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The announcement without warning that the UK's Financial Conduct Authority was freezing assets of German FinTech Wirecard has caused consternation.

But while the fall-out has been severe for many individuals, it was both temporary and fits the profile of interventions. There were also good and prudent reasons for it.

Here's why.

(this article was amended later the same day to correct several grammatical errors and for minor clarifications)

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

Good morning, good afternoon or good evening depending on where you are. Sitting at 101 degrees East, I'm roughly in the middle of the day for half of the world and in the tail end of the previous day for the other half.

That's an example of how we tend to think in a very localised way, even when we are acting on a much bigger stage. But there's more....

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

In the past week, we have learned that the 2020 F1 Grands Prix in Singapore, Suzuka, Sao Paulo, Austin and Baku will not, or probably will not, take place. take place. We have already lost the first half of the season including the much awaited Vietnamese Grand Prix. The underlying reason is that there remains great fear of the spread of the CoVid-19 virus and such fear is not misplaced.

But there is one place where ground can be made up quickly, easily and even cheaply.

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

It's a thing. And you are not alone.

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

Good morning.

Last month's newsletter was a round-up of lots of updates.

And it was long.

Not so now we're all on the same page. This one :)

Actually, I wrote what should have been this month's newsletter but it was too long and it was too controversial. It's at countermoneylaundering.com if you are interested. Actually, it's there if you are not interested, too.

That might seem a frivolous thing to say but it isn't. One of the things I want to do is emphasise that financial crime risk and compliance is, essentially, a function of law and in law language must be precise. Precision in...

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

Sometimes there's writers' block and other times there's, well, something more akin to diarrhoea of the verbiage persuasion.

This rambling rant is the latter. My mind was having a free-thought day, my fingers were on the keyboard, here it is in its unadulterated, unpolished, form.

There are big questions and observations that might or might not be connected but most of all there's this - our current situation has raised many issues that have arisen through complacency, ignorance or, even, attempts to adopt the "someone else's problem" approach to management. Chickens, meet roost.

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

The title is a pun. Well, probably not a pun, actually. It's taking a statement that isn't ironic nor sarcastic, an expression that's more term of art than literal, and - because it's English and we can do this kind of thing - twisting it into something with a single-use, throwaway, purpose.

The original expression refers to "that old fashioned look," which means half-way between flirtation and "come-hither." It's not quite an open invitation to a shag but it's travelling in that general direction. Strangely, I haven't had to twist it much.

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

In 1996, in How not to be a money launderer, I wrote the following:

"Bank Leu is a legitimate Swiss bank with an office in Luxembourg. In 1993, it was convicted in a district court in California of laundering drugs money originating in Columbia. Bank Leu had no branches nor even representative offices in the USA, in fact it had no presence there at all."

In 2003, another author, with the backing of a large publisher, wrote

"Bank Leu is a legitimate bank in Europe: it has no representation in the United States of any kind, or at least did not in 1993. ... that in that year it was convicted...

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

It's been going on for weeks, the deluge of spam about personal protective equipment of one sort of another. But this one is special.

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

A recent spate of cases in the USA has, after the best part of a decade, concluded that crypto-assets are to be regarded as property.

Seriously: this is one of the simplest things to work out and courts - and legislatures - have been making a meal out of something that is blindingly obvious.

Yet, bizarrely, it's not only US courts that are finding this difficult.

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

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