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Dirty Money and Development

To commemorate its founding 25 years ago, PS is republishing a selection of commentaries written since 1994. In the following commentary, Sri Mulyani Indrawati explained what it would take to crack down on the illicit capital flows that are depriving developing and emerging economies of the funds needed to end poverty.

WASHINGTON, DC – The world has made enormous progress in recent decades in the fight against poverty. But, as 2015 begins, one billion people – one in seven – still live on less than $1.25 per day.

It will take a global effort to end poverty – and to find the resources to do so. At first glance, the price tag is staggering. We know that development aid will not be sufficient to end poverty. It will take private-sector investment, taxes collected in developing countries, and other sources of finance to do the job.

The truth is that there is enough money in the world to get it done. One unexpected source of wealth that could play a large role is the world’s huge supply of dirty money: multinational companies’ undeclared profits and the proceeds from corruption and the trafficking of drugs, weapons, and people – all of which is stashed away in offshore bank accounts, companies, and trusts.

25 years of the World's Opinion Page

Project Syndicate celebrates its 25th anniversary with PS 25, a collection of our hardest-hitting commentaries so far.

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