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Leaks reveal secrets of the rich who hide cash offshore

Leaks reveal secrets of the rich who hide cash offshore
Millions of internal records have leaked from Britain's offshore financial industry, exposing for the first time the identities of thousands of holders of anonymous wealth from around the world, from presidents to plutocrats, the daughter of a notorious dictator and a British millionaire accused of concealing assets from his ex-wife. The leak of 2m emails and other documents, mainly from the offshore haven of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), has the potential to cause a seismic shock worldwide to the booming offshore trade, with a former chief economist at McKinsey estimating that wealthy individuals may have as much as $32tn (£21tn) stashed in overseas havens. In France, Jean-Jacques Augier, President François Hollande's campaign co-treasurer and close friend, has been forced to publicly identify his Chinese business partner. It emerges as Hollande is mired in financial scandal because his former budget minister concealed a Swiss bank account for 20 years and repeatedly lied about it.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/apr/03/offshore-secrets-offshore-tax-haven

Related:  EconomicsParadis Fiscaux / Tax Havens

To End Extreme Poverty, Let’s Try Ending Extreme Wealth Apologists for inequality have a standard retort to anyone who calls for a more equal distribution of the world’s treasure. If you took all the wealth of the wealthy and divvied it up equally among all the poor, the retort goes, no one would gain nearly enough to accomplish much of anything. IMF chief Christine Lagarde told the world’s business elites in Davos last week that “the economics profession and the policy community have downplayed inequality for too long.”Oxfam International, one of the world’s premiere anti-poverty charitable organizations, would beg to differ. The world’s top 100 billionaires now hold so much wealth, says a new Oxfam report, that just the increase in their net worth last year would be “enough to make extreme poverty history four times over.”

Secret Files Expose Offshore’s Global Impact Dozens of journalists sifted through millions of leaked records and thousands of names to produce ICIJ’s investigation into offshore secrecy ­ A cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of politicians, con men and the mega-rich the world over. The secret records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists lay bare the names behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and other offshore hideaways. They include American doctors and dentists and middle-class Greek villagers as well as families and associates of long-time despots, Wall Street swindlers, Eastern European and Indonesian billionaires, Russian corporate executives, international arms dealers and a sham-director-fronted company that the European Union has labeled as a cog in Iran’s nuclear-development program.

Offshore tax havens - Interactive - CBC.ca Recent leaks of secret banking information have helped authorities around the world crack down on tax cheats who go offshore, resulting in billions of dollars recovered for the public purse. Now, in one of the biggest ever leaks of financial data, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has released data on a whopping 120,000 secret offshore entities in 10 different jurisdictions. Read more about how unscrupulous investors hire high-priced lawyers and financial advisers to move money offshore in the interactive below. Select the blue button to make choices and move through each step.

TEN MYTHS ABOUT CAPITALISM Capitalism in the neoliberal version has exhausted itself. Financial sharks do not want to lose profits, and shift the main burden of debt to the retirees and the poor. A ghost of the “European Spring” is haunting the Old World and the opponents of capitalism explain people how their lives are being destroyed. Post-growth: a green republican economy ‘The most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war but not the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and less wasteful.’ Wendell Berry, 1994, p.92. As Philip Pettit argues in his contribution to this series, republicans see the economy as a politically created arena of human activity, with an associated institutional infrastructure (such as the legal codes, tort, property rights, legal framework for economic enterprises, legal rules governing trade and exchange, etc.). It is neither ‘self-regulating’ or beyond legitimate political and democratic regulation and, where necessary, interference.

Toronto and the Offshore Leaks It probably wouldn't come as a surprize to many that rich people hide money in offshore tax havens for sinister and greedy purposes. Many often assume that with high-powered lawyers and complex financing agreements they have the money and means to do so. But walking by 3000 Yonge street, many Torontonians might be surprized at how easy it is for someone to dupe dozens of investors, partners, and the offshore banking industry itself.View Larger MapHow did a man living at Yonge and Lawrence manage to abuse senior investors, set up hundreds of shell companies and disappear with millions of dollars even screwing the company that helped him do it?

Lifts Veil on Offshore World WASHINGTON, DC – The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a project of the Center for Public Integrity, released today its first of many reports from a 15-month investigation that cracks open the historically impenetrable world of offshore tax havens. Drawing from a leaked trove of 2.5 million digital files, ICIJ led what may be the largest cross border journalism collaboration in history. Listen to the press conference given by ICIJ director Gerard Ryle, deputy director Marina Walker Guevara, and senior editor Michael Hudson, about the investigation.

Henry Ford, When Capitalists Cared IN the rancorous debate over how to get the sluggish economy moving, we have forgotten the wisdom of Henry Ford. In 1914, not long after the Ford Motor Company came out with the Model T, Ford made the startling announcement that he would pay his workers the unheard-of wage of $5 a day. Not only was it a matter of social justice, Ford wrote, but paying high wages was also smart business. When wages are low, uncertainty dogs the marketplace and growth is weak. But when pay is high and steady, Ford asserted, business is more secure because workers earn enough to become good customers. Mythbusters: “There’s nothing we can do about tax havens” May 16, 2013 // By: Stephen Reid Tax havens play a key role in facilitating tax avoidance, yet so far, few serious measures have been taken to prevent their operation. Fuelling this inertia are not one, but several myths: a book of fairy tales and fantastical claims telling us there’s nothing we can do to tackle the glorified accounting functions that are tax havens.

The Income-Inequality Myth As we listen to President Obama, Occupy Wall Street, and much of the mainstream media working themselves into a lather over inequality in America, one thinks of Harrison Bergeron, the 1961 short story by Kurt Vonnegut that posited a society based on perfect equality, “not only equal before God and the law … equal every which way.” The government employed a “Handicapper General” to ensure that no one was smarter, more athletic, or more productive than anyone else. Beautiful people were forced to wear masks, athletic people had to carry weights, and intelligent people wore radios in their ears to interrupt their thoughts with loud noises. Yet for all the sound and fury — and beating drums in Zuccotti Park — almost everything that people presume about inequality in America is wrong. For example, nearly all reporting on income inequality in America has suggested that the incomes of the rich have been rising, while incomes for the rest of us have been stagnant or even declining.

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