Monday, October 26, 2009

There is only one Global Financial Integrity

. . . and it is run by Raymond Baker and is based in Washington, D.C. It is curious that since GFIP started measuring the scale of illicit financial flows, another well-financed institution has popped up, sporting almost exactly the same name, and claiming to share the same sorts of ends as GFIP does: "governance," anti-corruption, "ethics and integrity" - and so on. This new body is called the Luxembourg Institute for Global Financial Integrity, and it promises to be churning out reports.

Do not be deceived - for this is a very different organisation, with very different aims, from GFIP. Look at its Board of Regents: three of four of them are top politicians from Luxembourg - one of the world's top tax havens -- and one of them is Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg Prime Minister, who not so long ago forced a television journalist to issue a craven public apology for having the temerity to question Luxembourg's penchant for bank secrecy.

Hat tip: Jérôme Turquey - who provides more analysis here. And if you want to see how secretive Luxembourg is, look here.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

LIGFI just sent a press release (http://www.abbl.lu/fr/articles/luxembourg-institute-global-financial-integrity-calls-members)that demonstrates once more it is a Luxembourg deceptive economic intelligence operation.

A couple of sentences want commenting:

1. LIGFI calls for banks, other financial services and service providers to the financial sector to join the association

They are not calling for for academics, NGOs… It is definitely a body for the business in the financial sector

2. Members will be called upon to financially support the LIGFI association through membership dues and/or grants

The fees are prohibitive and there is a dubious hierarchy by money that is not compatible with the spirit of ethics (See statutes: http://www.ligfi.org/documents/Statutes%20LIGFI.pdf).

The initial fee is fixed at EUR 10,000 for charter members. A charter member is a member recognized as committed at the highest level to the a.s.b.l., providing it with increased support and financial assistance (article 8 of the Statutes)

Charter members have eight voting rights each; public and private institutions have four voting rights each; financial sector and professional services have two voting rights each, and academe have one voting right each (article 28 of the Statutes)

3. Founded by private citizens from Europe and The United States

It is not accurate in the statutes, where founders and members of the board of regents are specified.
A private citizen is one who does not possess or exercise any authority or power of court, government, law enforcement, or military.

Lucien Thiel, Luxembourger, Member of Parliament of Luxembourg and Honorary Director of the ABBL, residing in Luxembourg is not a private citizen. He is the one who said last year: "It is not our tuty to control if the taxpayer was honest" (see http://www.lessentiel.lu/news/economie/story/16047281) and nothing has changed despite the agreements based on the OECD tax model.

Furthermore founders are quoted with their job title and company. Most of them are acting in the Luxembourg financial sector directly or indirectly.

Additionnaly members of the board of regents are definitely not "private citizens".
Jean-Claude Juncker, Honorary Chairman of the Board, is Prime Minister.
Lucien Thiel, Honorary Member, is member of parliament.

The day after the pre-announcement for the LIGFI “Luxembourg Monthly Finance Lunch” last week a new ALFI brochure was online: " Your bridge between Europe and China: Luxembourg" (see http://www.alfi.lu/index.php?id=71&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=122&tx_ttnews[backPid]=1&cHash=64954cb07c)

This brochures states page 2: "Shape regulation. An up-to-date, innovative legal and fiscal environment is critical to defend and improve Luxembourg’s competitive position as a centre for the domiciliation, administration and distribution of investment funds. Strong relationships with regulatory authorities, the government and the legislative body enable ALFI to make an effective contribution to decision-making through relevant input for changes to the regulatory framework, implementation of European directives and regulation of new products or services."

This confirms that nothing has changed: the financial sector goes on influencing public policies and laws/regulations to be enforced in the jurisdiction.


Jérôme Turquey
http://ethiquedesplaces.blogspirit.com

11:20 pm  

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