quasi in rem

Monday, January 26, 2004

Suspected Terrorists Can No longer Make their Money the Old Fashion Way

The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting letter to the editor detailing some of the changes the Patriot Act has caused in the institutional investment sector. The article states that "USA Patriot Act regulations that took effect this fall require various financial service providers - mutual funds included - to beef up their knowledge of people with whom they're doing business"

This line is interesting however: "Mr. Paris says his company uses information from your application to verify against government records that you are not a suspected terrorist. Once that is established, he says, no one goes on to build any sort of dossier"

How is that possible? Do investment houses have a list of suspected terrorists and their addresses? If we know who the suspected terrorists are and their addresses, then why are they still there? Unless the application says:

Padilla, Jose
Cell 23
Guantanamo, Cuba 80263

how exactly can a company determine if an investor is a suspected terrorist?

And if they are a suspected terroroist, but the government does not feel the need to arrest them, then by what authority can the government prevent them from investing in Vanguard's Small Cap Value Index.

This is all highly confusing, but if anyone has any ideas I would be very curious.


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