Our sponsor:

CAPITAL RESEARCHERS LLC

Research . Information . Analysis

Education & Training

Project Management

 

 
FOCUS AREAS
African Progress: Afro-Pessimism Redux?

The African Leadership Capacity Development Project

African Leadership & Governance Rankings

The African Professionals / Experts / Intellectuals / Scholars Network

The Blair Commission for Africa: Commentaries & Critiques
The Resource Curse - Governance - Transparency - Corruption - Natural Resource Management
 
 
 

"Making Leaders". ALPN director, Dr. Michael Isimbabi's letter in The Economist


African Leadership & Progress Briefs

 

The Mo Ibrahim African Governance Index and Leadership Prize Revisited: How Dr. Ibrahim and Other Well-Off Africans Can Best Foster Good Governance in African Countries

 

Addressing Africa’s Humiliation: 'Brain Gain'/'Brain Circulation' Diaspora Networks for African Progress

 

After the 2005 G8 and UN Summits: Independent, High-Impact Information Infrastructures and Networks for Transparency and Accountability in African Countries

 

Leadership & Governance Capacity Building in African Countries: Why and How Well-Off and Accomplished Africans, Especially "Brain Drain" Africans, Should Proactively Take Charge of Fostering African Progress


Research/Information Portal


The Mo Ibrahim African Governance Index and Leadership Prize

Illicit Capital Flows, Tax Evasion, and African Development

Brain Drain, Brain Gain, Brain Circulation, Diaspora Africans, and Capacity Building in Africa

 


 

Illicit Capital Flows, Tax Evasion, and African Development

 


Tax haven crackdown could deliver $120bn a year to fight poverty. Oxfam. 13 March 2009. Developing countries miss out on up to $124 billion every year in lost income from offshore assets held in tax havens, international agency Oxfam said today ahead of the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting...

 

Brown plans global scrutiny of tax havens. The Guardian, March 23, 2009

 

Support for Levin Stop Tax Haven Abuse Bill Grows. Washington, D.C., March 17, 2009.

Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act

Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act: Summary  Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act

New Legislation Would Combat Tax Haven Abuse, Increase Transparency and Accountability. MarketWatch, March 2, 2009

Large U.S. Corporations and Federal Contractors with Subsidiaries in Jurisdictions Listed as Tax Havens or Financial Privacy Jurisdictions. US Government Accountability Office. December 2008

Tax havens: Can promises to shut them down be believed?.  Christian Science Monitor, March 23, 2009

Tax Justice Network proposals for the G20. Ending the Offshore Secrecy System: An Action Programme to Strengthen International Financial and Fiscal Regulatory Cooperation. March 2009


Banking laws must change: Raymond Baker says ending banking secrecy would not cause the Swiss economy to collapse. SwissInfo, March 19, 2009

 

Is this the end for treasure islands? MoneyWeek, March 13, 2009

 

Obama bid to stamp out tax havens. The Guardian, March 5, 2009

 

Secrecy and International Banking. The Kojo Nnamdi Show (Washington, DC), March 3, 2009

 

Stemming the bleeding. Opinion Editorial, Indian Express, March 2, 2009

 

Tax Evasion Taskforce to Probe UK

 

Corruption and the Global Financial Crisis


Global Task Force Links Financial Integrity and Economic Development. Global Financial Integrity. January 15, 2009. The Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development is a unique global coalition of civil society organizations and more than 50 governments working together to address inequalities in the financial system that penalize billions of people. The opacity and complexity of the financial system, enabled by financial institutions, laundering techniques and more than 70 secrecy jurisdictions, is at the heart of the current financial crisis and significantly impedes the ability of poor countries to develop their economies. Task Force Members

Task Force Document: "The Case for Global Financial Transparency" - Economic Transparency: Curtailing the Shadow Financial System. Global Financial Integrity/Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development. Feb 2009. Executive Summary: We may be at a rare moment when the interests of rich and poor countries are synonymous. At the heart of the current worldwide economic crisis is a lack of transparency in the global financial system. This is the end product of a half century of creating and expanding a shadow financial structure comprising tax havens, secrecy jurisdictions, disguised corporations, anonymous trust accounts, and fake foundations. Also included in this system are trade mispricing mechanisms, money laundering techniques, and gaps left in western laws that facilitate the movement of corrupt, criminal, and commercially tax-evading money across borders. Some estimates suggest that as much as half of global trade and capital movements pass through this shadow financial system. The consequences of this murky structure and the money it moves are now clear: ...In developing countries, an estimated $1 trillion a year of illicitly generated money is shifted abroad through this system, constituting the most damaging economic condition hurting the poor, undermining poverty alleviation and delaying sustainable growth. ....read more

Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2002-2006. Global Financial Integrity. January 2009. A new report shows that the developing world is losing an increasing amount of money through illicit capital flight each year.

The Ugliest Chapter in Global Economic Affairs Since Slavery. Raymond Baker, Director, Global Financial Integrity, on the international structure that supports the flow of illicit money across borders, and the harmful impact these illicit flows have on economic growth and poverty alleviation in poorer countries.

Catching up with Corruption. The American Interest. Sept-Oct 2008. GFI director Raymond Baker and co-authors John Christensen of Tax Justice Network and Nicholas Shaxson of Chatham House examine the links between corruption and international development shortfalls and the future of anti-corruption and anti-illicit financial practices legislation.

- Analysis: Corruption Remains Aid Obstacle

- Baker Discusses Illicit Financial Flows

- Unrecorded Cash Flows Leaving Developing World Outpaces Aid. Bloomberg, January 7, 2009

- A chance to crack down on Africa's loot-seeking elites: A silver lining in this grim economic cloud is an opportunity to clean up the banks and halt the corrupt capital flight. The Guardian, October 7, 2008

Undue Diligence: How banks do business with corrupt regimes. Global Witness. By doing business with dictators and their families banks are helping those who are using state assets to enrich themselves or brutalize their own people.

Stolen Funds Deposited in Swiss Banks Returned to Nigeria

2008 Bribe Payers Index (BPI). Transparency International

Progress Report 2008 - OECD Anti-bribery Convention: Enforcement of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Transparency International. June 2008

Magnitudes: dirty money, lost taxes and offshore. Tax Justice Network

Mapping the Faultlines. The Tax Justice Network, in partnership with  Global Financial Integrity. The goal of the study is to describe the mechanisms and jurisdictions facilitating flows of illicit money across borders. One outcome from the study will be a large, publicly available database on tax havens and abusive tax mechanisms, which will be updated and amended over time by the expert team as the infrastructure of global illicit financial flows evolves.

The impact of the financial crisis on the developing world. Christian Aid. Nov 2008


Global Financial Integrity

Global Financial Integrity (GFI) works in coordination with governments, corporations, think tanks, and non-governmental advocacy organizations to push for the curtailment of illegal cross-border financial flows... Illicit capital flows enable drug cartels, terrorist organizations and tax evaders to move cash around the globe, undermines the goals of the World Bank and other lending institutions, strips developing nations of critical resources, and contributes to failed states.

Capitalism’s Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System. [Book by Raymond W. Baker, Global Financial Integrity]

       Reviews of Capitalism's Achilles Heel. Praise for Capitalism's Achilles Heel

How the G-8 Can Help Africa—Choke $1 Trillion in Dirty Money. James Pressley. Bloomberg, July 11, 2005. "…should have [been] required reading at the gathering of the Group of Eight…"


The Tax Justice Network for Africa The purpose of this initiative is to assist African civil society with the creation of a network dedicated to enabling African researchers, campaigners and policy makers to cooperate in the struggle against illicit capital flight, tax evasion, tax competition and other harmful trends in tax policy and practice.

        Tax Justice Network    Tax Justice USA    Offshore Watch (Offshore tax havens)

 

Global Witness: Corruption in oil, gas and mining  The role of financial institutions


Global Safeguards, Transparency, Key to Stemming Systemic Illicit Financial Flows. Liechtenstein Scandal Points to Need for Improved Global Safeguards to Stem Illicit Financial Flows. Global Financial Integrity. Washington, D.C., 28 February 2008

 

