Monday, February 28, 2011

Links Feb 28

UK Uncut ire on RBS as protests spread to US The Guardian
Feb 27 - Celebrating the success of its first worldwide weekend of protests, the Uncut movement has promised more to come. "The banks' tax avoidance, reckless banking, and unjust cuts have become "international problems that need international action by ordinary people". See our blog Simple arithmetic. See further reporting in The Guardian.

South Africa's first TIEA is with Guernsey Guernsey International Finance Center
Feb 23 - Guernsey has signed a bilateral Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with South Africa taking the total number of TIEAs signed by the Island to 22. While positive news, we maintain that TIEA's are fig-leafism, see On exchange of information for tax purposes.

Boeing's Reward for Paying No Federal Taxes Over the Last Three Years? A $35 Billion Federal Contract
Citizens for Tax Justice
Feb 25 - A 2008 report from the General Accounting Office found that Boeing had 38 subsidiaries located in foreign tax havens. Bob McIntyre, executive director of Citizens for Tax Justice points out: “Throughout the competition for this lucrative federal contract, Boeing has tried to position itself as the company that supports America, but its shocking success in avoiding payment of US corporate income taxes tells a very different story.”

See also:
After winning tanker contract, Boeing questioned on tax bill The Hill Feb 26 and Boeing Pays NO TAXES - But Snags $35 Billion in Taxpayer Dollars Daily Kos Feb 25. Hat tip Scott Klinger.

BP sues for £300m of tax paid "by mistake" The Daily Mail
Feb 27 - BP " has 67 offshore subsidiaries, which the company claims are based around its operations. These include a number in tax havens such as Luxembourg, a country not known for oil gushers." See also BP claim threatens to reignite corporate tax row The Guardian Feb 27 and Richard Murphy's comments on Tax Research UK.

And for more on the corporatocracy:
Glencore prepares blockbuster listing The Daily Mail
Feb 28 - Mineral trading giant Glencore is this week laying the ground for a potential long-awaited float on the London stock market which could value the company at £37.5bn. Glencore was founded by Marc Rich, indicted for tax fraud. Tony Hayward, the former BP chief executive who quit over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, is tipped to serve as senior independent director. See Publicly funded Swiss company is dodging taxes in Zambia Feb 15 and BP rig was offshore in more ways than one May 15, 2010.

U.S. hunt for tax dodgers gathers pace
Financial Times and U.S. probe into tax evasion widens Financial Times
Feb 27 - "A US tax evasion investigation that has prompted charges against several Swiss bankers has expanded to include Israeli and Asian banks, according to lawyers close to the probe." But we ask the question, what does the U.S. imagine its private bankers from Citi and other U.S. based banks are doing for tax dodgers in other countries? And look at the plethora of private banking operations in the money center of Miami, gateway to Latin America. Read the exposure in Treasure Islands.

Tax Havens: stunting Latin American Development Eurasia Review
Feb 28 - Along with facilitating tax evasion and money laundering, the use of tax havens for legal tax avoidance is contributing to poverty in much of Latin America. Hat tip Offshore Watch. See also Latin America and the black hole of tax havens BBC Mundo (linked on Feb 12).

How dictators stash their cash 101 - a series by The Christian Science Monitor
Part 1: Qaddafi, Mubarak and others
Part 2: Swiss freeze Qaddafi's assets
Part 3: How can Egypt track stolen assets?
Part 4: Egypt, Libya not alone in losing assets

Theodore Greenberg, former chief of the money laundering section of the US Department of Justice, observes how " is often laundered through a web of legal entities and structures. It's like untying the Gordian knot. And the more you attempt to untangle one end, the more someone else is knotting up the other."

See also
Libya - Gaddafi's bilions to be seized by Britain The Telegraph
Feb 28 - And again we ask - why only do this now?, Why are the assets only "expected to be seized within days"? A British government source is quoted as saying: "This is definitely on the radar at the highest levels." See Hypocrisy and High Corruption Feb 14.

Cayman Premier: UK says no more borrowing
Feb 25 - The Cayman Islands three-year spending plan that states government will have zero “borrowing needs” in each of its next two budget years was forced upon it by the United Kingdom, according to Premier McKeeva Bush. See earlier TJN blog Cayman model not sustainable: former regulator Mar 20, 2010.

Lord Oakeshott: make banks declare corporation
tax The Guardian
Feb 25 - The former UK Treasury spokesman who resigned after criticising the government's handling of banking bonuses has called for companies to be forced to disclose how much UK corporation tax they pay. As Martin Hearson of our friends at ActionAid, in a letter to The Guardian Feb 28 says, "Matthew Oakeshott's proposal to make multinational companies disclose the corporation tax they pay in the UK is right on the money. ... But why stop at UK tax? British companies dodge taxes overseas too, costing developing countries billions."

Silvio Berlusconi back on trial as tax fraud court case resumes in Italy The Guardian
Feb 28 - Italian PM no longer immune from prosecution.


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