ALPN director, Dr. Michael
African Leadership &
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
Humiliation: 'Brain Gain'/'Brain Circulation' Diaspora Networks for
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
Mo Ibrahim African Governance Index and Leadership Prize
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
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
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.
Banking laws must change: Raymond Baker
says ending banking secrecy would not cause the Swiss economy to
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
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
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
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
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).
Progress Report 2008 - OECD
Anti-bribery Convention: Enforcement of the OECD Convention on
Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International
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
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
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.
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
“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
mortgage securities. They have developed onshore and offshore structures and
practices to engage in
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
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
Barclays Bank was said to have handled more than $170m of the general's
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
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
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”
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.
Power point presentation Sol Picciotto
A few random thoughts on hedge funds, private equity.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
with the same title held at TNI on 12-13 June 2007
The African Leadership & Progress Network & Capital Researchers