Justice, interrupted: will bankers get off the hook ever more lightly?

Henry bank finesTwo Economist blogs in a row: this time we’ve a fine excuse because their image comes from our TJN Senior Adviser, Jim Henry, who presented this data at the TJN-supported Illicit Financial Journalism Programme in London last week, and gave a preview last February in our Taxcast (see below): “just what does a bank have to do to lose its licence?”.

The graph on the right comes from a story in The Economist entitled and subtitled Justice, interrupted: more wrongdoing at banks, more swingeing fines, no prosecutions.

The short article is well worth reading. Note a couple of things in particular: nearly all of those fines were paid in the United States where, for all the problems with financial ‘capture’ and so on, at least they are doing something about the problem. We and many others would argue that the financial centre in the City of London, whose international financial centre is of a similar size to the U.S.’ financial sector, is significantly more corrupted and dangerous even than its counterpart in the U.S., and the ‘capture’ is more complete. This is quite a good demonstration of that.

Second, note this, as The Economist put it:

“Admitting to criminal behaviour in America was once a guarantee of bankruptcy. . . . the Department of Justice and other regulators seem to have magicked this consequence away.”

And let’s not forget that this is a process. The “capture” is not going away – if anything, it may well now start to penetrate ever more deeply now that the global financial crisis is a few years behind us.

See Henry talking about this on the Real News Network:

Listen to our Taxcast from February. Henry starts at 13:40ish.

 

 


Related Posts

Launch of international research collaboration, #AltAusterity

alt austerityToday is the launch of #AltAusterity, a new, international research collaboration of which Tax Justice Network is a partner.  The project aims to stimulate public debate on the subject of austerity though high quality research. It is a response to the lack of evidence which has underpinned the current policy agenda on austerity. The project […]

READ MORE →

RB tax avoidance – company calls for public country by country reporting after Oxfam report reveals profit shifting

pictureOxfam has today released a report on tax dodging by RB, the company formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser and the maker of thousands of well known household products. The report looks at the 2012 restructuring of the company which saw it set up ‘hubs’ in the Netherlands, Dubai and Singapore, all well known corporate tax […]

READ MORE →

Half measures mean Mauritius will continue to be a tax haven for the developing world

MauritiusThere was news this week that Mauritius has signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI). This is an initiative from the OECD to allow countries to take measures designed to stop tax avoidance by multinational companies and put them into their existing network of […]

READ MORE →

G20: Pressure rising on tax haven USA

HamburgWhilst the eyes of the world focused on the isolation of the US from the ‘G19’ position on climate change, something remarkable played out elsewhere in the process. Following closely the common EU position that we highlighted a few days ago, the G20 communique devotes important space to tax justice. It’s so good we quote […]

READ MORE →

Will the G20 ever end the global problem of tax avoidance and tax evasion?

HamburgAhead of the G20 Summit in Hamburg this week our own George Turner has published this op-ed in the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung today. The article discusses why, despite sustained political engagement from world leaders, we are still some way from solving the problem of tax avoidance and tax evasion. Here’s an English translation of the article:

READ MORE →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top