your typical modern pirate enclave
That's what Al Jazeera discusses today in its "Europe" blog. But while they say that those $32 trillion are the equivalent to the US and Japanese GDP together, the reality is even worse: $32 trillion is more than half the planetary GDP and adds up for the economic value of the USA and the European Union in fact (ref.)
This pirate wealth belongs to some 10 million people (0.14% of World's population) and half of it is concentrated in just 100,000 wallets (0.01% of Humankind).
Those people do not pay taxes but benefit of laws tailored for their interests and the boot-licking support of governments, parliaments and tribunals almost directly appointed by them.
That's how the Global Capitalist Dictatorship works: that's the core of it.
The research was carried out for pressure group Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co.
John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network told Al Jazeera that he was shocked by "the sheer scale of the figures".
"What's shocking is that some of the world's biggest banks are up to their eyeballs in helping their clients evade taxes and shift their wealth offshore," said Christensen.
"We're talking about very big, well-known brands - HSBC, Citigroup, Bank of America, UBS, Credit Suisse - some of the world's biggest banks are invovled...and they do it knowing fully well that their clients, more often than not, are evading and avoiding taxes."
Much of this activity, Christensen added, was illegal.
A list to tax heavens belonging to EU states or associates (per the IMF):
- Member states:
- Associate states:
- San Marino
- British dependencies:
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Isle of Man
- Turks and Caicos
- Dutch dependencies:
- Sint Marteen
There are also a number of other states and dependencies which are considered tax heavens or, euphemistically, offshore financial centers: Anguilla, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Brunei, Costa Rica, Cook Is. (New Zealand), Dominica, Grenada, Hong Kong (China), Lebanon, Liberia, Macau (China) Marshal Is. (USA), Mauritius, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue (New Zealand), Palau (USA), Panama, Philippines, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Vanuatu.
A quite curious common element between most of these pirate enclaves is that they are product of British or US imperial policies, underlining the "anglosaxonness" of the extant capitalist imperial world order.