Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Links Jan 31

Bank client emails in the hands of US swissinfo
Jan 31 - The recent developments being reported here are very significant. The perpetuation of Swiss banking secrecy (and secrecy offered by other jurisdictions), has relied on an assumption of impenetrability which is now being eroded.

See also:
Sensitive Swiss bank data handed to US swissinfo

Jan 31 - "The Swiss finance ministry has confirmed that encrypted data relating to Swiss banks’ clients in the United States has been transmitted to the US tax authorities ... Full access to the information, with names of client advisors, will only be provided on a case-by-case basis or when a tax agreement is in place between the two countries, the ministry said."

See also:
Swiss banks hand over encrypted data in U.S. tax row Reuters

Jan 31 - "Switzerland has handed U.S. authorities encrypted data on bank employees who served American clients suspected of dodging taxes, and will only provide the key to decipher them once a tax row is settled, the finance minister said."

See also:
Secrecy hampers money laundering fight swissinfo

Jan 30 - "The Swiss Money Laundering Reporting Office (MROS) is obliged by law to hold back information from its foreign counterparts. The government has now come under international pressure to change this situation..."

And for another view of Swiss banking:
Clean Money Please swissinfo

Oct 2010 - See this video on an alternative bank that "sets high standards for sustainable and ethical business". A director of the bank, formerly with UBS, says: "It's also up to the client to check how precisely a bank defines its sustainable policy, to make sure it's not just a marketing tool." The piece observes how names of clients with loans and their purpose are published, that is, no secrecy.

Offshore Accounts: Insider’s Summary of FATCA and its Potential Future Social Science Research Network

Jan - An article written by one of the architects of FATCA. Note:"The long-term success of FATCA may depend upon whether the US can convince other countries to adopt a similar system, or better yet, join with the US in developing a multilateral FATCA system."

Argentina: Jorge Gaggero, "Tax reform requires great political conviction, strong reformist spirit and ability to develop broad social consensus." Interview with renowned economist of the Phoenix Plan. Initiativa

Jan 27 - "Before you ask, 'What reforms do we need?', we must ask 'why?'. First, to redress levels of inequality in our society, then to give resources to strategic stability and sustainability. Therefore the costs are to be financed with the resources collected." Hat tip: Bruno Gurtner. See also recent piublication by Jorge Gaggero with José Nun on Inequality and Taxes.

U.S. Introducing the `Pay A Fair Share Act’ Washington Post

Jan 31 - "[Sen.] Whitehouse clarified that the proposal — the first concrete legislative vehicle for implementing the “Buffett Rule” — will not tamper with existing tax rates. Instead, under the proposal, those making more than $1 million a year would be required to calculate their overall tax rate, taking into account all their income and the full sum of what they pay in taxes. If that amount adds up to less than 30 percent, they would be required to make up the difference."

Amazon, fast-growing bully Treasure Islands

Jan 31 - Nick Shaxson observes: "again and again throughout history, we find that the most aggressive players in the field of anti-competitive behaviour always seem to be the ones that work hardest to reduce their tax bills through offshore shenanigans."

Lord Ashcroft: BBC on new tax haven scandal Treasure Islands

Jan 30 - On a BBC Panorama programme, "featuring the Turks and Caicos Islands, that financially unclean British Overseas Territory which was taken over by the British government a couple of years ago when the corruption spilled just too far out of control, it is a good in-depth investigation into an episode that raises uncomfortable questions about British parliamentary democracy." Nick Shaxson speaks in the programme.

European Soccer Ruling Body Asks U.K. to Probe Funding of Porto Transfer Bloomberg
Jan 31 - "European soccer ruling body UEFA is asking U.K. authorities to investigate two so-called letterbox companies that helped Porto (FCP) fund a player transfer ... 'We are urging state authorities to look into it,' UEFA Secretary General Gianni Infantino said. 'Because we are a private company, an association, we cannot go to a company when it is a letter box saying ‘please tell us who you are and what you’re doing.’ They will tell us: ‘Who are you to ask me?’”


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