Thursday, December 16, 2010

Links - Jan 16

Some links for December 16, 2010

Europe warns Switzerland - EU Observer
European Union foreign ministers have issued a tough-worded warning to Switzerland that its relationship with the bloc is dysfunctional and must be radically changed. . . . . they suggested that it is time for Switzerland to decide whether it wants closer integration with the bloc or to be cast out into the market-access wilderness. See (again) Thomas Cottier's article in Tax Justice Focus.

India worries about illicit outflows - Calcutta Telegraph
The Indian government expresses concern over the “unmistakable trend” of private players parking money in overseas tax havens and low tax jurisdictions.

Middle Britain and the tax protests - Daily Mail
An excellent investigative story routed through 94 Baarerstrasse in Zug, Switzerland; Berkshire; Luxembourg (of course); Monaco, Jersey, that “the shameless strategy of tax avoidance continues in the world of big business, and the losers are the millions of hard-pressed taxpayers who are left to take up the slack.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. And Look at this extraordinary list of locations where protests are planned.

Tax revenues fall in OECD countries - OECD
Tax revenues as a share of GDP - the tax burden - are also trending downward across OECD countries to the lowest level since the early 1990s.

Tax dodging: what would Jesus do? - New Statesman
Were he alive today, Jesus would be leading the campaign to crack down on tax-dodging billionaires and multinational corporations. Hat tip: Offshore Watch.

U.S. prosecutors go after smaller Swiss bank - NY Times
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday accused a former UBS banker of advising wealthy American clients to avoid disclosing their hidden offshore accounts held at a smaller Swiss bank because they were unlikely to attract scrutiny from the United States tax authorities. He was arrested on Nov. 8 and was to appear in Federal District Court in Miami on Tuesday.

What Is Money?Paul Krugman. Looking at the arguments of the paleo-monetarists. The offshore Eurodollar market had a lot to do with central bankers’ loss of control.

Taxation and Democracy - Leadership (Nigeria)
On the implicit linkage between payment of taxes by citizens and the duty imposed on government at every level to institutionalise good governance.

Calling all accountants: the developing world wants YOU! - Financial Task Force
How can developing countries build capacity to shape these treaties in order to bring them needed revenue for public services? Multinationals have teams of accountants and lawyers. What kinds of resources do developing countries have? I asked an official at the OECD for his opinion on whether or not the OECD had plans for that kind of work. He denied that they did. He did suggest, however, that NGOs could play an important role in bringing together stakeholders, constituents, civil society groups, and expert accountants so that governments would have greater capacity to design treaties and implement tax systems to enhance their development.

Cyprus court delays verdict on Russian assets - Reuters
A court in Cyprus reserved judgement on Wednesday on whether to maintain a freeze on Russian assets worth $6 billion, including a stake in potash maker Uralkali (URKA.MM: Quote) and mining group Polyus Gold (PLZL.MM: Quote). Recently, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project "found not a few bad apples, but an entire industry willing to help organized crime launder illegal earnings, avoid taxes and hide from law enforcement."


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