View Full Version : Super Rich Hide Trillions In Offshore Accounts

03-30-2005, 06:02 PM

Super-rich hide trillions offshore

Study reveals assets 10 times larger than UK GDP
Exchequers deprived of hundreds of billions in tax

Nick Mathiason
Sunday March 27, 2005
The Observer

The world's richest individuals have placed $11.5 trillion of assets in offshore havens, mainly as a tax avoidance measure. The shock new figure - 10 times Britain's GDP - is contained in the most authoritative study of the wealth held in offshore accounts ever conducted.

The study, by Tax Justice Network, a group of accountants and economists concerned at the escalating wealth held in offshore locations, shows that the world's high-net-worth individuals earn $860 billion each year from their assets.

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But there is growing alarm among regulators and campaigners because exchequers worldwide are missing out on at least $255bn of tax each year. Governments appear unable, or unwilling, to prevent the rich employing aggressive strategies to minimise their tax liabilities.

The OECD this weekend confirmed that international tax avoidance is a growing problem that troubles governments not just of rich countries, but middle-income ones as well.

'This is one of the defining crises of our times,' said John Christensen, co-ordinator of the Tax Justice Network and a former economic adviser to the Jersey government. 'One of the most fundamental changes in our society in recent years is how money and the rich have become more mobile. This has resul ted in the wealthy becoming less inclined to associate with normal society and feeling no obligation to pay taxes.'

James Jones, Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, said: 'In this country, we have created a culture of tax avoidance. The current debate is pandering to a culture of consumption and avoidance. We need a much better debate than the political parties are currently giving us.'

Individuals such as Rupert Murdoch, Philip Green, Lakshmi Mittal and Hans Rausing - among the world's richest men - all make extensive use of tax havens.

There is nothing illegal about placing assets and cash offshore, but campaigners are promising to attack tax avoidance by the world's richest people in much the same way that they currently target environment and trade issues.

The $11.5trn does not include the vast amount of money stashed in tax havens by multinational corporations, which are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to run rings round the authorities.

The Tax Justice Network study has drawn from data supplied by the Bank of International Settlements, Merrill Lynch and McKinsey. Richard Murphy of Tax Research, who co-authored the report, said: 'No one has tried to calculate a number like this before. To ensure the credibility of our data, we have only used information already in the public domain and produced by some of the most authoritative sources in the world.

'In addition, we tested our conclusions against three independent sources of information, and all seem to substantially agree, giving us a high degree of confidence in the conclusions.'

'Gordon Brown and the British government are ideally placed to act on offshore tax avoidance, since so many of the banks and tax havens that facilitate these processes have British links,' said Charles Abugre, Christian Aid's head of policy.

'Only last week, the Commission for Africa called for an immediate doubling of aid to Africa to help it meet the Millennium Development Goals. And yet here is a potential source of revenue that even the most responsible governments are doing little to tap into.'

03-30-2005, 06:15 PM
Yes, these offshore accounts are basically (sadly) what makes the world economy turn today.

You can't understand petrodollar recycling, Latin American Debt Crisis or Iran-Contra until you understand how money is funneled, laundered and held offshore.

03-30-2005, 06:24 PM
Yes. If truth be known, we could end all the conspiricy discussion by focussing on how the money works.

As everyone wants money, I always start my discussions on this point with people.

I was looking at a loan for some land down south. It must be great to be a banker. The money is transfered electronically from thin air and then I must take out Mortgage insurence. Even if I go bankrupt, the Bank gets it's money. A NO RISK SCAM!

Imagine...money from thin air and even then they cant lose.

Man...they are ABSOLOUTLY laughing at us.

03-30-2005, 07:03 PM
Yep, it all boils down to the money.

Since in the UK's case the richest includes the Rothschilds, and we all know how much power that mob wields surreptitiously, it's hardly surprising the tax laws would be set up to allow them and their cronies to minimise their tax bill, while your average schmo has to pay through the neck for a system that doesn't come close to working. Same in just about every country.

Here in Japan, I guess I'm relatively lucky. My income tax is only around 6-7%, though city taxes can be a bit steep, plus the 5% consumption tax. Then there's the national pension plan that look like it'll go bust in the next 20 years unless young people start paying into it, which they are generally not doing. I'm not staying here forever, so I'm not paying it either.

Just glad I'm not in Oz at the moment getting slugged by the taxman. Wouldn't be so bad if so much wasn't wasted.

BTW, Truebeliever, what's the interest rate for buying land at the moment?

03-30-2005, 07:14 PM
As high as 7% and as low as 6% depending on your terms.

