The U.S. government appears intent on making the "blacklisting" of individuals and business entities a central feature in its fight against money laundering and related financial crimes. Even the Clinton administration's measures to combat foreign corruption involved targeting a certain group of individuals - in this case, senior foreign political figures, their immediate families, and close associates.

The federal government's blacklisting efforts are generally designed to achieve laudable goals: stopping American financial markets from being used by foreign individuals and firms as a repository of ill-gotten gains. These efforts also make for good politics, particularly because their targets are almost uniformly foreign persons and entities that cannot vote in American elections.

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