Cleanup Time

A lot of European tax havens are under increasing international pressure to change rules that foster money laundering

When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight," quipped essayist Samuel Johnson, "it concentrates his mind wonderfully." For Liechtenstein, the tiny banking haven snuggled on Switzerland's eastern border, concentration seemed in order last June. After years of cajoling, the world's richest nations had placed the principality on a blacklist of countries that failed to adopt sufficiently tight rules to deter money laundering. Although no specific misdeeds were mentioned, the designation by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering would have made dealings with those countries difficult for major foreign banks. Banking and related services account for...

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