20150710 Geeks for Greeks – solving the Greek Debt Crisis

Friday, 10 July, 2015 – 10:27

Yanis Varoufakis, has resigned. In one of his last pronouncements as Greek Finance Minister, Varoufakis said the idea that Greece could print Drachmas was a fallacy. He is reported as having said “we destroyed all the presses.”

While he might be right in one respect, that of printing actual Drachma notes, he’s fundamentally wrong in another. There is an option that would fix much of the crisis – although it’s one that would cause the EU to have a major fit.

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20150316 I booked a flight with Etihad Airways. This is what happened next…

Monday, 16 March, 2015 – 00:00

Imagine that you need to book a flight at short notice from London to Kuala Lumpur and back. There aren’t many options but you find one with a transit in Abu Dhabi and, even better, it only takes about an hour longer than a direct flight. So you book it on-line through a reputable on-line service but, because the flight is at short notice, it’s necessary to do some of the paperwork by phone.

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20141126 I just love being right – my new book – Cleaning up the ‘Net – covers Facebook, terrorist threats and profit nicely.

Wednesday, 26 November, 2014 – 00:00

When I began writing my new book, there was one primary focal point: big companies providing internet services profit from the crimes of others. That profit can be tracked and traced and internet companies can be made culpable in just the same way as banks, etc. who deal with criminals.

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20140917 Scottish Independence. I’d vote “yes” but the Scots should not.

Wednesday, 17 September, 2014 – 00:00

I’m English. I don’t have a vote in tomorrow’s Independence for Scotland vote. If I did, I’d vote that they are thrown out of the Union, that all Scots are sent back across the border, unable to benefit from continued residence in the rest of the UK. I’d revoke the damage including fundamental constitutional change done to England by the Scottish combine of Blair/Brown and Darling.

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20140912 Theft of Sun Tzu and the Art of Litigation

Friday, 12 September, 2014 – 00:00

Not the best start to Friday to discover that some bastard is promoting illegal copies of my book “Sun Tzu and the Art of Litigation” hosted by Cloudflare on a domain released by Public Domain Registry (PDR) – a company we are already looking at because it is heavily featured, along with GoDaddy, in the latest wave of domain registrations for spamming – all with a .eu address. More in the imminent issue of World Money Laundering Report.

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20140409 On the road, again

Sitting at home doing all kinds of things – including researching and writing both “Sun Tzu and the Art of Litigation” and “How does that make you feel” as well as other work that kept me locked to my desktop for, in total more than a year, I’ve just been re-introduced to the delights of long distance travel.

I was looking forward to it: I used to spend as much as 200 nights a year away from home, often sleeping on a plane between leaving a meeting at the end of one day and just getting to the next early in the morning.

There was even a plan, just for the hell of it, to present a breakfast briefing in Singapore, an evening briefing in Hong Kong, the next morning a breakfast briefing in London and an evening briefing in New York. It didn’t happen. I think I’m pleased.

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20140718 A dark day for Malaysia and her people as lies and counter-lies fill the air.

I was woken in the early hours of this morning by a message from a close friend, who works for an airline and was in Europe getting ready for a flight. “Check out MH17” was all it said. I checked. MH17, a Boeing 777, had been shot down while overflying territory controlled by Russian backed, Russian armed, Russian funded and Russian encouraged terrorists in the Ukraine.


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20140401 Don’t be an April Fool – recognise that coincidences are real.

It is often said that there are no coincidences. But unless one believes in some kind of grand-master who manages the minutiae of the lives of all creatures and things on Earth, and beyond, sometimes it is clear coincidences do exist.

Here’s an example.

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20140321 Shhh. I’m sleeping. But not until I’ve said this….

Friday, 21 March, 2014 – 00:00

Shhhh. “How does that make you feel – identifying suspicion in money laundering and terrorist financing”(1) has gone through final editing and pre-press and is now in proofing (which is a bit of a technicality because it’s been proofed in its final print format several times during production). Looking good to pop out of this final stage later today (tomorrow in the USA) Why “shhhhh?” Now it’s all in someone else’s hands and I’m going to sleep for three days.

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20140311 How does that make you feel? Tired.

Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 – 00:00

Much to my shock, the book has now grown to the point where it has to be reformatted to take account of its new thickness (that is in the number of pages, not the stupidity of the author).

