Archive before 2014

Tax havens and financial crisis

  • Oct 25 – Gensler: It was financial institutions operating complicated swaps businesses in offshore entities that nearly toppled the U.S. economy” in 2008. Original here.
  • July 2, 2013 – Derivatives: letter to Michel Barnier and eight finance ministers
  • June 25 – Derivatives WMD: lobbyists seeking to remove ‘burdensome’ safety catches. Also see here.
  • June 13 – Offshore race to bottom fosters US shadow insurance industry, “may need bailout.” Originals here and here.
  • March 21, 2013 – Treasure Island Trauma. Paul Krugman endorses Shaxson’s (and TJN’s) analysis that havens help feed crisis.
  • March 12, 2013 – Offshore London and the escape from the U.S. Dodd-Frank bill. Originalhere.
  • Dec 4, 2012 – Dexia and the role of Wild West Ireland
  • Jul 2, 2012 – In Caymans, It’s Simple to Fill a Hedge Fund Board – NY Times. Note Bear Stearns note at bottom.
  • Jun 20, 2012 – US regulators hit out at ‘risky’ London (originals hereherehere, andhere.)
  • Feb 23, 2012 – Nevada wins race to the bottom on corporate governance. Originals hereand here.
  • Feb 5, 2012 – how inequality contributed to the economic crisis, Stewart Lansley. (More detail here.) 
  • Jan 23, 2012 – How tax havens help private equity companies dump social obligations (originals here and here and here.
  • 2011/2012 – The primacy of hedge funds in the crisis – Photis Lysandrou
  • Dec 12, 2011 – Deminor open letter on behalf of Madoff investors: Luxembourg’s lack of accountability, trust, action was behind the scam
  • Dec 8, 2011 – MF Global: more evidence of London as a black hole of financial regulation (original here)
  • Oct 11, 2011 – ActionAid: 98 of FTSE 100 companies in tax havens; banks play huge role.Original here.
  • July 25, 2011 – How the tax system makes finance more dangerous (original here.)
  • July 14, 2011 – TJN summary of Jim Stewart paper on the Dublin financial centre. Originalhere.
  • June 27, 2011 – IMF full-blown study of the link between inequality and financial crises (IMF report here )
  • June 10, 2011 – The IMF says tax havens are a menace to society (original here)
  • May 13, 2011 – NYTimes on the new shadow insurance system – Treasure Islands. Originalhere.
  • May 11, 2011 – New French govt report on financial instability, fingering havens. Originalhere.
  • May 4, 2011 – Goldman Sachs, the food crisis, and offshore London
  • May 2, 2011 – Nicholas Shaxson summarises how offshore finance underlay the global financial crisis
  • Nov 262010 – some forensic detail about offshore Ireland
  • Nov 26, 2010 – Simon Johnson on Ireland’s ghost economy
  • Nov 26, 2010 – Greece and the tax havens: an interconnected web of contagion
  • Sept 29, 2010 – Links between inequality and financial crisis
  • Sept 20, 2010 On tax, shadow banking and the social contract
  • Sept  2010Barclays,  secrecy jurisdictions, and too big to fail
  • July 2010 – IMF: Rehypothecation and offshore London 
  • June 2010 – Financial Innovation and the Financial Crisis, paper by Jim Stewart, Trinity College, Dublin
  • June 2010 – the role of the offshore Euromarkets in helping U.S. banks in particular achieve “political capture” and enjoy the “too big to fail” implicit subsidy.
  • June 2010 – The Other Offshore Disaster. NYT on the Bear Stearns collapse, with a prominent role for offshore.
  • June 2010 – Lucy Komisar in The American Interest, on how the Cayman Islands is being used to forestall tighter regulation.
  • June 2010 – more on hedge funds’ role.
  • May 2010 – Review of IMF’s concerns about offshore and excess leverage, pp12-13 of Tax Justice Focus.
  • April 2010 – Goldman deal went through Cayman , pattern is offshore.
  • May 2010 – How ICE and the Caymans help firms escape derivatives reform (original here)
  • March 2010 – IMF expresses alarm about offshore role in crisis
  • Feb 2010 – Onshore and offshore; boom and bust
  • Feb 2010 – An IMF report on small island havens, with Wealth Bulletin summary on discrepancies
  • Sept 2009 series of blogs on tax havens and the crisis, including on living wills, the Too Big To Fail problem, the links between tax arbitrage and systemic risk, on evading bankers’ pay curbs, and on the widespread links between offshore tax devices and regulatory evasion.
  • June 2009 Norwegian Commission on Capital Flight from Developing Countries, Section 4.14, contains a brief discussion of the links between tax havens and the crisis.
  • June 2009 IMF report on tax roots of the global economic crisis
  • May 2009 FT article “How tax havens helped to create a crisis” by TJN senior adviser Sol Picciotto.
  • March 2009 at the G20 summit: UK Government official appears to recognise the links.
  • Joseph Stiglitz’ UN Commission of experts on reforming the international monetary and financial system makes several points about the links between tax havens and the financial crisis, many of which TJN has proposed before. See here, and follow the link to the original report.
  • Nicola Liebert of TJN-Germany and Axel Troost of the German Bundestag examine the links between tax haven and the economic crisis here, March 2009.
  • March 2009: TJN’s Action Program Ending the Offshore Secrecy System.
  • GFIP report on the economic crisis and offshore, Feb 2009
  • William Brittain-Catlin examines the links between offshore and the financial crisis.
  • Christian Aid report on The impact of the financial crisis on the developing world
  • Jim Stewart’s investigation into the role of tax havens and tax and regulatory competition in Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre  here (and the editorial in the same document gives additional analysis.)
  • TJN’s submission to the UK Treasury Committee on offshore financial centres, here, followed by a series of blogs: Part 1 – Part II – Part III (what to do) – Part IV (nation states and global governance.) This has been followed by a blog looking at fragmented financial architecture, and a look at the role of accounting in all this.
  • Several political leaders supporting TJN’s analysis, here (a top US senator, Carl Levin); here(French Prime Minister); here (French president)
  • Other commentators, such as here (UK focus, by Willem Buiter); here (Sunday Herald analysis); here (TV debate on tax havens and tax competition); here (the FT); here the IMF and the OECD recognising the problem); here (a former top banker); here (a legendary US crime-fighter).
  • Prof Sol Picciotto looks at a case study involving Bermuda and a credit derivatives swaps company here.
  • In addition, note the role that illicit flows have played in macroeconomic imbalances that built up ahead of the market disruptions. Click here, and watch this space for more.
  • Richard Murphy gives an example of how offshore incentives interact with executive remuneration (May 2008).
  • TJN’s article that appeared in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, written by John Christensen and Richard Murphy.
  • June 2008 – Creating Turmoil – TJN’s submission to the UK Treasury Select Committee

