.

Illicit Financial Flows: Making Sense of Confusion.

     Part I,      Search for Meaning13 March 2018.

     Part II,    Count the Devils, 27 July 2018.

     Part III,  Tackle the Drivers, 12 October 2018.

The series addresses some key problems faced in curbing illicit financial flows, a target of all UN member countries. Part I clarifies the ambiguous definition, Part II puts forward a way to build more credible estimates of illicit financial flows, and Part III finds ways to achieve coherence in policy settings, so that economic policies encourage development and succeed in curbing illicit financial flows.

Improving methods and data for estimating illicit financial flows (IFF), Co-authored with Dr Ameth Saloum Ndiaye and published in Lifting the Veil of Secrecy: Perspectives on International Taxation and Capital Flight from Africa. Chr. Michelsen Institute, 30 November 2017.

Pitfalls in the rise of the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, Australian Financial Review, Opinion, 30 October 2017.

Barriers to entry and financial integration in Asia and RCEP countries, Australian Centre for Financial Studies, July 2017.

Regulating_the_Australian_Financial_System, Australian Centre for Financial Studies, July 2014.

Time to Unlock Farms’ Real Value. Co-authored with Tony D’Aloisio, The Australian, 21 February 2014. (Photo – Nikki Short).

Disclosure of Superannuation Fund Holdings: What would be best? Co-authored with Clare Marlin. JASSA, No. 3, 2012: 42-48.

Hedge Funds, Private Equity and Alternative Investment in Australia, Chapter 16 of the Research Handbook on Hedge Funds, Private Equity and Alternative Investment, Edited by Phoebus Athanassiou, February 2012.

Retail derivatives: What we know, what we don’t know, and regulatory challenges, JASSA, No. 4, 2011: 55-61.

Rethinking Securities Regulation after the Crisis: an Economics Perspective, ASIC, July 2010.

Framework for Securities Regulation Post-GFC. JASSA, No. 4, 2010: 37-42.

The unlisted unrated debentures market, JASSA Special Issue 2008: 65-69.

Vietnam: Opportunities in Rapid Development, Inaugural Asian Market Forum 2007, James Cook University.

Chapter on Agrifood Commodity Futures Exchanges in Asia, For DFAT Asian Agrifood Project Subsistence to Supermarket II.

The Rise in China’s FDI: Myths and Realities, Australia-China Free Trade Agreement Conference, Sydney, Conference Paper, 12 – 13 August 2004.

Liberalising capital movements in ASEAN, July 2003.

R&D and Innovation Policies: An International Comparison (for the Australian Innovation Association and the Australian Institute for Commercialisation), December 2002.

CFO magazine, monthly, Column on The Economy, 2001 – 2007.

Asia-Inc magazine, monthly, Economics column, 2001 – 2002.  

The Performance of Banks: Evidence from the Financial Accounts, Economic Papers, Vol 12, Issue 2, pages 48–57, June 1993.

Australian Financial Review, OpEds, various.


It’s a brave Scotland that goes its own way, Australian Financial Review, Review, 14 September 2012.