Banks Flee Risk of Illicit Finance, with Unintended Consequences

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In the past decade, the international financial system has become an important battleground for the U.S. government in its efforts to confront threats to national security. Alongside traditional responses, policymakers have increasingly sought to harness U.S. economic power to compel private sector action against a range of illicit actors.

These efforts have been effective. Robust sanctions and anti-money-laundering programs have enhanced the integrity of the financial system and advanced national security interests. Rogue regimes have been isolated, terrorist organizations disrupted and drug cartels weakened by these initiatives.

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