Are Tax Havens Out of Business after the G20 Tsunami?
By Giovanni Caporaso
Ever since the times of De Gaulle we have continue to hear that tax havensare over with. The last meeting of the G20, put another nail in the coffin with the publication of black list and grey list fiscal shelters, even though the official lists should be drawn up and published shortly by the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OCED). In practice, however, it seems that this list is interested only in banking systems, in fact, since they don’t know who they should blame for the world financial crisis, they have declared war on the banking secret.
The tax havens have always been a cross and a delight for the world economy; according to some they are the dark side of international finance, but it’s a necessity of the economic system. Other than being used by thousands of taxpayers they are, in fact, used primarily by the big corporations, often even by those in which the State participates or are State-controlled. It is estimated that in the European Union tax evasion reaches an average of 2.5% of the GPD.
After all, up until now, tax havenshave been essential mainstays of the economic globalization, with a considerable incidence in the financial system. Keeping in mind the fundamental role of these countries in the mechanism of globalization the elimination would provoke enormous economic and financial dysfunctions.
To my way of thinking, also this last crusade begun by the G20 is nothing more than a scarecrow for deterring the “little guys”, or rather, those taxpayers who thanks to internet and to the decline in offshore prices have recently gained access to this world which until the last decade was a prerogative of the large capitalists. The Earth’s powerful (G20) want to give themselves the right to meddle, beyond the national sovereignty and this is the thesis of the new world order. In times of crisis, however, you need to move slowly and an eventual suppression of tax havenswould risk the provocation of an international financial collapse. During a period of recession, which State can allow that?
Today, those who preach should first clean out their own homes, beginning with the dozens of corporations controlled by or participated in by Eni or Enel in Delaware, in the Bahamas, in the Caymans, in Luxembourg and in many other countries. And then let’s not talk about the special statute regions and areas that take advantage of tax exemption in many of the G20 countries.
Those with capital will always search for the most profitable market and the most favorable taxation system. This is the logic of capitalism and globalization favors it.
This battle against tax havenshas just begun and will probably obtain at least one of the desired results: an increase in the costs of offshore services and the reduction of their accessibility. In practice, it’s always the little guy who pays. Those who have stolen for decades and have reduced the international financial system to the poverty level want their citizens to only have the right to pay taxes. Pay to heal the errors of others. That is the logic of the strongest; it is a controlled world and full of robot citizens, like in those futuristic films that present a society manipulated by an entity that is above the law and the individual.
I’m sure that there still exists a way to rebel and to live life like men and not sheep. For now the tax havensaren’t out of business, their strength will also depend on the number of people and the amount of capitalists that aren’t willing to submit themselves to the new world order.