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Tax Justice Network Report 2012 Highlights

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Tax Justice Network Report 2012 Highlights

Sat, 29/09/2012 - 16:42
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Tax Justice Network

The price of offshore revisited (2012-report)

Highlights in regards to the elite’s vital players who make it all happen

“This pirate banking system now launders, shelters, manages and if necessary re-domiciles the riches of many of the worlds worst villains, as well as the tangible and intangible assets and liabilities of many of our wealthiest individuals, alongside our most successful mainstream banks, corporations, shipping companies, insurance companies, accounting firms and law firms.”

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“The secrets of the offshore industry have many levels of protection. First, of course, private bankers, haven lawyers and accountants get paid handsomely to hide their client’s assets, identities, and even behavioural patterns. Collectively, they also maintain influential lobbies.

Second, bank regulators and central banks of most individual countries typically view private banks as key clients. So they have long permitted the world’s top havens and banks to conceal the ultimate origins and ownership of assets under their supervision, especially those held in off-balance sheet, trusts and fiduciary accounts.”

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“While there are now over 500 private banks, hedge funds, law firms, accounting firms, and insurance companies that specialize in offshore, the industry is actually very concentrated. Most of its employees work directly or indirectly for the world’s top 50 private banks, especially the top 21 that now each have private cross-border “assets under management” of at least $100 billion each.”

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“Finally, from the ”pirate bankers’ market” perspective, what is perhaps most interesting about the new landscape of global inequality that we have uncovered is the recent emergence of a  true transnational private elite – a relatively tiny fraction of the  world’s population that shares surprisingly similar needs and interests from the standpoint of financial secrecy, banking services, taxes, and regulation.

It also means that as a group this transnational elite has, in principle, a strong vested interest in pushing for weaker income and wealth taxation weaker government regulation, more “open” markets, and weaker restrictions on political influence and campaign spending across borders with a huge “transnational haven army” of pirate bankers, law firms, accounting firms, lobbyists, and PR firms ready to do their bidding.”

*        *        *

“This industry has basically been designed and operated for decades, not by shady no-name banks located in island paradises, but by the world’s largest private banks, as well as leading law firms and accounting firms. All of these institutions are based, not in island paradises, but in major First World capitals like New York, London, Geneva, Frankfurt, and Singapore.”

Please read the Tax Justice Network’s report here.


Herman J Berge


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