Blog Archives

Are the Big 4 accountancy firms really the Big 1? Tax Justice Network Podcast

In the August 2016 Tax Justice Network podcast: The Big Four accountancy firms: Are they in fact more like the Big One? And should they be broken up? Also: (more…)

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Podcast: the #PanamaPapers scoop journalists, and #Brexit: what does it mean for tax justice?

In the July 2016 Tax Justice Network podcast:

Hello. This is John Doe. Interested in data? I’m happy to share.‘ We talk to the two journalists who got the Panama Papers scoop, Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier who’ve written a book about their experience.

Plus: what does Brexit mean for tax justice? We discuss the F4 (unholy) alliance between Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK, and the accelerated corporate tax race to the bottom.

‘Unfortunately there is the world people like you and me are living in and there is a second world, a parallel world, the offshore world where people with enough money will always find possibilities to hide their money…there are people out there choosing which law they want to stick to and that is a problem for democracy.’

Frederik Obermaier

‘I am very clear about what would happen if you take away the secrecy, if you take away the anonymity. I am completely sure that the whole system would crash because why would they go to the British Virgin Islands for a company when you can see who owns it? You know, it’s not rocket science.’

Bastian Obermayer

Post-Brexit: ‘I think that Britain’s likely development strategy will be to actually deepen its tax haven role sitting offshore Europe.’

John Christensen

Featuring: The Tax Justice Network’s John Christensen, Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier of the Sudduetsche Zeitung newspaper and authors of the new book: The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money. Produced and presented by Naomi Fowler for the Tax Justice Network. Also available on iTunes.

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Podcast: #Brexit, Kleptocracy and why Panama Papers is only tip of offshore iceberg

In the June 2016 Taxcast from the Tax Justice Network: How different could the lives of those in poverty have been without secrecy jurisdictions? We give you the very latest estimates on the missing trillions offshored from the world’s developing regions. Also: Brexit and the special interests behind it: “Nakedly, brazenly, they’re pushing the City of London’s deregulated, criminal approach to finance”. Plus, the Panama Papers shed some light on secretive, pro-tax haven US lobbying group the Center for Freedom and Prosperity’s funders.

the revelations from the Panama Papers have been sensational but an international investigation with some kind of subpoena power would I think be 10 times as important.”

James Henry

Featuring: John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network, and Columbia University Professor, Economist, lawyer and Tax Justice Network senior advisor James Henry. Produced and presented by @Naomi_Fowler for the Tax Justice Network.

You can subscribe to our youtube channel or email Naomi [at] to be added to the subscriber email list, or subscribe to the Taxcast on our rss feed. You can also follow The Taxcast and the Tax Justice Network on twitter.

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The War on Savings: The Panama Papers, Bail-Ins, and the Push to Go Cashless

Exposing tax dodgers is a worthy endeavor, but the “limited hangout” of the Panama Papers may have less noble ends, dovetailing with the War on Cash and the imminent threat of massive bail-ins of depositor funds.

The bombshell publication of the “Panama Papers,” leaked from a Panama law firm specializing in shell companies, has triggered both outrage and skepticism. In an April 3 article titled “Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak,” UK blogger Craig Murray writes that the whistleblower no doubt had good intentions; but he made the mistake of leaking his 11.5 million documents to the corporate-controlled Western media, which released only those few documents incriminating opponents of Western financial interests. (more…)

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The Panama Papers: This Is the Consequence of Centralized Money and Power

If we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, we will never change anything. This is the core message of my book A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All.

The Panama Papers offer damning proof of this: increasing concentrations of wealth and power that are free of any constraint (such as taxes) is not just the consequence of centralized money and state power–this inequality is the only possible output of centralized money and state power.

Here is a graphic portrayal of just how concentrated global wealth really is: the top .7% (less than 1%) own 45% of all global wealth, and the top 8% own 85%.

Here is a depiction of wealth in the U.S.:

Here is my description of how centralized money and finance inevitably creates debt-serfdom as its only possible output:

Once the creation and distribution of money is centralized, the corruption of political power is inevitable, as wealth can always buy political favors, such as tax evasion schemes.

Concentrations of private wealth and the central state are simply two sides of the same coin. Private wealth, monopolies and cartels are all protected and enforced by the state/central bank: the status quo exists to protect the privileges of the few at the expense of the many.

<b<>Well-meaning but hopelessly naive people are constantly proposing “reforms” of the status quo–reforms that are doomed from the start because they fail to change the way money is created and distributed.

As long as central banks create and distribute money to banks, which are free to use the money for speculation and lend vast sums at near-zero rates of interest to corprorations and financiers, nothing can possibly change.

Recall that the central state enforces moral hazard: if banks reap vast profits on their gambles, they keep the winnings and can use a sliver of this wealth to buy political favors from politicos like Hillary Clinton.

If they lose the bets and are insolvent, the federal government and the central bank (Federal Reserve) bail them out by transferring the losses to the public or by rigging the system to funnel cash to the banks via paying interest on deposits held at the Fed (while slashing interest income to the serfs to near-zero).

There is another way to run the world: if money is decentralized, i.e. created by a distributed, decentralized system that pays people directly for their labor, rather than being distributed to banks to lend at interest, the sort of concentrations of wealth, power and exploitation enabled by central banking would no longer be possible.

Technologies such as the blockchain are enabling alternative ways of creating and distributing money outside central banks and states. I describe a labor-backed crypto-currency in my book A Radically Beneficial World. The potential of the blockchain to disrupt and bypass central banks’ monopoly of money creation is revolutionary, which explains why Goldman Sachs and their cronies are desperate to own their own versions of blockchain technologies.

But the cats are out of the bag, and central bankers and their cronies will have a difficult time herding these new technologies back into the enforced serfdom of central banking. The only way to bring down the corruption created by the concentration of wealth and power is to dismantle the monopoly of money creation held by central banks and their private-bank cronies.

The Future of Money

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