Death And Taxes: Half True For Wealthy Few On Earth.

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-8Alphabet The old saying goes that the only things we can be absolutely sure of are death and taxes. Every human being will die one day for certain, although some believe the soul goes on forever, but that’s a topic for another writing. So, at least from the generally held view of death where one stops breathing and all physical/bodily activity stops – yes, death is inescapable. But taxes are another thing altogether according to the men and women over at Tax Justice Network, and what their years of research have revealed is that, for some, taxes are not inescapable. What they’ve found to apply for some people around the Earth is that “the only (singular) thing we can be be sure of is death”.

It’s been some three or four years since the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) received, then released to the world, computer files on tens of thousands of account-holders using tax haven banks operating in the British Virgin Islands. High-level politicians in several countries became forced to resign, star athletes and famous Hollywood screen idols suffered major public relations scandals, and old money bazillionaires saw their cherished anonymity evaporate. The story went uber-viral and was widely reported in all corners of the planet, and many believed the decades-old, secret tax haven industry was facing a certain death, surely in a short elapsed period when those criminal banks were shuttered and stop all financial activity. You know, when they stopped breathing.

Tax havens are still very much alive and breathing.

Days after ICIJ’s bombshell leak, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and America’s President Barack Obama were giving a press conference after a scheduled meeting. The ICIJ leak had become such a massive global story that it was inevitable the story would come up, and right on camera in front of the world David Cameron spoke about how (paraphrasing) “we are going to eliminate tax evasion!… tax evasion is fundamentally unfair… totally unacceptable!… etc. – and so on…”  Old sayings like “death and taxes” hold much truth in them, but David Cameron’s feigned-outrage press statements four years ago relate directly to those old sayings: “talk the talk, but then walk the walk” and “don’t make promises you can’t (or know you won’t) keep”.

Since that bombshell leak four years ago, both developed and developing nations around the Earth have lost trillions of dollars in tax revenue due to the ongoing operations of the tax haven/evasion industry (and it is an industry, facilitated by the world’s most powerful accounting, legal, and banking companies), at the same time suffering the severe economic effects of the now world-recognized term austerity.

“The ability of multinational companies (MNC) to have subsidiaries in many different countries, including in tax havens, create the opportunity for MNCs to shift a lot of profit to those jurisdictions. As you know, whatever can be priced can also be mis-priced. So, as a result a lot of income that could normally be recognized in developing countries ends up being recognized in the tax havens, where the big MNCs have their subsidiaries.”

That statement describes only the tip of the iceberg with regard to the variety of complex, engineered financial products readily available for high-net-worth individuals and corporations wanting to escape “unavoidable, certain-for-all taxes”.

“It’s the sheer unfairness, that if you’re very rich, or if you’re a multinational corporation, you don’t have to pay tax automatically like the rest of us do. But it’s almost become a voluntary activity – you choose to pay. You don’t pay based on your income, based on the profits you make. And that just is felt to be deeply unfair.”

The City of London is the epicenter of the international tax haven industry, where financial engineering takes place resulting in sometimes perfectly legal, sometimes criminal, complex accounting schemes involving banks in British-controlled Cayman Islands, Jersey, British Virgin Islands, and other UK-enabled tax evasion jurisdictions.  The Queen’s head/image is on the stamps used by residents in these tax havens, so this corrupt financial industry receives the support of, and is encouraged, at the highest levels of the British government. Perhaps British Prime Minister David Cameron and Queen Elizabeth would conduct a joint public TV address to the people of England and the world, explaining just where the “honorable” process of eliminating “totally unacceptable, fundamentally unfair tax evasion” stands today.

People in nations around the Earth are anxiously anticipating such an address/progress report on tax haven elimination successes, and respectfully ask for more specificity than “we’re working on it”. U.S. Senator and candidate for President of the United States Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren have been outspoken on the issue of tax havens and tax evasion. The issue greatly affects Americans and people everywhere in the world, so all candidates for President must – either voluntarily or forced by taxpayers/voters – forthrightly share their opinions and potential solutions.

