Posted on June 19, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
It’s been around three years since the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (icij.org) received, then released to the public, hundreds of thousands of bank records supplied by a whistleblower from the British Virgin Islands. The story quickly traveled around the world in the first large and important exposure of a decades old, massive tax evasion industry. ICIJ has created the world’s first searchable tax haven database for any person interested in researching by person, company, or nation – on the internet at offshoreleaks.icij.org.
After three years no actions have been taken to stop tax evasion on a colossal scale by literally every large transnational corporation, as well as every super-rich family on the planet. A trillion dollars = one million millions, and estimates are that 25-30 trillion dollars have been deposited in offshore tax haven jurisdictions around the Earth. The world’s politicians have, in the approximately three years since ICIJ’s bombshell release, talked a good talk about “corporations and wealthy people must pay their fair share of taxes”, but have intentionally not “walked the walk.”
Nothing has occurred to slow down or stop the world’s tax haven, avoidance, and evasion industry
Queen Elizabeth spoke to the British Parliament in the Brit’s yearly monarchy charade where she gave “my government” suggestions on a variety of issues, but conveniently failed to mention anything about “her government” allowing the City of London financial center to continue being the world’s foremost tax haven hub. The City of London is the #1 financial capitol on Earth, the center of a wheel with spokes that travel to half the tax havens in the world, and in 2014 there has never been more money stashed in tax havens.
The British Crown jurisdiction of the Cayman Islands has more money in its banks than all the banks in New York City and Wall Street. The Cayman Islands is but one of over 70 tax haven jurisdictions in the world. In the U.S. Congress, proposals have come forward which allows repatriation of trillions of dollars – tax-free – to bring the tax-evasion funds of American corporations and wealthy families back in-country, but no effort is made to tackle the tax evasion industry.
According to documentary filmmaker Mark Donne, whose film about the UK’s tax evasion industry “The UK Gold” has received rave reviews, “tax havens have become hardwired into the economic models”, and new laws, written by the same businesses that use tax haven subsidiaries instead of independent accountants, lawyers, and economists, have made it easier to evade taxes. David Cameron is seen and heard “talking tough on tax evasion” but the reality has been the exact opposite.
The City of London, just as Wall Street in the United States Congress, has a tremendously powerful influence on Britain’s democratic structures.
Mr. Donne says that, “the primacy of the City of London and its policy wins and is supreme.”
Changes have been cosmetic and actually strengthened the City of London, the largest unregulated, tax evasion, financial center on Earth, and the actual tax haven jurisdictions which are part of the City of London’s operations represent a 2nd empire – a second branch of foreign policy. Between 40 and 50% of the world’s financial activity runs through the tax haven network, with, as mentioned, tens of trillions of dollars parked offshore.
In America, politicians are essentially silent on this issue, while vocal about government spending and accountability, with frequent calls for reductions in spending on healthcare, education, roads, food security, bridges, and other forms of social-uplift investment/expenditures.
Mark Donne believes that a “seismic change needs to come, but I’m not seeing it anywhere.”
The $multi-trillion tax evasion industry has been quietly facilitated for decades by the world’s largest accounting firms, banks, and legal corporations and continues to operate with impunity. At the same time, thousands die every day of starvation and easily curable disease, poverty afflicts a large percentage of humanity, homeless veterans sleep under bridges in America, wealth inequality has turned democracies into oligarchies, “austerity” measures deteriorate national economies, government tax agency budgets have been slashed, and wars are fought to increase the amount of money tax cheats can stash offshore.
When will politicians, academics, religious leaders, and all concerned citizens around the world finally act to stop the hypocritical white-collar criminals of the tax haven/evasion industry?