Taxcast: Financial Secrecy Index: Who Are the World’s Worst Offenders?

Yves here. Hope you enjoy this month’s Taxcast! If you’d like to listen to it offline, you can download it here.

Originally published at Tax Justice Network

In this special extended Taxcast, Naomi Fowler takes you on a whistle-stop guided tour on an express train around the world with some of the Tax Justice Network team, looking at the worst offenders selling secrecy services according to the latest Financial Secrecy Index results What can nations can do to protect themselves and their populations from financial and legal secrecy?

Featuring: John Christensen, Moran Harari, Rachel Etter-Phoya, Andres Knobel, Alex Cobhamof the Tax Justice Network. Produced and presented by Naomi Fowler, also of the Tax Justice Network.

The Financial Secrecy Index was first published in 2009. So we now have over 10 years of data to draw on…and it shows that civil society can really make a difference.

Non-OECD countries should recognise that OECD member States are only interested in protecting their own interests and cannot even begin to pretend that they are representing the interests of the rest of the world. So if the non OECD member States, in other words, the rest of the world, want to become rule makers, not rule takers, then they need to reject the pretensions of the OECD member States to be the rule makers. We need a global, legitimate rule maker. And ideally it should be the United Nations that takes on the role of making the rules for the whole of the world.

~ John Christensen

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4 comments

  1. Susan the other

    This was great. Thank you Yves. “Puttin’ on the Ritz” says it better than any other national music. When they did Africa with all it’s powerful harmonies or the EU with its symphonies or Asia with its curious non-music, it was descriptive – but Puttin’ on the Ritz was as salient as slang. Not surprising that we here in the US are slinging slang all over the place – financially. And of course our favorite cousins, the UK, are too. I sense a complicated new dimension entering the non-world-war we are waging. If the EU (a sleeping power house)’m has decided to come clean, while maintaining their bizarre decorum, then it truly complicates who controls the world. I’m considering placing my bet on the EU. But time will tell. And I’m thinking at this point that the political focal point, the crux on the ground, for this conundrum is Turkey. Why else is it so completely illogical? But that’s an aside. This Taxcast was great.

    Reply
  2. smoker

    Thanks for that.

    For those, like myself, with very slow access which prevents video use, this page is insructive.

    The Cayman Islands are in the number one spot, the US, the number 2 spot, with the following qualification footnoted regarding that number one spot:

    British Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency. If the UK and its network of Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies were treated as a single entity, this UK spider’s web would rank first on the index.

    Reply
  3. RBHoughton

    I managed 15 minutes, thanks. TJN mention New Hampshire’s private foundations and the trusts in Delaware, Nevada and South Dakota that are tax exempt. There was a provocative section at the end of the book “Moneyland” which mentioned financial institutions will employ a few hundred people in a state provided that state government exempts their business from tax but that was not mentioned. Perhaps it was addressed later.

    I am grateful for the advice that 22% of the global market in offshore financial services is controlled by US banks. That seems to link naturally with the advent of tax avoidance schemes in the continental USA. It also follows the required disclosure by Treasure Islands of their biz which suggests the Treasure Islands business is transferring to America. That should greatly increase the velocity of the USD in its travels.

    Reply

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