“The main hope of developing countries have to come out of the economic deprivation, the poverty, the lack of human rights, is to attract technology, attract investments, and to make decisions that are important for their economies. But, if in the process of doing so, developing countries have to give up their fiscal sovereignty, have to give tax concessions to MNCs to locate there, have to agree to coercive corporations and tax treaties, then it is not fair to the developing countries. And that’s why tax justice matters.”

“In the UK and Europe, especially, we’ve been facing years of austerity politics. We’ve seen our public services cut, and al because, as they repeatedly tell us, ‘there is no money’. But clearly, it’s just that companies are choosing not to pay tax, and governments are not doing enough to collect it.”

“The next big threat comes from tax wars. That is, the political pressure to compete on tax and regulation. The risk here is that of a global race to the bottom, which will destroy democracy.”

Join the global movement for tax justice at: www.taxjustice.net 

****

(Thank you to Tax Justice Network at YouTube)

Advertisements

Britain: The World’s Tax Evasion Capitol.

by Jerry Alatalo

cropped-suits-333.jpgAlphabet Tax evasion whistleblower Herve Falcioni produced evidence to the French government in 2008 containing the names of thousands of moneyed people from HSBC computers. Of those names, around 6,800 were of residents of Britain. In the seven years since, only one of those thousands has faced prosecution by British tax authorities. That is because Britain is a world “leader” in facilitating tax evasion, accounting for around 50% of the approximate 70-80 tax haven jurisdictions globally.

So, while the United States and European countries maintain crippling sanctions against Iran, Russia, Venezuela and other geopolitically-independent nations, Britain and the other 35-40 tax havens around the planet go on with their merry, massive tax-evading ways. So, all the remaining 6,799 Brits on the list of tax evaders need to do is wait until the statute of limitations runs out, with help from British government officials who have sat on their hands.

HSBC is the world’s second largest bank, based in Britain, and currently experiencing one more in a long line of scandals associated with illegal actions that run the gamut of crimes possible for large banks to commit. The firm supplies training manuals to its staff on how to violate U.S. tax laws for its wealthy clients and get away with it. For a period of ten years HSBC laundered illicit money for a Mexican drug cartel in the range of a billion dollars. The drug cartel has murdered more people than ISIS.

Those who follow non-prosecution of white-collar criminals in the financial industry remember U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s statements to Congress where he made a connection between prosecuting and jailing criminal banking executives to the consequences of doing so. Putting white-collar criminals behind bars would “damage the economy”, according to Mr. Holder. Worth noting is that Mr. Holder’s successor, Loretta Lynch, was the prosecutor in charge of the HSBC Mexican drug-money laundering case, and that no HSBC official went to jail.

Returning to the global tax evasion industry, facilitated by the world’s largest accounting and legal firms for decades simultaneously “in secret” while every aware politician knew about it, researchers have shown that more tax evasion “whistleblowers” have become prosecuted than actual tax evaders themselves. In the world’s tax evasion capitol of Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron could easily move for transparency in the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands and the remaining crown tax haven jurisdictions, but after seven years since the first massive revelations of their existence hit the international press he has done zero but talk before the media about how wrong tax evasion is.

While low-level criminals languish in prisons, many for drug-related crimes which harmed only themselves, white-collar criminals who’ve inflicted massive harm to the people and economies of their nations and nations around the planet walk the streets as free men and women. Unless those white-collar, “pinstripe mafia” members become prosecuted and jailed for their clearly repetitive criminal actions, a sufficient deterrent effect will not become manifested, and nations around the Earth will continue to lose an estimated combined trillion dollars every year to tax evasion.

Perhaps British Prime Minister David Cameron can meet with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and the Rothschild clan to come up with real solutions that offer precisely that deterrent.

Just saying…

****

For more information visit the Tax Justice Network’s website: www.taxjustice.net

Tax Justice Network Waiting For Queen Elizabeth’s Response.

Posted on August 24, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“Luxury and avarice – these pests have been the ruin of every state.”