Analysis: Dirty money cleanup gains speed. United Press International. Jan. 29, 2008. Illegal money hurts development efforts in poor countries and may be used to fund terrorism, but new cleanup efforts offer significant hope for curbing dirty money flows. A major step began last summer, when Norway requested that the World Bank conduct a study of illicit financial flows and tax havens, which Norway offered to finance. World Bank President Robert Zoellick subsequently agreed that a study of the development impact of offshore financial centers would be a valuable contribution to the governance and anti-corruption agenda,

 

Global Financial Integrity Applauds World Bank Study on Illicit Financial Flows. Sept. 17, 2007. Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a program at the Center for International Policy, welcomes the World Bank’s pending study on illicit financial flows out of developing countries and thanks the Norwegian government for its important contributions to this research. GFI has been the leading organization calling for such a study, most recently at a conference titled “Illicit Financial Flows: The Missing Link in Development” held on June 28.

 

Bringing banks to book. Financial institutions are not going to voluntarily embrace honesty and social responsibility - there is little evidence they do so now. Anyone visiting the websites of banks or browsing through their annual reports will find no shortage of claims of "corporate social responsibility". Yet their practices rarely come anywhere near their claims. In pursuit of higher profits and bumper executive rewards, banks have inflicted both the credit crunch and sub-prime crisis on us. Their sub-prime activities may also be steeped in fraud and mis-selling of mortgage securities. They have developed onshore and offshore structures and practices to engage in insider trading, corruption, sham tax-avoidance transactions and tax evasion. Money laundering is another money-spinner.

Worldwide over $2tn are estimated to be laundered each year. The laundered amounts fund private armies, terrorism, narcotics, smuggling, corruption, tax evasion and criminal activity and generally threaten quality of life. Large amounts of money cannot be laundered without the involvement of accountants, lawyers, financial advisers and banks. ...

...Nigeria's corrupt rulers are estimated to have stolen around £220bn over four decades and channelled them through banks in London, New York, Jersey, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Germany. The Swiss authorities repatriated some of the monies stolen by former dictator General Sani Abacha. A report by the Swiss federal banking commission noted (page 7) that there were instances of serious individual failure or misconduct at some banks. The banks were named as "three banks in the Credit Suisse Group (Credit Suisse, Bank Hofmann AG and Bank Leu AG), Crédit Agricole Indosuez (Suisse) SA, UBP Union Bancaire Privée and MM Warburg Bank (Schweiz) AG".

UK banks are estimated to have processed around $1.3bn of General Abacha's loot. Barclays Bank was said to have handled more than $170m of the general's monies. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) acknowledged that 42 accounts at 23 banks were used and that "15 of the banks had significant control weaknesses", but they were not named. Despite questions in parliament the UK government has failed to name the banks or return the entire loot to Nigeria.


Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act [United States Senate; Sponsored by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), Norm Coleman (R-MN), and Barack Obama (D-IL].

       Statement of Senator Carl Levin on the Need to End Offshore Secrecy and Tax Abuse. February 21, 2008

Obama: what this man is for. Richard Murphy. "If, as seems increasingly possible, Barack Obama is heading for the White House it’s important to know what this man is for. Take this as a list of things he’s put his name to: ....... And then get worried if you’re in a tax haven. This guy means business. Just read his Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act...."


A New African Development Struggle: Africa's movers to meet in Nairobi to tackle Africa's tax looting. Tax Justice Network. December 2006

Tax us if you can - the true story of a global failure. Tax Justice Network. December 2006

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who's the Most Corrupt of All? John Christensen, Tax Justice Network.

Looting Africa: Some Facts and Figures -- Capital flight / Debt / The African Tax Gap / Offshore Infrastructure and African Corruption / Corporate Tax Dodging. Tax Justice Network. December 2006 

Looting Africa: South Africa and Tax Injustice -- From Apartheid to the Present Day / The Tax Avoider's Tool-Kit / The Tax Gap. December 2006 

