Thursday, July 30, 2009

TJN's congressional briefing and a bowl of jello

Recently we blogged a forthcoming Congressional Briefing by Jack Blum and Sarah Lewis of TJN-USA, alongside Raymond Baker of Global Financial Integrity and Bob McIntyre of Citizens for Tax Justice. We now have the document from the Congressional Briefing entitled Tax Evasion and Incorporation Transparency: Show U.S. The Money.

Like the Congressional Research Service briefing which complements it and which we blogged two days ago, the latest document contains a wealth of good material that helps counter the awesome quantities of spin that have been issuing recently from the well-resourced machinery of offshore, notably from Jersey, London, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

This blogger was talking to a wire journalist yesterday, who expressed a belief that the recent U.S. activism against UBS somehow marked, if not the death knell of offshore, a body blow. We at TJN are aware that while the new spirit of activism on the part of some governments is most welcome and useful, we haven't got very far yet beyond the pinprick stage. As Lewis, a highly experienced former private banker notes:

"Private banking is like a rock sunk into a bowl of jello: you press on one part, and you see an expansion in another direction. As UBS pulls back from taking on US clients, it is expanding its marketing push in Latin America and other regions, in developing nations in particular. As are other private banking operations. The scrutiny on UBS as a larger global institution can even provide a market advantage for the under-the-radar niche players.
. . .
The status quo nature of the business is maintained, even with obstacles placed in the way. The devious workaround is part of the private banking mindset."

Her short talk makes fascinating reading, very different from what you might normally read on this subject, either from TJN or from its many adversaries. Take a look, too, at Robert McIntyre's presentation on page six, highlighting the simple scams that heap taxes that corporations ought to pay onto the shoulders of ordinary Americans. Scroll down to page 25, where the section on Myths and Facts about Offshore Tax Abuses describes in common-sense unravels some of the nonsense that lies behind the anti-tax campaigners of the offshore system.


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