– MARCUS PORCIUS CATO (234-149 B.C.) Roman statesman

aaa-20John Christensen sent a letter to Queen Elizabeth. In the letter he expressed his concerns about British crown colonies’ long-running status as “tax havens”, how tax evasion through those colonies is immoral, and suggested she do something to straighten it out. Mr. Christensen is director of the Tax Justice Network (TJN), a group of men and women focused on bringing the world’s attention to the decades-old tax evasion industry operated by the largest accounting, banking, and legal companies on Earth.

After listening to the group’s August radio program “Taxcast”, it looks like Mr. Christensen has yet to receive a reply from Queen Elizabeth to his letter. It is unfortunate that the work of men and women at Tax Justice Network is not more well-known, because the group has been successful to some extent in raising awareness on the very important topic of tax evasion – which continues to occur on a massive scale.

TJN members have taken on an entrenched, pervasive, and secretive global financial operation protected by the world’s most wealthy and powerful people. The battle they fight is truly a “David vs. Goliath” affair, one which involves accounting, finance, and legal tools/weapons that most people find difficult to understand. Tax haven jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Luxemburg, Switzerland, the state of Delaware, Hong Kong, and dozens of others around the Earth offer high net worth people and the world’s largest transnational corporations low to zero tax rates as incentive to stash money.

“Patriotic” politicians stand at podiums with rows of perfectly folded flags behind them – elected to office through the support of multi-billionaire tax evasion cheats – and continue to completely ignore tax havens while speaking publicly about the urgent need to “cut the deficit” and reduce taxes. All the while, nations around the world lose trillions of dollars in tax revenue every year, and political “lovers and defenders of their country” do absolutely nothing.

The most important facts surrounding the tax haven industry people need to become aware of is that, first, this is a global industry. Second, that any individual or family on Earth who has accumulated a large amount of wealth, along with every large corporation, most likely are involved in tax evasion through tax haven schemes. Third (as mentioned), the largest and most highly respected accounting, banking, and legal firms on the planet are deeply and intimately involved.  These firms are the “engineers” of the $multi-trillion tax haven industry.

So, while those belonging to the Occupy-coined group 99% will likely not be “stashing” any wealth into tax haven jurisdictions, the wealthiest people from all nations on Earth conduct “business as usual”. Tax evasion cheats continue on without any feelings of guilt over not “paying their fair share”, satisfied to protect and increase fortunes through complicated financial schemes, while their fellow elected-politician tax evaders remain silent.

The global tax haven/evasion industry rolls on full-steam ahead, free from any serious interference in the form of laws, sanctions, or effective blocking actions by politicians, almost “nuisance-free” but for moral economists like John Christensen and his friends at the Tax Justice Network, concerned academics in the fields of accounting, finance, and law, and politicians who’ve become aware of the industry – “the pinstripe Mafia” – and how loss of tax revenue hurts national economies and people everywhere.

So, if any person reading this sees John Christensen, please send along encouragement, words of support, and thanks for the good work and effort he and his dedicated group of men and women have undertaken. If he hasn’t received any response from Queen Elizabeth to his letter yet, pass along this suggestion. Get a group of men and women – a really big group – and pile up in cars over to her house.

Knock on the door and see if she’s home.

****

For more information, please visit: taxjustice.net

****

(Thank you to goingundergroundRT at YouTube)

Bilderberg Attendees Vow To Destroy Tax Havens. Not.

Posted on June 1, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.”

– THEODORE ROOSEVELT (1858-1919) 26th President of the United States

aaa-16The men and women who’ve attended Bilderberg 2014 will take no action to end the decades-old, global tax evasion/tax haven industry. If anything at all is done, it will be dramatic speeches which feign outrage against such an injustice, while resulting in more “working on it” and “we are studying the issue.” It’s astonishing to notice that in France, where Francois Hollande called for an end to tax havens – the only national leader to issue such a direct statement on the issue – that the right-wing in that nation won in recent voting.

Recently, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a plea-bargain agreement with Switzerland mega-bank Credit Suisse for an over 2 billion dollar fine for tax evasion efforts the bank carried out for wealthy American clients. Credit Suisse did not lose its license to operate in America, and none of Credit Suisse’s executives will spend a day in jail. Many journalists have compared the sentence of a woman Occupy protester to three months behind bars for elbowing a police officer to the lack of jail time/sentencing for any Credit Suisse executives.

