Exposing the American Kleptocracy With Casey Michel

Casey Michel

In this episode, Kieran Beer talks with Casey Michel about his book, “American Kleptocracy,” which details how the United States has become a favored destination for corrupt politicians and other criminals to launder money. Competition among states such as Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada for fees for forming corporations and trusts as well as carveouts from oversight won by special interest groups are to blame, Michel says.

Michel, an investigative journalist who has been published widely, including in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Washington Post, and The Guardian, talks about how financial intermediaries, including real estate agents and lawyers, have profited from aiding criminals by creating instruments to obscure the ownership of illicit funds. And, while optimistic that new legislation and regulation will curtail some of those practices, Michel says other industries used to launder money lack transparency and oversight, including hedge funds and private investment companies.

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