Friday, September 04, 2009

Offshore centres not facing imminent G20 sanctions

As Reuters reports:

"Finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations meeting in London this week are unlikely to slap tough sanctions on prominent offshore centres like Switzerland after several committed to cooperate more on tax evasion."

And an OECD spokesman added:

"The possibility of eventual sanctions on jurisdictions that fail to meet the standards of transparency and exchange of information is still open, but it is not on the immediate agenda as what is at stake now is to enable all jurisdictions that wish to do so to press ahead with the process of compliance," an OECD spokesman said on Thursday."

Which makes the recent "Mission Accomplished" claims of the OECD head Angel Gurría look all the more laughable. As Philip Stephens notes in the Financial Times, in an article entitled The Global Consensus is Starting to Crack,

"The novelty is wearing thin. The eager anticipation and diplomatic hoopla that attended the London summit has given way to a certain weariness ahead of this month’s gathering of the Group of 20 leading nations.
. . .
The financial crisis produced one of those rare moments when leaders recognised a coincidence of national and collective interests. But it was a moment
. . .
When the leaders last met, many saw a risk that the global financial crisis could yet trigger a 1930s-style depression. For once, a summit communiqué actually mattered. But the point of maximum danger has passed."

The overall message: political will is flagging. Time for right-thinking people around the world to start reminding their politicians of where the real problems lie.

And as if that was not bad enough, there is also this (scroll to the bottom for the key point) to remember.


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