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The most insidious threat to our way of life, the markets, and economy, is financial crime. As all citizens of the international community having been the victim of financial crime, this expertly crafted and superbly written work by my dear friend and colleague, Financial Crime Investigation, is especially relevant for me. The most recent example being the great recession officially lasting from December 2007 to June 2009 as the beginning with the bursting of an 8 trillion dollar housing bubble and for some never ending. Many will remember the at best unethical subprime lending practices and at worst a premeditated and organized deployment of policies that could only end in disaster. Additionally, the bundling and secularization of Mortgage Backed Securities all carrying a triple-A rating, while in reality being junk, further compounded by predatory lending practices and inflated appraisals. Most significant to the reader should be that no single individual perpetrated a significant crime, yet they all knew what they were doing was wrong. Initiated the bursting of an 8 trillion dollar housing bubble.
The above provides an excellent example for how pervasive and diabolical financial crime is, as each perpetrator from the loan originator selling adjustable rate mortgages to individuals they knew couldn't afford them to appraisers inflating housing values and bankers repackaging and securing loan bundles, all this culminating with the rating agencies bestowing the highest AAA valuations, each a link in a chain of poor principals and nonexistent ethical practices that resulted in the global markets grinding to halt. In today's interconnected world, even minor financial crime is a serious concern for both the markets and the citizens of all nations; it is a prolific issue that affects every individual of the community. Regardless of whether investments were in real estate or securities, Bernie Madoff bilking billions from investors made this painfully clear to many of the savviest Wall Street elite. Many lost their entire life savings without any recourse to seek reparations, and due to other shady and or unethical practices, many more lost their greatest investment, the equity in their homes, and, perhaps more significant, their security in retirement. Moreover, now facing losses, bills piling up compounded by stress, many overexerted themselves, maintained poor diets resulting in both immediate injuries, as well as the development of a range of conditions that are still to this day negatively affecting the healthcare industry! Above and beyond all that, crisis like the great recession cause several additional and significant problems:
1) How to overcome the related uprising of both violent as well as nonviolent crimes (of opportunity)
2) The abuse of harmful narcotics and prescription drugs
3) Unfortunate domestic violence as well as child abuse and neglect
How to prevent and or mediate crisis in advance of disruptions moving forward as well as alleviate the purely economical and financial hardships just covered are problems that have been tackled by my long-time friend and colleague V. Ryaboshlyk with his comprehensively written and visionary work Crisis and Embodied Innovations.
That being stated, we can prevent future financial crime and fraudulent or unethical practices harmful to the economy as well as families prior to creating a crisis by employing the investigative and observational techniques provided here in this wonderfully composed investigative and preventative guidebook.
In fact, these crimes affect every member of society regardless of class, occupation, or status inevitably causes the reader to pause and contemplate the sheer depth and scope of even minor financial crimes and the havoc they spread on one's community and loved ones. Further, this book addresses the disparity of perception between “violent” crime and financial or “white collar” crime putting the focus squarely on how violent crime often only affects an individual or small group, while financial crimes affect markets, whole nations, and the entire global community.
It became clear to me as I read and reread this enthralling and even at times humorous work that what it really comes down to is the ethics of business how the atmosphere and pressure of the bottom line profits for shareholders, dismissing all regard for the greater economic consequences to a nation and international community. Thought leader and my dear friend and colleague Asifa Baig from Ontario, Canada, recently wrote, "Society can no longer afford money hoggers! Are there entrepreneurs that will hold themselves accountable for humanity?" She went on to coin a phrase (ROH) or "Return on Humanity" as a concept that should be added to all companies' performance evaluations...
Additionally, what makes financial crime so insidious is the many varieties through which it manifests. Just last year, when working with a dear friend and mentor, a "Prince" circumvented me and contacted him directly wanting to "meet in secret" and "exchange untraceable cash" to provide seed funding for an upcoming project. In the above example, the quoted phrases raised red flags for all involved and caused serious concerns not only for the likely illegal origins of possible funds, but also for my friend and colleague’s personal safety should such a meeting be arranged.
This expertly written text addresses these concerns, thoroughly empowering even the casual reader with a deep knowledge of financial crime investigation. Whether you are interested in seeking a position in financial crime investigation for a ministry or regulatory authority, an investor looking for clarity or simply a curious citizen activist looking to make a difference locally, this book is for you.