Tax Havens Hinder Africa's Escape From Poverty. Christian Aid. 12 Oct 2006. Christian Aid’s head of Africa policy, Babatunde Olugboji, argued that while about £25bn flows into African in aid and loans each year an estimated £200bn flows out of the continent into UK and other northern banks, “through corruption, money laundering and other criminal means”. It was becoming increasingly clear, he said, that “any nation that is unable, for various reasons, to effectively mobilise its domestic resources will find it extremely difficult escaping the clutch of poverty...In a number of African countries, especially the resource rich nations, huge multinationals have negotiated considerable tax holidays for themselves, while others, in collusion with government officials, evade or avoid taxes and export such unpaid amounts to third countries, mostly tax havens.” ....Christian Aid claimed last year that “massive tax avoidance and illicit capital flight by companies and wealthy individuals in poor countries” was costing the developing world US$500bn a year in lost revenue. Shirts Off Their Backs, a policy paper published to coincide with a UN summit, warned that the UN’s poverty targets would be missed unless “massive” gaps in poor countries’ revenues were plugged by responsible tax policies and international action to “curb” tax havens.

Follow the Money: How Tax Havens Facilitate Dirty Money Flows and Distort Global Markets. John Christensen. Tax Justice Network. August 2006. Press Release: Follow the Money - international rankings of corruption need radical overhaul to take account of the activities of tax havens and corrupt financial intermediaries. Tax Justice Network. September 2006

The Long and Winding Road: Tackling Capital Flight and Tax Evasion. John Christensen, Tax Justice Network. April 2007.

    Power point presentation John Christensen

Tackling Tax Havens and 'Offshore' Finance. Sol Picciotto

    Power point presentation Sol Picciotto

A few random thoughts on hedge funds, private equity. Sony Kapoor

New Sources of Development Financing. A very short paper on curbing capital flight, tax avoidance and tax evasion. For International Policy Dialogue. Sony Kapoor. August 2005

Plug the leaks - or waste the aid. Sony Kapoor and John Christiansen. The Guardian. July 11, 2005. The recent G8 announcements fall far short of what was needed but they also ignored the equally important issue of capital flight.

What If Developing Countries Could Finance Poverty Eradication from Their Own Public Resources? Jens Martens. Global Policy Forum. 2006.

Exporting Corruption: How Rich Country Export Credit Agencies Facilitate Corruption in the Global South. May/June 2006

The Price of Offshore - $11.5 trillion is held offshore, largely untaxed. The potential revenue that could be raised by taxing this flight capital would more than pay for the United Nations Millennium Development goal. Tax Justice Network. March 2005.

Tax Havens: Releasing the Hidden Billions for Poverty Eradication. Oxfam. June 2000


41 countries are tax havens according to OECD criteria 27 Feb 2008

 

Overseas tax havens 'a growing problem'  27 Feb 2008

 

OECD leads crackdown on tax evaders  27 Feb 2008

 

Tax havens are getting more popular, more dangerous - and more useful 27 Feb 2008

 

Tax havens are engaged in economic warfare. 25 Feb 2008. Tax Research UK

 

Tax havens are fences for thieves. 25 Feb 2008

 

Blockade the Tax Havens. Willem Buiter. Financial Times. February 20, 2008.

        Blockade the Tax Havens. Commentary - Tax Justice Network Blog

Holding back the banks. 17 Feb 2008

Banks come under scrutiny for tax practices. 7 Feb 2008

South Africa Move to tighten up on corporate tax loopholes. 11 Jan 2008

Holding back the banks. 17 Feb 2008

Banks come under scrutiny for tax practices. 7 Feb 2008

How the West is hiding the loot of corruption. The Corner House. 3 Jan 2008.

 

The world's best tax havens. 7th January 2008. Offshore investment company Shelter Offshore looks at the world's best tax havens.

Money Laundering, Tax Evasion and Financial Regulation. TNI Expert Seminar, 12-13 June 2007. Transnational Institute (TNI).

Money Laundering, Tax Evasion and Financial Regulation. Tom Blickman. June 2007. The Anti Money Laundering regime that has been built during the last two decades completely neglects financial deregulation manifest in tax havens and offshore financial centres that facilitate tax evasion, capital flight and money laundering. A comprehensive international system of international financial regulation is necessary, argues Tom Blickman, that would deal with money laundering, tax evasion and capital flight as interconnected phenomena and provide the necessary enforcement mechanisms. The UN might be the legitimate arena to debate such comprehensive approach. This article was written as an introduction to the seminar with the same title held at TNI on 12-13 June 2007

 

© 2004-2008. The African Leadership & Progress Network & Capital Researchers