The Total Elimination - of Tax Havens -

A huge chunk of planetary wealth is simply unaccounted for. Rich people are hiding it in tax havens. There’s far more money in these havens now than there is actual currency in circulation: in excess of 30 trillion dollars.

Tax havens are the single biggest accelerant of global inequity. And most of the global banking system is in on the scam. The Panama Papers leaked in 2016 implicated 500 banks, which together had registered 15,000 shell companies with a Panamanian law firm.

This is a game played by Russian oligarchs, Middle Eastern inheritance-tax dodgers, arms dealers, scattered heads of state and tens of thousands of anonymous rich people trying to get even richer. “When it comes to the question of paying taxes,” the economist Gabriel Zucman says, “the rich have seceded from the rest of humanity.”

A crackdown on international evasion is difficult because it requires international co-ordination, but common sense tell us this would be by no means impossible. Effective legal instruments to prevent offshore tax evasion are incredibly simple, as the United States has shown with its crackdown on oligarchs linked to Putin’s regime. All you have to do is make it illegal for banks to enact transactions with territories that don’t comply with rules on tax transparency. That closes them down instantly.

So eliminating tax havens is actually pretty easy. The hold up is our gutless political leaders, under pressure from lobbyists, not getting on with it.

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