Saturday, January 29, 2022

Izabella Kaminska

Alphaville's farewell tribute to Izabella Kaminska, their editor since 2017, is So long Izzy, we’ll miss you. They write:
Readers will agree that there is no one quite like Izzy in financial media. Her knack for spotting trends and troubles long before the rest of us, and her ability to combine on-point, esoteric references — from the power structures of classical Rome to Soviet-era state planning and Tom Cruise movies — with a deep knowledge of finance has long made her work a must-read when it comes to everything from payments to crypto to the gig economy.
It is mostly a list of her "greatest hits", and especially about cryptocurrencies they are the cream of an outstanding crop:
They still stand up remarkably well. Here's hoping we haven't heard the last from her.


Geoff said...

Sadly paywalled. Oh well.....

David. said...

Not paywalled. Alphaville is "free registration required" and worth much more than you pay.

David. said...

Kaminska has a new web-site The Blind Spot.

David. said...

Kaminska has an important post entitled The FATF recognises its human rights blind spot:

"For a while now, people like me, Ian Grigg and David Birch (top rank blockchain/payments experts) have been moaning on Twitter about how anti money laundering and Know-Your-Customer rules, despite being developed in good faith, have started to backfire on the system.

Rather than curbing criminal financing, in many instances all they have done is add bloat and cost to the banking sector, while making it even harder for the disenfranchised to get banking access.

Meanwhile, multi-billion dollar-worth money laundering operations like Wirecard have been able to run unchecked regardless.

A key part of the vulnerability is that KYC/AML does little to solve for the problem of corruption. Garbage in, garbage out can still go on. So if you have the whole German institutional state in your pocket you can proceed unhindered.

But there is another issue that has also been worrying me for some time. It relates to the qualifying conditions for being cut off from financial services under the AML regime in the first place. One of those conditions is being judged to be involved in terrorist financing by the state. Or even to be suspected of it by your bank or payment provider service."

Clearly, the current example in Canada is worrying, and Kaminska is right to point out that "terrorism" is frequently defined as "behavior of which your government doesn't approve". However, the idea that we can fix this problem by removing the sadly permeable barriers to large-scale money laundering by allowing people like Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan to use evasive transactions and non-KYC/AML exchanges is equally problematic.