Oct 22, 2001
The U.S. government says it wants to crack down on terrorists by freezing their bank accounts. Bills to reform the banking laws have been introduced in the House and the Senate.
But the banking industry is lobbying heavily against increased accountability about its largest customers. The super-rich want to hide their funds for many reasons: to keep away the tax man, to launder illegal funds, to keep suspicious transfers from any scrutiny.
So the politicians are caught in a trap: any law making the transfer of funds visible could endanger their good friends, that is, those who profit at the expense of everyone else.