The flawed bank redemption: Europe and the politics of money laundering

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The West’s failure to prevent money laundering endangers the European project. As the US authorities step up their investigation into alleged crimes at Danske Bank, Europe is left to reflect on a year in which it underestimated yet another threat to the rule of law – this time, not from a volatile Middle East, an overbearing China, or even a gun-slinging Trump administration. Instead, the danger arises much closer to home: the controversy in Denmark combines with those in Germany, the Netherlands, and other wealthy northern European countries, revealing the ease with which major financial institutions move illicit funds across the continent. The supposedly exclusive single market, it seems, is wide open to not only the world’s criminal elite but anyone who knows how to set up a shell company.