In early September 2017, ten years after the collapse of UK bank Northern Rock, TJN will be publishing a special edition of Tax Justice Focus, guest edited by Professor Daniel Mügge (University of Amsterdam) which draws on fresh research from the EU-funded Enlighten programme. In this article Professor Mugge argues that faced with intractable problems of rising debt, and the obvious limitations to what financial regulators can achieve in the face of a hugely oversized financial sector, debt forgiveness must be added to the policy list if we are to avoid chaos in the global economy.
In our March 2017 Taxcast: the high price we’re paying for our finance sectors – we look at staggering statistics showing how the US finance sector is a net drag on their economy.
Also, as the British government initiates Brexit divorce negotiations to leave the EU, we discuss something they ought to know, but obviously don’t – they’re actually in a very weak position. Could it mean the beginning of the end of the finance curse gripping the UK economy?
Featuring: John Christensen and Alex Cobham of the Tax Justice Network, and Professor of Economics Gerald Epstein of the University of Masachusetts Amhurst, author of Overcharged: The High Cost of High Finance. Produced and presented by Naomi Fowler for the Tax Justice Network.
Download the mp3 to listen offline anytime on your computer, mobile/cell phone or handheld device by right clicking here and selecting ‘save link as’.
“If you look at particular finance centres, say London and New York, the problem is that the net cost of this system is quite significant, it imposes a cost not only on people who use finance but for the whole economy. So, what we need to think about is what are the more productive activities that ought to be substituted for these excessive aspects of finance?”
Professor Gerald Epstein
“We might be seeing the start of the end of Britain’s grip by the Finance Curse”
John Christensen, Tax Justice Network on Britain’s weak position in Brexit negotiations
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- Just one week left for abstract submission for our annual conference in July – last chance to get yours in for consideration!
- There’s a fantastic research post being advertised, to work with Prof. Dariusz Wojcik on global financial networks at Oxford; and
- An exciting studentship with Dr Kristian Laslett at Ulster University, on grand corruption, asset recovery and transformative justice.
By Alex Cobham
There are now a range of estimates of the global scale of tax avoidance. These include:
- the $600 billion annual tax loss estimated by IMF researchers Crivelli et al. (2015; 2016), which divides roughly into $400 billion of OECD losses and $200 billion elsewhere;
- the $100 billion annual tax losses that UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2015 estimated for developing countries due only to conduit FDI investment through ‘tax havens’;
- the $100 billion to $240 billion globally that OECD researchers estimate;
- the $130 billion globally that we have estimated as annual losses due to avoidance by US multinationals only; and so on.
New figures published today by the Tax Justice Network provide a country-level breakdown of the estimated tax losses to profit shifting by multinational companies. Applying a methodology developed by researchers at the International Monetary Fund to an improved dataset, the results indicate global losses of around $500 billion a year. The figures appear in a study published today by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER, in Helsinki).