The New York Times does a splendid job in providing an overview of financial crime through a global perspective. The most striking detail lies within the volumes of money described in each category totaling over 40 trillion dollars tied to white collar crime. Interestingly, only $1.6 trillion are specifically linked to money laundering, which begs further questions...

Are governments, financial institutions, and other entities disproportionately spending resources on AML efforts in comparison to other financial crimes with higher financial impacts? If so, do the human impacts of predicate money laundering activities (i.e. human trafficking, narcotics) at least justify the annual billions of dollars spent on AML? Even if the former answer is “no”, the latter answer is likely a “yes”. In that case, it might be worth examining how and why money is spent on preventing, detecting, and reporting financial crimes on a global scale, and how those resources may be used more effectively and efficiently through regulatory reform, technology and data.