Monday, October 08, 2012

How companies from UK, tax havens, pour cash into US elections

Cross-posted with the Treasure Islands blog:

The Guardian has an interesting story entitled How British companies pour cash into the American elections, which starts like this:
More than one in five of Britain's largest corporations are channelling political donations to favoured candidates ahead of next month's elections in the US – though these sums may be only the tip of a new campaign-financing iceberg, according to leading politicians, judges and pro-transparency watchdogs.
Although only US citizens (and immigrants with green cards) can contribute to federal politics, the US divisions of foreign companies can form political action committees (PACs) and collect contributions from their American employees. Typically, the PACs are staffed by company lobbyists and distribute campaign contributions in line with the company's lobbying agenda.

I have looked into the data from the Center for Responsive Politics, and the table below outlines the sums involved. British companies are the biggest contributors, wth

Out of US$12.8 million donated in this election cycle, $3.6m come from British companies, followed not too far behind by Swiss companies, with $2.0 million. Various other contributions come from tax havens including Bermuda, the Netherlands, Singapore (if you don't think these jurisdictions are tax havens, then click on the links I provide in the table below). Note that this is not a full picture: this is just foreign PACs. (Just think of e.g. all those Cayman-based hedge funds which are major donors to US politics but aren't on this list.)

Given that the UK is, as I have frequently explained, responsible for about half the world's tax havens, and has many characteristics of a tax haven itself, this means that just for these PACs, $6.6 million - or more than half the total come from what one might call the offshore world.

Switzerland Total Dems Reps




ABB 500 500 0
ACE 232500 98000 134500
Nestle 8000 2000 6000
Credit Suisse 423500 203000 220500
Zurich financial 149700 29750 119950
Genetech 234000 114500 119500
Roche 39500 28000 11500
Nestle waters 14000 12000 2000
Swiss Re 1000 0 1000
Syngenta 185000 58500 126500
UBS 610000 263000 347000
Zurich Ins 134500 61500 73000
TOTAL 2032200 870750 1161450




UK


AstraZeneca 562,952 256452 306500
Cobham 126200 29500 96700
Commonwealth Altadis 70500 15000 55500
Diageo 80208 44711 35497
HSBC 170500 67500 103000
Medimumme 67000 36000 31000
National Grid 98400 71900 26500
Serco 57400 16500 40900
Smiths 52500 15500 38750
Citizens / RBS 135250 105750 29500
Greyhound 13500 8500 5000
Aviva 6500 4000 0
BAE Systems 609750 237500 372250
BP 135000 39500 95500
Burston/WPP 53250 25750 27500
Experian 320000 72000 248000
GKN 500 500 0
GlaxoSK 425250 211000 214250
Hill/WPP 2000 2000 0
Jackson/Pru 136179 20000 116179
Kenecott/Rio 14000 4500 9500
SAB Miller 121500 23500 98000
Rolls Royce 226250 57000 169250
Tate Lyle 18500 3000 15500
Wexler/WPP 102500 42500 60000
Willis 15500 0 15500
TOTAL 3,621,089 1410063 2210276




Singapore


APL 35500 6000 29500




Luxembourg

ArcelorMittal 53500 26000 27500




Bermuda


Axis 3000 2000 1000
Bacardi 13000 6500 6500
Covidien 194800 73500 121300
Weatherford 7500 0 7500
TOTAL 218300 82000 136300




Netherlands


Aegon 170000 88500 81500
Carmeuse 10500 3000 7500
EADS 168500 65500 103600
Heineken 29500 12000 17500
ING 88500 48000 40500
Louis Dreyfus 38500 4000 34500
Phillips 113,404 22994 90410
Shell 27500 2500 25000
TOTAL 646404 246494 400510

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