Readers may know that Nicholas Shaxson’s Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens, has created a big stir in the UK by shedding light on the scale of offshore banking and the numerous types of harm it does. We’ll be hosting a FireDogLake Book Salon tomorrow at 5 PM Eastern 2 PM Pacific.
Not only did I enjoy this book (it manages the difficult feat of being a lively and accessible discussion of banking and taxation), but it is certain to be one of the most important books of the year.
From the FDL overview of the book:
A thrilling ride inside the world of tax havens and corporate masterminds
While the United States experiences recession and economic stagnation and European countries face bankruptcy, experts struggle to make sense of the crisis. Nicholas Shaxson, a former correspondent for the Financial Times and The Economist, argues that tax havens are a central cause of all these disasters.
In this hard hitting investigation he uncovers how offshore tax evasion, which has cost the U.S. 100 billion dollars in lost revenue each year, is just one item on a long rap sheet outlining the damage that offshoring wreaks on our societies. In a riveting journey from Moscow to London to Switzerland to Delaware, Shaxson dives deep into a vast and secret playground where bankers and multinational corporations operate side by side with nefarious tax evaders, organized criminals and the world’s wealthiest citizens. Tax havens are where all these players get to maximize their own rewards and leave the middle class to pick up the bill.
With eye opening revelations, Treasure Islands exposes the culprits and its victims, and shows how:
*Over half of world trade is routed through tax havens
*The rampant practices that precipitated the latest financial crisis can be traced back to Wall Street’s offshoring practices
*For every dollar of aid we send to developing countries, ten dollars leave again by the backdoor
The offshore system sits much closer to home than the pristine tropical islands of the popular imagination. In fact, it all starts on a tiny island called Manhattan. In this fast paced narrative, Treasure Islands at last explains how the system works and how it’s contributing to our ever deepening economic divide.
You can participate in the discussion tomorrow via this link. Hope to see you there!