Most powerful force in the international economy?

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Naimmoises_lowres_2Smuggling and trafficking— says Moisés Naím, editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine and the author of Illicit.

Speaking at IFC this week on the threats to the global economy, Naím painted a sobering picture - despite $40 billion spent annually, the U.S. can't control drug trafficking across it boarders. In fact, no country today can claim to have contained even the spreading of the phenomenon.

He also noted that despite international efforts to curb money laundering, one report estimates the likelihood of catching money launderers to be about 5 percent in the U.S. – and the number is lower outside the U.S.

Illicit activities will continue to grow as long as the profit-margins remain so high and the authorities' are biased toward the 'supply side' and neglect to curb the demand side, he said.

Naim painted a picture of transnational criminal networks of "specialists in logistics" operating as independent cells. He warned of the growing criminalization of politics and the politicization of crime in many corners of the world.

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