Financial Integrity Institute Co-Hosts "The Art Market and Money Laundering: A Symposium" in NYC

Logo for joint symposium featuring CWRU School of Law, FIT and At Market Studies

A joint symposium on October 12 was hosted by Natasha Degen, Chair, Art Market Studies, School of Graduate Studies, FIT ; Richard Gordon, Director, Financial Integrity Institute, Case Western Reserve University; and Casey King, Director, Capstone Program, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University. 

The art market is notoriously opaque and unregulated, which makes it particularly vulnerable to this kind of nefarious activity. Dirty money, disguised as capital gains on the sale of sale of one or more assets, is laundered by undervaluing art at purchase or overvaluing it at sale, making it difficult for financial institutions or law enforcement to find out. Transferring the value of the criminal proceeds is then implemented by simply transferring ownership of the asset.

International standards promulgated by the Financial Action Task Force have been adopted as domestic law by nearly every country of the world, with banks, broker-dealers, payment agencies and other businesses subject to required preventative measures to prevent and uncover money laundering.

Should these same preventive measures apply to art dealers and other participants in the art market? Legislation proposed in the US House of Representatives would do so. Would it work? Or would it prove onerous and ineffective, as some art market players have claimed? Are there other solutions to be found, for instance through self-regulation or blockchain technology?

More about the symposium.