Nick Shaxson ■ Juncker’s hidden hand? EU tax haven blacklist omits Luxembourg
We have often remarked how international tax haven blacklists generally reflect the political powers and influence of nation states; as a result they tend to include ‘minnows’ but not the big fish. (Among other things, this means a lot of econometric studies resting on a baseline of nonsense.)
So The Guardian‘s headline yesterday illustrates our point exactly. We’ve partly plagiarised its headline Tax haven blacklist omits Luxembourg as Brussels announces reform plans, which kind of tells the whole story. Yesterday’s huge Walmart story involving Luxembourg just emphasises the point.
Now the EU list is here. Note a few other secrecy jurisdictions or tax havens that are absent.
Switzerland, for instance, ranked Number 1 on the Financial Secrecy Index (the only international ranking that does not use political criteria). The United Kingdom, which on some measures is the world’s most important. (They have, at least, tapped several UK Overseas Territories and Guernsey, but not Jersey. Take a look at this on Jersey). And, finally, what about the United States?
This blog, however, is really just an opportunity to reproduce a graph that we’ve deployed before, highlighting the role of the European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, as the architect of the abusive Luxembourg tax haven. Click to enlarge the graph.
We won’t tire of wheeling this graph out periodically as a reminder of what everyone in Luxembourg tax circles, and many Europeans, already know.