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Haute Finance
U.S. Tries to Outlaw Shell Companies

The United States is going to try to outlaw shell companies once more, the Financial Times reports:

Charles Grassley, Senate judiciary committee chairman, and Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democratic colleague, are early next week set to introduce legislation that would require all US states to track the true owners of corporations. Though similar proposals failed last year, growing evidence of Moscow’s use of corporate vehicles that obscure their owners’ identity has revived prospects for action.

This is smart—and necessary. In the old days, the danger of Russian and Chinese oligarchs using shell companies to conceal their ill-gotten wealth in the West was more a nuisance for the U.S. than a real threat. But that is changing as both Putin and Xi tighten their control over their countries and show every sign of weaponizing investment.
The U.S. government needs to know who owns foreign corporations making strategic investments in the United States—and the sooner the better.
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