Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for April 15th, 2011

The crooked wheel

Posted by Charles II on April 15, 2011

From DemocracyNow:

NICHOLAS SHAXSON [Author of Treasure Islands, reviewed by the London Review of Books here]: …One of the central messages of my book—and I explore the history of this in quite a lot of detail—is that tax havens have grown so fast in the era of globalization… there are 10—anywhere between 10 and 20 trillion U.S. dollars sitting offshore at the moment. Half of world trade is processed in one way or another through tax havens. It’s all around us, and it’s absolutely huge.

Part of that—part of that message is that the biggest tax havens in the world are not so much these little islands, but big, rich countries. The United Kingdom, my country, is one of the world’s most important tax havens. And right now in Washington, D.C., I’m sitting in one of the world’s biggest tax havens, as well: the United States. So, this is something we need to really reappraise, the whole geography of the system, and understand how important it is. And when we’re hearing figures of $100-plus billion lost to the U.S. taxpayers, I would argue that is just one aspect of the problem. The problem is much, much bigger. There are many, many other aspects to consider here….

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go to U.S. presidential politics. One of the leading Republican presidential contenders, Mitt Romney, has a history profiting from offshore tax havens.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Nicholas Shaxson, I want to ask you about the portion of your book that deals with the impact of these tax havens on the poor countries of the world. You say, at one point in the book, “Nearly every effort to generate large flows of capital to developing countries since the 1980s has ended in crisis because the money has escaped offshore. Towering inequalities in Europe and the United States, not to mention in underdeveloped countries, cannot be understood properly without exploring the role of secrecy jurisdictions. The systematic looting of the former Soviet Union, and the merging of the nuclear-armed country’s intelligence apparatus with organized crime, is substantially a story that unfolds in London and its offshore satellites.” You also talk about Saddam Hussein’s billions and the power of North Korea’s Kim Jong-il. Could you explain?

NICHOLAS SHAXSON: …Recent studies have indicated—in Africa, at least—that the private assets, the assets held by Africans, far outsee the debts of African countries. The difference is that the assets are held in private hands. …

Global Financial Integrity, which is a Washington think tank, in January estimated that illicit financial flows out of developing countries in 2008 added up to $1.2 trillion U.S. dollars into tax havens and rich world economies. …

NICHOLAS SHAXSON: OK, Rupert Murdoch. Now he—the last investigation into his tax affairs I’m aware of is one conducted by The Economist in, I think, 1998 or 1999, so we don’t have very updated data on him, but he had cut his tax rate down to six percent, when others were paying, you know, much higher rates. A recent Government Accountability Office report in 2008 estimated that News Corporation has 152 offshore subsidiaries, according to their definition of tax havens. So he is certainly a big player in the game. And when you have—you know, he’s not the only—obviously not the only media player using offshore tax havens; it’s very widespread. But when you have big players in the game defending this, then you have a big problem from the media point of view, as well.

So there you have it, folks. The rich people of this country have bought the Congress to lower taxes so they can do legally what they are doing illegally now, namely paying almost no taxes. And they own a media company to propagandize useful idiots like Chris to convince decent people to go along with this idiocy. It would be sad if such people weren’t such willing tools.

Posted in corruption, Rupert Murdoch, taxes | Comments Off on The crooked wheel

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on April 15, 2011

Oh, hello.

Rub my tummy.

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 4 Comments »

 
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