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Free USA education plus tips on money laundering — without even leaving Jakarta mall (EXPERT PANEL: Oct. 2 @America) October 1, 2012

Posted by Sharehouse Jakarta in Uncategorized.
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Wish you were still in school enjoying the fall colors of New England, instead of drowned in work emails and headlines about corruption, terrorist and money laundering in the Indonesian press?

When I’m stuck in a rut at the office I like to disappear for a few hours and attend a free lecture on campus. That’s what I used to do at uni, also –slip off to another side of campus to score a brown bag lecture on photography or something totally unrelated to my “discipline.”

A poster for a lecture held October 2, 2012 at the At America culture center in Jakarta, Indonesia

These days I sometimes get my lecture fix @America, the official American cultural center at Pacific Place mall in Jakarta.They  sponsor discussion forums with high-caliber, high-energy speakers almost every day. Except for the security check, it’s very convenient: no invitation, no registration, just go.

So, tomorrow I’m going to catch up with New York and Chicago layers and accountants discussing banking law. It’s not that boring, based on the official description:

How do we stop corruption in the U.S. and Indonesia?”

And it’s a good reminder that the financing of crime and terrorism is an issue everywhere, not just in Indonesia.  Shoudl be interesting to hear from three women whose work involves attacking the world’s scariest dictators, drug lords and terrorists where it hurts most — their bank accounts.

It’s hard work and not always effective, since money is liquid and fungible. What did George W. Bush say right after the 9/11 attack in New York? I remember it was something about more intensive interrogation measures and freezing more bank accounts.

People say forfeiture of narcotics revenue is problematic if it means that drug wars are being funded by drug money. Meanwhile, my own research shows that money laundering often politicized, such as when one country accuses another of being a “tax haven” (i.e., too easy on “dirty money”).

The fight against “dirty money” began in Chicago and New York City when the U.S. outlawed alcohol in 1920 (the prohibition era). New Jersey, just across the bridge from New York City, was a popular headquarters for black finance,the not-so-good lawyers and accountants who work for the bad guys. So it’s not just the Sopranos; in recent years corruption headlines have been almost as common in NJ as in Indonesia  . . . and the mayor of Trenton (the state capital) was arrested earlier this month.

My big question is this: where does @America get all the experts ? Maybe it’s because foreign universities don’t have contacts here in Indonesia. Or perhaps because it’s such a convenient venue.

Anyway, enjoy it while it lasts. You might even want to see if you can get a complete American education  — for free — without ever leaving the mall!

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