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June 06, 2005


Nils Andersson

Nils Andersson
77 Karen Place
Newbury Park, CA 91320
Phone (cell): 877 CODEART
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Wall Street Journal
Letters to the Editor


Dear Sirs,

I read the editorial “Why Can’t the World Bank Be More Like a Bank?” by James Henry and Laurence J. Kotlikoff with great interest. Their main point was the benefits of giving residents of third-world countries ATM-cards where the underlying funds be kept outside the country, so the residents’ money would be safe against their own governments. Additionally, the suggestion was that aid be given by topping up these accounts with aid money. The implication was that the residents keep the bulk of their money in these offshore accounts.

I think this is a great idea, which would indeed have all the benefits listed in the article. But why restrict this idea to third world countries? Stripping the “aid” part, the same idea would work wonders for residents of almost any country, including the US.

The problem is, the US government would never allow it, precisely because of the loss of control. It is technically legal for US residents to do this, but subject to reporting requirements. If it became common, it would be outlawed. For the same reasons of fear of loss of control, third world governments – and most governments generally – would not accept this idea either. Unfortunately.

Nils Andersson

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