Monday, March 07, 2011

Links Mar 7

We know what to march against on 26 March; here's what to protest for The Guardian
Mar 6 - George Monbiot comments on campaigning for tax justice. "We must close the tax gap. Tax avoidance and evasion are the preserve of the very rich: only millionaires and corporations can afford the specialist advice required to disguise their earnings." Richard Murphy comments here.

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable calls for fines on firms failing to disclose tax havens Daily Mail
Mar 5 - Martin Hearson, of our friends at ActionAid, commented 'We want to see an informed debate about tax avoidance in the UK and in developing countries, and we're pleased that across Government the momentum is building for more corporate transparency.'

Argentina: Agricultural corporations cross with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez and justify tax evasion
Tiempo (In Spanish)
Mar 3 - Just 24 hours after President Cristina Fernandez affirmed that corporations no longer manage the government, one of the biggest players in the corporate sector, agriculture, demonstrated clear signs of unwillingness to accept the loss of power and influence. According to President Fernandez, the agricultural sector contributed just 2.8% of total taxes paid by all economic activities. Hat tip Markus Meinzer

See also:
Major agricultural exporters accused of tax evasion in Probe Targeting Argentine Exporters Bloomberg Mar 4 - On probe revealing ADM, Bunge, Cargill, Toepfer dodging possibly billions - Exporters "used tax havens and financial operations abroad” to evade taxes. Argentina is the world’s second-largest exporter of corn and the third-largest soybean shipper.

Open Book Test Financial Times

Mar 6 - More from the FT on the need for country-by-country reporting in the extractive industries. See also Richard Murphy's comments

UK encourages tax evasion via Eurobonds Treasure Islands
Mar 7 - Nick Shaxson reports on how Eurobonds are major vehicles for tax avoidance and evasion. A new report from the UK Treasury is brazen in its explanation for why this particular loophole is granted.

Greece angered as Moody's cuts credit rating again The Guardian
Mar 7 - Moody's criticised the country for failing to tackle its culture of "endemic tax evasion". See also Moody's slashes Greek debt rating by three notches Financial Times Mar 7 - "Moody’s has slashed Greece’s credit rating by three notches, reducing the country’s bonds to “highly speculative” status. ... Moody’s lead analyst for Greece, said there were continuing difficulties with tax collection.” See TJN on Tax Havens at the Core of the Greek Crisis

Turner: Liberalisation may have been a failure Global Financial Strategy News

Mar 3 - Britain's top financial regulator recognises that keeping Big Finance on a tight leash does not mean sacrificing high growth, writes Nick Shaxson, author of Treasure Islands.

Former Wegelin Banker Held by FBI Admitted to Aiding Tax Evasion Bloomberg

Mar 6 - More breaks in bank secrecy. 'Though he knew that travel to the U.S. was risky, the banker was lured there with a promise of “exciting business contacts” by a business partner’s wife who was working with the FBI.' Those wanting to believe their stashed funds will remain secret, possibly not sleeping so well at night. See also Former UBS Client Sentenced for Hiding Millions in Offshore Bank Accounts U.S. Department of Justice Mar 4.
Still, we continue to ask 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 Miami is a private banking center geared towards Latin America. Read exposure in Treasure Islands.

Why Isn't Wall St. In Jail? Democracy Now and Rolling Stone

Feb 22 - Matt Taibbi reports. "A veritable mountain of evidence indicates that when it comes to Wall Street, the justice system not only sucks at punishing financial criminals, it has actually evolved into a highly effective mechanism for protecting financial criminals. This institutional reality has absolutely nothing to do with politics or ideology — it takes place no matter who's in office or which party's in power."


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