Monday, October 20, 2008

Carl Levin on Regulating Offshore Jurisdictions

US Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (among several other roles), has issued the following statement:

“As global leaders meet to strengthen international financial regulation, it is urgent that they address the secretive and largely unregulated world of offshore jurisdictions.

By offering financial services built around secrecy, minimal taxation, and hands-off regulation, the offshore jurisdictions promote tax evasion and undermine transparency, government oversight, and the rule of law. Offshore jurisdictions routinely unleash anonymous corporations, hedge funds, trusts, and other financial entities on the world, and hinder international efforts to detect, stop, and punish misconduct. Inaction by the international community has encouraged an alphabet of countries to engage in offshore abuses, from Austria to the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Singapore, Switzerland, and more.

It is long overdue for the world community to take a collective stance against the offshore jurisdictions’ secretive, unregulated way of doing business. The nations of the world must adopt mechanisms to bar uncooperative offshore financial institutions from accessing international financial systems. We can fight back, and I hope the United States will take a leadership role in the overdue effort to combat offshore abuses.”


As we have been saying, all along. Look at this from Jack Blum, a TJN Senior Adviser, for some idea of what he's talking about. Now read this sentence again from Levin:

"The nations of the world must adopt mechanisms to bar uncooperative offshore financial institutions from accessing international financial systems."


Quite right. It can be done. Levin, a Democrat, is co-sponsor, along with Senator Barack Obama and Norm Coleman, a Republican, of the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act. Which contains more good stuff.

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