In our December 2016 Taxcast: In trusts we trust? We look at the new game in town: beneficial ownership avoidance, the booming industry in alternative escape vehicles from public registers and why we must shine the spotlight on all of them.
Plus: we discuss two big stories we think will define 2017: the race to the bottom between nations on tax aka a transfer of wealth to the corporate community, and how the world’s biggest havens are increasingly having to account for the devastating effect their tax and/or financial secrecy policies are having on human rights around the world… We also report from the appeal of tax justice heroes Antoine Deltour and Rapahel Halet in Luxembourg.
In Neoliberalism and the Moral Economy of Fraud, (Routledge, 2016) David Whyte and Jörg Wiegratz offer an edited collection exploring how neoliberalism has enabled the proliferation of systemic fraud across different geographical and social settings.
French activists occupy a branch of BNP Paribas to protest against that bank’s deep engagement in offshore secrecy jurisdictions.
This is well worth watching: journalist and author of Author of ‘Fragile Empire‘ and ‘This Is London‘ and Ben Judah presents his report at the Hudson Institute on how kleptocrats and what he calls the ‘global wealth defence industry’ (or the secrecy and tax avoidance/evasion industry) is wreaking havoc on the global economy and represents a serious threat to international peace and security. He draws on our research on quantifying offshore funds and our Financial Secrecy Index.
From Joseph Stiglitz, writing in Vanity Fair:
“It will not be long before those nations that opt to continue with old-style secrecy will be labeled pariah states and be cut off from the global financial system.”
New and abusive games will continue to emerge to fill the vacuum left by old-style secrecy — including new forms of opacity — but he’s certainly onto something.
The article is a testament to Panama’s “commitment” to eliminate crime and secrecy from its financial sector.
Hat tip: Links.