Reaping a windfall?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The news is quite disconcerting: Switzerland has frozen the (Tunisian) dictator’s assets... And now? What a scandal!

We remember with outrage that in November, 2008, when the G-20 recommended “rescuing” the failing financial institutions, they ensured us that they would “rapidly regulate and eliminate tax havens".

And not only is there still total deregulation with tax havens filled to the brim but, as I have often underscored, the “rescued” are now hounding their diligent and impoverished “rescuers.”

Instead of “cleaning house” and demanding transparency for bank deposits, they continue to camouflage funds while ignoring their source. This involves a continuous generalized intake of often fraudulently-obtained money. Shouldn’t the bank accounts of all of those who take refuge in tax havens be frozen, since they are shirking their responsibilities as democratic citizens?

As for the “dictators” whose accounts have now been so pompously attached, in less than two months the western powers have gone from praising them as their best customers, to publicly rejecting them. From embracing them to repudiating them.

According to Intermon-Oxfam’s Corporate Social Responsibility Observatory, 80% of the Ibex 35 companies are present in tax havens through their affiliates. But of course: with much paperwork they conduct detailed audits of their small expenses and petty cash while turning a blind eye to those large sums.

But this won’t last much longer because just as the dictators whose money has been frozen were overthrown, those who threaten coexistence and democracy will likewise soon be brought down, peacefully through cyberspace communications.

You will see: it won’t be possible much longer to only reap windfalls from the misfortune of others...