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message 1: by Héctor (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:54AM) (new)

Héctor A description of financial capitalism "The new capitalism" by Martin Wolf in:

message 2: by Héctor (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:04PM) (new)

Héctor About the total of Financial Assets in the world, to read "World's Assets Hit Record Value of $140 Trillion" in:

message 3: by Héctor (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:06PM) (new)

Héctor There is growing public concern about the social costs that tax avoidance and tax evasion are imposing on societies around the world. Offshore tax havens are a central part of this problem. Tax havens are shifting the tax burden from wealthier to poorer people and forcing governments to rely on more regressive forms of taxation. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions is warning of an impending global tax crisis due to tax competition and the role of tax havens in concealing income and profits from regulators and tax authorities. Offshore tax havens – now known by the more polite term "offshore financial centres," or OFCs – are today a deeply entrenched part of the global financial system. There are more than seventy OFCs in places such as the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jersey, the Isle of Man, Monaco, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Macao and a number of South Pacific islands. Most but not all are small island states. Some of the banking facilities based in these tax havens are little more than a computer in a closet, but most are subsidiaries of mainstream banks headquartered in London, Zurich, New York and Toronto. OFCs levy little or no tax on income or property, and provide minimal rules related to licensing and incorporation. Financial institutions and corporations can conduct their business without having a physical presence in these jurisdictions. Most importantly, OFCs guarantee anonymity so that their clients are beyond the scrutiny of tax authorities and regulators in their countries of residence. These characteristics have attracted corporations and wealthy individuals to move their assets offshore. In the early 1990s, the Bank of International Settlements estimated that total offshore cash holdings were five times the sum available to the world's central banks. In its 1998 World Wealth Report, Merrill Lynch reported that one-third of the wealth of the world's richest individuals, or US$11 trillion, was held offshore. Between 50 and 60 percent of all global trade is conducted through OFCs, and half the global monetary stock is estimated to pass through OFCs at some point. Statistics Canada reported that $88 billion of Canadian corporate assets were held offshore in 2003, mostly invested in Barbados, Ireland, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. For multinational corporations, OFCs provide opportunities for "profit laundering," carrying out transactions that assign profits and losses on paper according to where taxes can be minimized. Profit laundering is frequently done through offshore shell companies that have no function other than holding corporate assets. To conceal profits a company might transfer the ownership of patents, copyrights or other intangibles to offshore shell companies and collect royalties in a low tax jurisdiction. Earlier this year, the pharmaceutical company Merck was assessed $2.3 billion in U.S. back taxes for transferring its drug patents to a Bermuda shell company and then deducting from its taxes the royalties it paid itself. High technology companies are engaged in similar strategies. Shell companies can also be used to hide debt liabilities from regulators and shareholders. Before being exposed as a spectacular fraud, Enron had established a network of 3,500 shell companies, 440 of which were registered in the Cayman Islands.

PETER GILLESPIE, Gone Offshore. The complet text in:
Versión en español en:

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