Raymond W. Baker

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Raymond W. Baker
Born (1935-10-30) October 30, 1935 (age 87)
Nationality United States
Alma materHarvard Business School (M.B.A.)[1]
Georgia Institute of Technology
Scientific career
FieldsInternational Business
InstitutionsGlobal Financial Integrity

Raymond W. Baker (born October 30, 1935) is an American businessman, scholar, author, and "authority on financial crime."[2] He is the founder and president of Global Financial Integrity, a research and advocacy organization in Washington, DC working to curtail illicit financial flows.[3]


Baker is a 1960 graduate of Harvard Business School,[1] and a 1957 graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology,[4] where he was a member of the ANAK Society.[5]


Raymond Baker started in professional career by working as a businessman in Nigeria in various positions for 15 years. By the mid-1970s, the Bakers found that Nigeria had become unfit for an expatriate family with young children, so they moved to the United States and settled in the Washington, D.C. area. For the next 10 years, Raymond Baker did extensive business in Central and South America, other parts of Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and with the People’s Republic of China. Then in the late 1980s he shifted to providing trade and financial advisory services to governments in developing nations. With this accumulation of experiences, he associated with the Brookings Institution in 1996 as a guest scholar in economic studies.[6]

In 1996, Raymond Baker received a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for a project entitled, “Flight Capital, Poverty and Free-Market Economics.” The project took him to 23 countries where he interviewed over 335 bankers, politicians, government officials, economists, attorneys, tax collectors, security officers, and social scientists on the relationships between commercial tax evasion, bribery, money laundering, and economic growth.[7]

In 2006, Baker founded Global Financial Integrity, the Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization of which he remains president, with the goal of quantifying and analyzing illicit financial flows while formulating and promoting policy solutions to curb them. Under Baker's leadership, GFI has published several economic reports estimating that nearly US$1 trillion per year flows illicitly out of developing countries.[3] Driving Baker's passion about the issue is his underlying belief that these illegal outflows of capital are the greatest economic problem facing the world's poor. Baker has been quoted as saying, "This $1 trillion or more a year of illicit money that flows across borders and the structure that facilitates its movement is not only the biggest loophole in the global economic system. It is also the most damaging economic condition hurting the poor in developing and transitional economies."[8]

In January 2009, Baker brought together a coalition of research and advocacy organizations and over 50 governments to form the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development - an organization which advocates for transparency in the global financial system.[9] He served as the first director of the Task Force from its inception in 2009 through the beginning of 2013.

Baker's "work explaining how $1 trillion in dirty money leaves poor countries each year has helped get financial transparency onto the agenda of world leaders." A focus of his recent work has been on linking illicit financial flows to human rights abuses and economic inequality.[10]

Baker is additionally a member of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, established by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in February 2012.[11] The panel is chaired by former South African President Thabo Mbeki.[12]

Baker serves as a member of the World Economic Forum's Council on Illicit Trade,[13] and he has testified multiple times before congressional committees in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate on money laundering, corruption, and illegal capital flight.[14][15][16][17]

Published works[edit]

In 2005 Baker published "Capitalism’s Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System."[6] This comprehensive study of illicit capital flows which includes a full exploration of their context and root causes, financial impact of world economy as well as avenues for their possible control and curtailing, conferred him a recognized international authority on corruption, money laundering, growth, and foreign policy issues concerning developing and transitional economies and their impact upon western economic and foreign interests.[18][19]

A former guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and former senior fellow at the Center for International Policy,[18] Baker is also the author of “The Biggest Loophole in the Free-Market System,” “Illegal Flight Capital; Dangers for Global Stability,” “How Dirty Money Binds the Poor,” and other works.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Garry Emmons, "$how Me the Money" (Boston, MA: Alumni Bulletin, Harvard Business School, June 2010)
  2. ^ The Economist, "Storm survivors" (London: February 16, 2013) Retrieved 2013-02-28.
  3. ^ a b About GFI, Global Financial Integrity Website
  4. ^ John Dunn, "Out of Africa" (Atlanta, GA: Alumni Magazine, Georgia Institute of Technology, Winter 1994: 51-55) Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  5. ^ "ANAK Graduates, 1950-1959". ANAK Society. Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
  6. ^ a b Raymond W. Baker, "Capitalism's Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System" (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2005). Online version
  7. ^ About Raymond W. Baker, Global Financial Integrity Website
  8. ^ Raymond Baker, "The Ugliest Chapter in Global Economic Affairs Since Slavery" (Washington, DC: Speech, Global Financial Integrity, Nov 1, 2007) Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  9. ^ "Baffling" banking laws must change, Swissinfo.ch, March 19, 2009
  10. ^ Stella Dawson, “One Man's Campaign to Make Financial Transparency a Human Rights Issue” (Washington, DC: Thomson Reuters Foundation, January 24, 2013) Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  11. ^ Inauguration of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, Africa Governance Institute, February 18, 2012
  12. ^ "Illicit Financial Flows from Africa: The High Level Panel Concludes Consultations in Nigeria, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, May 29, 2013
  13. ^ Global Agenda Council on Illicit Trade 2012-2013, World Economic Forum, Accessed October 11, 2013
  14. ^ Criminal Money Laundering and Illegal Flight Capital, Testimony of Raymond W. Baker before the House Committee on Financial Services, March 9, 2000
  15. ^ Capital Loss, Corruption and the Role of Western Financial Institutions, U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, May 19 2009
  16. ^ Private Banking and Money Laundering: A Case Study of Opportunities and Vulnerabilities, U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations, November 10, 1999
  17. ^ Money Laundering: Current Status of Our Efforts To Coordinate and Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, Testimony of Raymond W. Baker before the U.S. Senate Caucus of International Narcotics Control, March 4, 2004
  18. ^ a b Garry Emmons, "Q&A: Raymond Baker Explores the Free Market's Demimonde" (Boston, MA: Alumni Bulletin, Harvard Business School, February 2001) Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  19. ^ Raymond Baker, World Economic Forum, Accessed October 11, 2013

External links[edit]