So all the graphics that were carefully sized are now in the process of being resized as part of the pre-production process. Oh, and we’ve got the ISBN numbers but I’m not sure if that means it can be pre-ordered. I’m a bit hazy on the practicalities, partly because I’ve reached the point of doing nothing except writing. If I could have Nescafe’s Blend 37 on a drip, I would. (1)

Ten days ago, I had two chapters outstanding. After writing one of those, now I have three outstanding. Each piece of research seems to spawn at least one more.

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20140214 Why I love my job.

I’m feeling all loved up this morning and it’s not just because it’s Valentine’s Day. Sitting in my study, looking out across the rooftops of Kuala Lumpur to the Petronas Twin Towers glinting in the early morning sun, the birds chirping (there are no trees so they nest high in the building – about 10 metres away from me) and, because most of the heavy work has been done, the air is clear of both noise and dust from the construction that has turned my part of the city something reminiscent of Hong Kong in the 1980s. Far below me, there’s a Chinese Temple and today is the 15th day of New Year. So far this morning, the glorious melting pot that is central KL has given me the call for prayer from the nearby mosque, the call to mass from the nearby church and the drums and fireworks that are designed not to call but to repel evil spirits as the New Year finally gets underway after two weeks of festival. I’m one of, in global terms, the lucky few who gets to live where he loves to live.

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20140118 Same old smile, same old shit

I have just watched the entire speech by US President Obama given at the US Department of Justice. I watched it with my friend in Paris : both of us watching the BBC until they cut away with only a few minutes to go so they could interview one of their own journalists standing in the cold of a Washington winter. Then we switched to CNN where, fortunately, they didn’t discuss it in their usual banal fashion. Which is good because we were discussing it over an internet phone connection as it was going. He and I have concocted a note together intending that it would appear on both our websites simultaneously. .

20140104 The dangers of “internet-spread”

The recent example of a satirical article ascribing comments to the Pope, and the editorialising that surrounded those comments, is thought provoking and funny – but only if you know it’s a joke. Regrettably, the internet, due to the lack of ethics and honesty, to say nothing of in some cases downright malicious or self-promoting actions, of some users, means that the story has spread far and wide – without the warning that it’s satire.

20131202 Flattery mai non plus

Google flatters me.

Apparently I have a Google + account. I assume some marketing person somewhere, sometime, somehow set it up. I don’t remember anything about it. Nor, incidentally, do I remember actually posting anything to it.

Anyway, in the way of marketing messages, that nebulous body (are they in “the cloud”?) “The Google+ (oh, no space before the + sign?) has sent me what passes for a personalised e-mail (I know it’s not because it starts “Dear” and has my full name).

20131213 Dodgy Due Diligence in Social Media

We, as an industry, are increasingly sold the idea that social media is the first reliable port of call for due diligence: basically, the idea is that if a person doesn’t have, for example, a Facebook or a LinkedIn profile, they don’t exist, that they are inherently somehow lacking in credibility.

The argument is that the opposite is true: that an effective social media presence confirms that person’s existence and presents corroboration of what they are saying.

It’s not as reliable as it seems. And worse, it’s causing a credibility issue for companies.

20131212 – why I’m starting a monthly newsletter for my LinkedIn Contacts

Good morning

I’m Nigel Morris-Cotterill, one of your contacts at LinkedIn. I’m Head, The
Anti Money Laundering Network and I find LinkedIn to be full of “noise”
from hundreds of “likes” of jobs, magazine articles, puzzles and games.

20131129 Hello world! Again

It’s the most basic of tests for IT people: can they make the machine they are working on produce the words “Hello World!” on the monitor or a printer?

And so, as today is the first day of the rest of the life of this website (countermoneylaundering.com), which was the first website we built even before we owned the domain name, it’s fitting that the first words on this blog should be that test.

But it’s not the first time we’ve said “Hello World!” So we’re saying it again.

20030625 Why Watching The Money Isn’t Enough

25 June 2003


The financial services industry is getting only part of the risk management and anti-money laundering point. And modern business models in banking and insurance militate against effective know-your- customer procedures says Nigel Morris-Cotterill .

World-wide, regulators are including in the requirements they place on affected businesses demands that they build a profile of their customers.

This “know your customer” approach is vital in the attempts to detect and deter money laundering and terrorist financing.

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