And that comparison pretty much sums it up regarding the two-tiered criminal justice system on Earth. The U.S. Justice Department missed a tremendous opportunity to apply a real deterrent by holding Credit Suisse and its executives’ feet to the fire. The DOJ could have demanded the names of every American citizen who broke the tax laws with Credit Suisse’ help by threatening to take away their license to do business in America, but this may have been “a little embarrassing” for those Americans – so the monetary penalty option was chosen.

Perhaps more relevant than embarrassment would be worldwide publicity for the tax criminals, as well as even-more elite-distressing widespread awareness of the tax haven industry by men and women from that rapidly shrinking segment of the population that gets their “news” from the corporate media, 6-o’clock broadcasts. Could it be that the DOJ in America didn’t push all the way to obtain those Swiss tax-criminals’ names because keeping the names secret would avert an “American shit storm”?

Yes, it not only could be –  it was the reason.

How ironic that a woman – Cecily McMillan – who participated in protests against the “1%” on Wall Street – the same 1% represented by Credit Suisse and its American tax cheat clients – will spend three months behind steel bars, while Credit Suisse executives receive punishment the equal to average folks’ leaving a tip at the restaurant on Saturday night after the movie. Yes, it certainly is ironic, just like the Alanis Morissette song which gained popularity years ago.

(Thank you to A&E @ YouTube)

Perhaps there is some value in probing a little deeper into the contrast between Cecily McMillan’s “crime” and the criminal actions of Credit Suisse and its American clients. A good place to begin is identifying the motivation of the separate cases and individuals. Ms. McMillan had as a primary motivation the wish to help create a fairer, more just, and better world for all people everywhere. Credit Suisse and its clients were primarily motivated in breaking the law through evasion of tax payments, in the overall scenario where both clients and bank owners would increase the numbers in their respective bank accounts.

Ms. McMillan threw an elbow at another human being, the results of which, with regard to causing any permanent injury of any kind, are unknown. In the case of Credit Suisse, people will never know the true extent of monetary loss to the United States government because a lump sum, without investigation and accounting to arrive at an actual dollar amount, was the option “agreed on.” During the “decades” which Eric Holder told reporters was the amount of time Credit Suisse had engaged in tax evasion services for clients, how much money did the mega-bank make?

The settled-upon fine was a little over 2 billion dollars. Has Credit Suisse netted profits well over that amount in the past twenty or so years? Could their profits from tax evasion services been 20 billion, or 40 billion, or 100 billion? Let’s say it was 100 billion. Credit Suisse probably put that money through the years into interest-earning instruments, so the total amount from tax evasion services may greatly exceed 100 billion dollars.

According to James Henry of Tax Justice Network, the mega-bank’s stock rose in price after the plea-bargain arrangement was reached, so people can understand why one of Credit Suisse’ top executives said after the deal, “this will have trivial, minor effect on our performance.” And what offer did Cecily McMillan get so that she could pay a fine instead of going to prison? Was she ever offered a “plea-bargain”, the chance to fork over some cash and avoid jail-time?

As we compare the two different class-related cases, Ms. McMillan has a felony on her record, the Credit Suisse executives do not. Ms. McMillan didn’t embezzle the police officer’s bank account(s) to the tune of multi-billions of dollars, and she didn’t take a penny from the government accounts that hold funds for financing the United States’ food stamp program. Ms. McMillan didn’t take a penny from any university students struggling to pay their tuitions and living expenses. She never reached into anyone’s pocket and stole jobs held by teachers, police officers, or firefighters, or Veterans Administration physicians.

Ms. McMillan elbowed a law enforcement officer, but she didn’t steal billions of dollars from the United States government. She was never proven guilty of taking money from government accounts which paid for psychological treatment of veterans of wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, or Korea.

Now, who are the real criminals on this Earth? The 99% or the 1%?

For the answer turn your eyes toward Bilderberg.

****

Visit the Tax Justice Network

(Thank you to TheRealNews @ YouTube)