Collaborative Gatekeepers

n his annual letter to shareholders for 2014, Jamie Dimon, J.P. Morgan’s CEO, made an astonishing revelation. That year alone, his firm hired 8,000 new employees just to improve its compliance with anti-money laundering laws. J.P. Morgan’s recruitment zeal stemmed from a $2.6 billion penalty for anti-money laundering violations, due to its failure to spot Madoff’s ponzi scheme. This was hardly an isolated case: anti-money laundering laws have played a central part in four out of the eight biggest fines in the wake of the financial crisis, becoming a key legal basis in the quest to hold banks accountable.

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