Better get in quick...within 2 years it's gunna skyrocket...country areas that is.

How is Nippon?

Taxes here are such a joke. Costello found 10 billion just lying around. They want to make it hard. Push people.

The eventual goal is to make Oz's economic system as ruthless as the U.S's.

They will fail. Once it starts to bight I'm confident my sport loving, beer swilling, beach dwelling bretheren will be up in arms.

No love of the state here.

Did you know they're introducing GPS tracked multirider cards here? You can track yourself or a loved one on the web in real time. WONDERFUL! They're selling at as great to keep tabs on your kids.

Now watch all the kids swap their cards with each other.

I've been finding it hard to get people angry on this subject. If they upped the tax the beer the government would be overthrown in a Coup d'ta in approximately 5-10 minutes.

03-30-2005, 07:54 PM
Nippon's pretty good, thanks. Interest rates are about 2-3% percent, and we can borrow through the NAB or ANZ at those rates to buy approved properties in OZ, but I still need to save up more cash...

What are those GPS multirider things you're talking about? Sounds like the RFID tags some schools are giving kids here to prevent terrorists or kidnappers some such bullshite. Same goes here for promoting some false sense of security. Some actual thinkers have decided on a real solution though: actually have PARENTS LOOK AFTER THEIR KIDS PROPERLY! Such commonsense doesn't always strike a chord here though, where gizmos are considered solutions to everything.

I can't imagine the Japanese getting up in arms about anything really, possibly excluding cigarette price hikes or a shortage of green tea.

03-30-2005, 09:14 PM
Mawashi wrote:
Sounds like the RFID tags some schools are giving kids here to prevent terrorists or kidnappers some such bullshite.
You know, this whole "terrorist" problem just really isn't all that hard to solve at all.. All you have to do is just arrest these 5 individuals:

(*) Henry Kissinger;
(*) Zbigniew Brzezinski;
(*) David Rockefeller;
(*) George Bush Senior;
(*) Oliver North;

and your rate of international "terrorism" is going to plummet by about 98%..

03-30-2005, 09:37 PM
Ha ha..yes so true psholtz.

Mawashi, the Multi Rider card is swiped over a sensor that is linked to GPS on the bus, train or stall in the station.

You register your card so your name is linked to the card on a database.

Perth, Western Australia is one of 7 cities in the world where new technologies are tested before going mainstream. Due to it's geography, demographics and the Oz love of technology.

03-31-2005, 01:25 AM
Thanks psholtz.
Just typed up their arrest warrants. Do we get a Club Conspiracy prize for their scalps? :-D

TB, that system is similar to the Suica and Icoca systems that are up and running with Japan Railways in Tokyo and Osaka. You can even buy small stuff with them. Isn't that just the shit? The private line near my place is running an ad blitz with their Pitapa system which also uses RFID cards and you can tie it in with your credit card too. I'm so excited! Pitapa is a post-pay system, which I think means they charge it to your credit card. I might be wrong though. Either way, the system sucks. But they're making it lok trendy, especially amongst young chicks, so I expect it to grow pretty quickly.

http://www.hankyu.co.jp/ir/ir/zaimu/ar2004e.pdf (this a pdf link. scroll down to p. 13 for their IC card stuff.


03-31-2005, 01:29 AM
Can the Nips track themselves on the net in real time? Or your kids for that matter?

It'll be nicely in place for when they ban private car ownership with global warming and all, and we'll be easily trackable and controlled...oh joy!

They are selling it to parents on the fact they can track there kids movements.

genki genki?

03-31-2005, 01:41 AM
truebeliever wrote:
Can the Nips track themselves on the net in real time? Or your kids for that matter?

Yeah, they've got that system set up in prototype form somewhere around the traps. Also, GPS on mobile phones is pretty popular here for direction finding. The street system here is totally backasswards, with most streets having no name - seriously, it's more like a block system - it makes navigation a nightmare.

04-15-2005, 10:06 AM
Yes, these offshore accounts are basically (sadly) what makes the world economy turn today.
:-? Human nature, in the spirit of acquisitional self interest i would have thought.I am sure all of you would like to do the same if you had the resources or the oppertunity!.
Its all a matter of scale, or who is screwing who to get ahead is it not.Some of you are pretty quick to complain when taxes go to others below you on the pecking order, whom are simply asking for a safety net for hardtimes.
However none of you are quick to attack taxes pumped into Corporate or Military welfare I noticed!. :-D

04-15-2005, 10:10 AM
Spending billions on high tech toys is wrong.

There ya go.