Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Quotes of the day - Van Ruymbeke

From Renaud van Ruymbeke, one of France's top investigating magistrates, from an interview published last year in the SudDeutsche Zeitung (hat tip: Markus Meinzer and the TJN-Deutschland blog.)
SZ: Has globalisation of financial markets makes your work difficult?

Ruymbeke: Buinesses have become so complicated that we investigators often have no chance. . .
It's an interesting interview, for those who read German (or a rough web translation of the story here) It has a particular focus on Luxembourg, a "European paradox" as he puts it, due to its being an EU founding member but also a hub for secret money. He also points the finger at Cayman and Switzerland in particular.


Blogger Physiocrat said...

He would presumably welcome LVT except that he would be out of a job altogether.

1:19 pm  
Anonymous TJN said...

Please explain how an investigative magistrate - whose job is to pursue fraud and all manner of other crimes - would be put out of a job by Land Value Tax? This seems like the Harry Potter fantasy school of LVT.

12:21 am  
Blogger Physiocrat said...

LVT operates on an open valuation list and cadaster. The bill is a percentage of the valuation. There is scope for dispute over the valuations but it is all comparative, so anomalies are obvious. Where is the scope for fraud? There isn't any. Even with the present property taxes in the UK and elswhere, fraud is unknown - it is as cut-and-dried as a tax could possibly be. So our magistrate would have next to no tax fraud to investigate under an LVT system. Where is the Harry Potter fantasy? Surely the fantasy is imagining that the taxation of mobile individuals and abstract coporate bodies that are a mere legal construct is a practicable proposition?

Why is it that governments are unable to learn this simple lesson? It doesn't even have to be LVT - they can re-balance their present tax systems and collect most of it from property taxes and reduce taxation on individuals and companies. Even the OECD seems to have grasped this general point even though their spokesmen are shaky on the details.

A fundamental principle of tax justice must be that goverments do not operate tax systems that leak like sieves.

12:38 am  
Blogger TJN said...

Your comment that LVT would put the likes of Van Ruymbeke out of a job, and "Where is the scope for fraud? There isn't any," is, quite frankly deluded.

For all the benefits of LVT, and as we have often said, it is a superb tax in many ways, nobody would make the claim - as you seem to be doing - that it would solve all crimes and frauds (which is the implication that stems from saying he would be out of a job). It might reduce tax crimes, perhaps. But all crimes?

2:50 am  
Blogger Physiocrat said...

LVT substantially gets rid of tax crimes. I am surprised that Van R. investigates, or is able to investigate, crimes of all descriptions. Tax crimes, like other frauds, need a specialist to investigate. That is why fraud is difficult for juries to deal with under the English system - the perpetrators are masterminds and usually clever enough to ensure that their frauds are legal!

Who is suggesting that LVT would lead to the disappearance of crime? However, criminal trading such as drug dealing has the definite advantage of giving rise to tax-free earnings.

3:00 am  
Blogger TJN said...

He would presumably welcome LVT except that he would be out of a job altogether.

"out of a job altogether" is what suggests, rather unequivocally, "all crimes." As to his roster of work, Van R is one of France's best known invesgigative magistrates. Take a look at his work, on Wikipedia or otherwise.

2:38 am  

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