Finance Curse

Dec 2013 – How the UK left was captured: the case of Policy Network.

May 2013*HIGHLIGHT*  The Finance Curse: How Oversized Financial Sectors Attack Democracy and Corrupt Economics. Free pdf and Kindle versions.

June 2013 – David Ricardo, “competitive” banking and the Finance Curse

June 2013  – How corporate interests captured tax policymaking in the UK – Prem Sikka. For full details, see Richard Brooks’ book The Great Tax Robbery

June 11, 2013 – ‘Financialization’ as a Cause of Economic Malaise. Bruce Bartlett, New York Times. With additional commentary here.

Sept 2013Tax Justice Focus: The Finance Curse

May 2013The Finance Curse: an introduction

Finance: race to the bottom

See more here.

The enablers: accountants, bankers, lawyers

Dec 2013 – Hamstrung SFO not capable of holding bankers to account – Prem Sikka

Nov 20, 2013 – Time to clean up: how Barclays promotes tax havens in Africa. Original here.

Jan 3, 2013 – Robert Mazur in NY Times re HSBC case: the only solution is to jail the bankers. Original here.

Dec 11, 2012 – Senior HSBC bankers should face jail for the bank’s role in laundering drugs money; fining the bank won’t work. Global Witness

Dec 11, 2012 – Britain could end these tax scams by hitting the big four – Guardian

Dec 8, 2012 –  Despite evidence of fraudulent schemes, no firm has ever been disciplined by any professional accountancy body – Prem Sikka

Oct 2012 – Financial Secrecy, Banks and the Big 4 Firms of Accountants. A look at patterns of their representation in secrecy jurisdiction.

July 2012 – Explaining capital flight: the role of intermediaries.

Feb 16, 2012 – FATF takes big step, includes tax evasion as money laundering offence. Originalhere.

Sept 21, 2011 – The Pin-stripe Mafia: How Accounting Firms Destroy Societies, Association for Accountancy and Business Affairs

July 21, 2011 – Swiss adviser Sinenberger charged in tax fraud tied to UBS – Reuters. See alsohere, and TJN summary here.

April 3, 2011  – How US’ Wachovia bank laundered billions from Mexico’s murderous drug gangs – Observer.

Aug 2010 – New York State Bar Association determination on whether it is acceptable to assist foreign illegal or fraudulent activities – TJN blog.

Dec 17, 2008 – Three individuals convicted in KPMG tax shelter case – NY Times.

Aug 29, 2005 – KPMG admits to criminal wrongdoing in a fraud that generated at least $11 billion dollars in phony tax losses for wealthy clients – U.S. IRS. See details of KPMG sheltershere.

Jan 2004 – U.S. Senator Carl Levin: “Our investigation revealed a culture of deception inside KPMG’s tax practice.”


Key Reports

Jan 2011 – Report on proposed reforms to dealing with intermediaries – European Journal of Law and Economics. Original here

Aug 2010 – Where 4 Art Thou? A geographic study of the Big 4 firms of accountants

March 2009 – Undue Diligence: How Banks do business with corrupt regimes – Global Witness.

Sept 2007 – TJN recommendations, including on intermediaries – TJN

2005 – The Blood Bankers: Tales from the Global Underground Economy, James S. Henry. A forensic investigation into the world of offshore banking, with particular (but not exclusive) focus on Latin America.

July 2004 – Money laundering and foreign corruption: the case of Riggs Bank. US Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Latest Blog Posts

  • 26Jun

    What is the City of London’s Finance Curse?

    We recently blogged on how the Finance Curse is expected to tighten its grip on the British economy in the coming five [...]  Read More →
  • 21Jun

    European Commission targets tax avoidance ‘enablers’

    The European Commission has just published its proposals for rules for tax advisers and related intermediaries which will [...]  Read More →
  • 05Jun

    How Global Audit Firms Are Using Their Lobbying Clout to Dilute Sarbanes-Oxley Reforms

    The dirty world of tax evasion and avoidance involves all sorts of unpleasant and anti-social characters, none more so than [...]  Read More →
  • 31May

    Newly launched Tax Justice UK assesses party manifestos in UK’s ‘snap’ general election

    We’d like to share with you a press release from the newly launched Tax Justice UK for immediate release:  Read More →
Back to Top