Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Uruguay faces battle over secrecy reform

Uruguay is a significant Latin American secrecy jurisdiction, which our Financial Secrecy Index indicates as being rather murky (though it is fairly small in global terms, so it is only ranked 30th out of 60 on the index itself.)

We are glad to see that the government in Uruguay is trying to clean up a bit of the murk, as Reuters reports. But of course, they there are the vested interests to consider:
"The proposal has faced resistance from rightist lawmakers and banking groups in Uruguay, which is listed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on its "gray list" of tax havens. . . . Some opposition lawmakers have vowed to block the reform on the grounds that it infringes on the right to privacy."
The OECD standards are so weak that being on its grey list is evidence that things are very, very ugly in Uruguay. And who benefits from this "right to privacy?"
"Argentines are the biggest group of foreign savers in Uruguay, many of whom stash their money offshore to avoid paying taxes."
Let's hope the vested interests are faced down. And let's hope that the United States, which is undoubtedly the biggest recipient of dirty Latin American money, begins to clean up its act.


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