It’s hard to build your country when the money keeps slipping away.
Foreign capital flight has been a problem for developing countries this year, but a bigger problem might be the funds smuggled out by tax evaders, corrupt officials and criminals—$946.7 billion in 2011, according to the latest estimates released today by a team of economists at the non-profit Global Financial Integrity, an increase of more than 10% over the previous year. For comparison, total foreign aid to developing nations in 2011 was just $141 billion.
Russia topped the list, with $191.14 billion slipping out of its borders in 2011, followed by China with $151.35 and India with $84.93 billion. Economists at GFI identified the money by sorting through aggregate balance-of-payments data and finding mismatches that show where traders used creative invoicing to slip money out of the country—the bulk of illicit flows—or, about 20% of the time, through…
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