Monday, May 21, 2012

Links May 21

Files close on BCCI banking scandal Guardian
May 17 - 
BCCI, story of massive-scale money laundering, bribery, blackmail and organised crime, operating through a global secrecy network - TJN Senior Advisers Prem Sikka and Jack Blum were central players in bringing this case to light, see here.

Luxembourg Defends Savings Tax Opposition Tax-News
May 21 - "Luxembourg’s Finance Minister Luc Frieden defended his decision to block the European Commission’s plans to negotiate new and stronger savings tax agreements with third countries, insisting that given recent developments, the automatic exchange of tax information is not necessarily the only solution to combating tax evasion." Hat tip: Offshore Watch.

U.S. Nonprofits, Businesses Call For End To Corporate Secrecy Wall Street Journal
May 16 - Corruption Currents blog on the letter sent by 41 business and civil society groups to every member of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate urging them to co-sponsor the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act - see here.

Travers: Cayman under attack Cayman 27

May 17 - "The chairman of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange jumps to the country’s defence after a scathing attack in the New York Times. Former Manhattan District Attorney, Robert Morgenthau, slammed Cayman and other off-shore financial jurisdictions like Bermuda in an opinion piece."

Activists rubbish tax rate calls MorningStar

May 20 - " Tax campaigners poured cold water on yet another attempt to revive calls for a single rate of tax which will benefit the rich at the expense of the poor." Read comments from TJN Director John Christensen.

'Compliant confidentiality' not secrecy an advantage for smaller jurisdictions Investment Europe

May 18 - "Regulatory arbitrage is working in reverse in markets such as the Channel Islands, Gibraltar and Malta, as authorities seek to create a more competitive environment away from traditional centres of secrecy such as Switzerland."

Authorities brace for fight against mafia swissinfo
May 18 - "Switzerland is appreciated by the Mafia because of its 'economy and financial centre as well as its infrastructure', according to the Swiss Federal Prosecutor."

Global Regulators Seek Solution to Regulatory, Financial Challenges CRI English
May 17 - On the signing of a Multinational Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU) said to be "the "preemptive standard" for international enforcement cooperation and information sharing ...The MMoU provides a mechanism through which securities regulators share essential investigative material, such as beneficial ownership information and transaction records, including bank and brokerage records. It sets specific requirements for the exchange of information, ensuring that no domestic banking secrecy, blocking laws or regulations prevent the provision of enforcement information among securities regulators."

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