Tax Havens

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tax havens are still open. The other ones are closing down...

In October, 2008 after the election of President Obama, the EU hurriedly reported to Camp David so that President George Bush (in recognition of his many successes!) could lead the world in facing the great financial crisis that was upon us. And as was to be expected (and despite this being a global problem) President Bush ignored the United Nations and delegated decision-making to the G-20, the “enlarged” group of the world’s richest countries.

And he couldn’t come up with a better solution than to “rescue” the financial institutions with public funds, provoking unprecedented indebtedness in those countries. While “rescuing” them (over 700,000 million dollars in the U.S. and around 400,000 million dollars in the EU), they were warned that the “greed and irresponsibility” (in the words of President Obama, which I like to quote) that led to this crisis should be radically avoided in the future, through adequate regulatory measures and, above all, the immediate eradication of tax havens, which enable fraudulent companies to evade taxes and the reach of the courts, and which facilitate trafficking (in arms, capital, drugs...) on a global scale... The worst was that the “rescued market” then imposed its arbitrary laws on the naïve and now impoverished “rescuers”, who have had to make adjustments in the face of attacks from speculators in a global economic system that is way off course.

Two years later, the market has replaced political leaders, money has taken the place of democratic principles... and tax havens blatantly continue to be open, while for millions of citizens directly hit by the “collateral” effects of the crisis, the “other” havens, both earthly and even heavenly, are closing down.

Let us hope that these citizens, so entertained by the immense powers of the media, rebel on time and demand that tax havens be closed and that the havens that they long for remain wide open.