The Siege of the Tax Havens

The following information is from a new documentary, The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire.

As the British Empire’s 300-year reign was coming to an end, the British elites saw their wealth evaporating as countries began to declare their independence. Bankers, lawyers and accountants responded by setting up a financial spider’s web to capture the world’s capital. This led to a restoration of revenue for the elite. This is Britain’s second empire.

Beginning in the 1960s there was an unintended consequence of this spider’s web. Great Britain and its partner in crime, the United States were de-industrialized (financialized). However, the developing countries suffer from this system more than wealthy countries. Today, Africa is wrongly said to be a net debtor. Africa’s foreign debt is $177 billion, but the wealth that has been moved offshore is $944 billion. Africa is actually a net creditor. Britain’s second empire starves developing nations of their wealth and tax revenues.

With each new revelation about offshore tax havens, politicians announce a crackdown on corruption, but they have no intention of following through. Today the offshore market is the world’s dominant financial market and it has penetrated the state’s apparatus to the point where politicians are its spokespersons. They are either lobbying congress or parliament to protect their racket, or they’re thinking of new ways to deny social programs to the public.

This video recommends five steps for addressing this problem:

Stop public councils from issuing public contracts to companies operating out of tax havens

Create public registers of beneficial owners of companies, trusts, and foundations

Introduce full transparency of deals and secret agreements between companies and governments

Introduce public country-by-country reporting by multinational companies

Introduce automatic information exchange between all countries

Here is an interview from this documentary:

Leave a Reply