Monday, January 05, 2009

Links - Jan 5

** Also see our permanent list of past story summaries; see Offshore Watch for more stories. **

Analysis: Clamping down on tax havens
Jan 5 (Standard) - The Evening Standard has examined how one of the world's biggest private wealth management groups circulates funds via offices in the Cayman Islands, claiming they take major investment decisions - when the main work is apparently carried out in London.

Aussie cops swoop in tax case
Jan 2 (Stuff) - Acting on a request from Australian authorities, The Jersey police's financial crimes unit swooped on Philip de Figueiredo, one of the principals of the Swiss accounting firm Strachans, the secretive tax haven specialists at the centre of the Wickenby investigations.

Can the US economy afford a Keynesian stimulus?
Jan 5 (Buiter / FT) - For the US, there will have to be some combination of higher taxes as a share of GDP or lower non-interest public spending as a share of GDP. . . . this implies the need for a future private to public sector resource transfer that is most unlikely to be politically feasible without recourse to inflation. The only alternative is default. . . . the scope for expansionary fiscal policy in the US is much more limited than president-elect Obama’s advisers appear to realise. An article that is not for the faint-hearted.

Tax Freedom Day for Goldman Sachs has already happened
Jan 5 (Tax Research) - Goldman Sachs paid tax at an effective rate of 0.6% in the year to 30 November 2008. If that is replicated this year that means that their tax freedom day fell on 2 January, but since most people weren’t around then, I thought I’d mention it now. And yet the Adam Smith Institute argue that Tax Freedom Day is on June 2nd.

Government prepares offshore bank account tax
Dec 11 (Times) - Savers with money in tax havens such as Guernsey and the Isle of Man could be forced to pay tax on their offshore bank accounts to fund a deposit protection scheme.


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