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Charles Littrell Presents: "How Can Small Countries Get Along In A Big World?"

Published: Friday December 7th, 2018


By Charles W. Littrell Inspector of Banks and Trust Companies

Thank you for the invitation to speak at this conference. I will speak to how The Bahamas is managing its interactions with the sometimes helpful and often intrusive international groups who seek to impose their version of an optimal order on the world. My comments are informed by the last year and a half in The Bahamas, and the previous 15 working for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, or APRA.

Humanity has organised itself into about 200 national jurisdictions. It is obviously the case that cooperation between these countries generates enormous benefits. It is I trust equally obvious that this cooperation and the benefits therefrom are greatly enhanced by international adoption of standards and codes of practice.

But, and this is a big "but", these standards and codes are generally developed by big countries, and imposed on small countries. Furthermore, participation is not optional for small countries aspiring to better than North Korean standards of living.

Today I will touch on four international interveners: the IMF, the Financial Action Task Force, the European Union, and the OECD. The IMF and the FATF are particularly on our mind at the moment, as The Bahamas is simultaneously engaged in an FSAP and in getting ourselves off a FATF blacklist.

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