Skip to main content

While Mitt Romney may be fading from view in the wake of his defeat on November 6, the issue of tax havens is definitely not following suit.

Via the Tax Justice Network, I've just learned of a massive, multi-national joint investigation into secrecy jurisdictions by three very heavy hitters, the Guardian, BBC Panorama, and the U.S.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Though they are starting out with the United Kingdom and the seriously understudied situation in the British Virgin Islands, ICIJ has announced that this is just the start of a multi-year investigative project and that there are "many more countries to come in the next 12 months." Further, according to ICIJ, the investigation involves literally "dozens of jurisdictions and in collaboration with dozens of media partners and freelance journalists around the world" (emphasis in original).

As I write this, the first and second articles (Nov. 25 and 26) in the Guardian's series rank number two and number one in the "most viewed" articles in the last 24 hours. One of the most amazing articles discusses the use of "nominee" directors, people who pretend to be a company or foundation's directors in order to hide the true ownership from authorities. Incredibly, these nominee directors frequently do not know the companies they are supposedly responsible for; they just know that they are getting paid for the use of their names. Be sure to check out the BBC undercover film linked from this Guardian article.

The tremendous scope of the journalistic investigation begs the question: where is government on this? Part of the answer is that government is way behind the curve. In 1999, the British government claimed to have stamped out a nominee sham colorfully named the "Sark Lark," for the tiny Channel Island of Sark where the nominees lived. However, it turns out that the perpetrators of the Sark Lark have simply moved all over the world to continue their scam; the BBC caught up with one former Sark resident in Mauritius.

The other part of the answer is that much of these activities are, in the immortal title of David Cay Johnston's book, "perfectly legal." It appears that in many cases governments do not make the effort to sift the illegal from the legal activities.

But let's not forget: tax havens cost the middle class worldwide hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue that they have to make up. The evidence is mounting that they are a central piece of the world financial system. Fundamental reform is necessary and a massive journalistic effort like this one will help produce the outrage to make it possible. I'm looking forward to more fruits of this investigation.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Thumb, Alumbrados, Marek, RF, filkertom, BOHICA, melo, slinkerwink, glitterscale, native, importer, saraswati, PeterHug, tommurphy, Shockwave, Pescadero Bill, cotterperson, hyperstation, OLinda, TX Unmuzzled, saluda, gjohnsit, MarkInSanFran, Creosote, dweb8231, madhaus, Babsnc, CanadaGoose, cyberKosFan, wonkydonkey, susakinovember, Janie, ask, Time Waits for no Woman, roses, ornerydad, jalbert, Nate Roberts, splashy, Cedwyn, antirove, wader, revsue, jdmorg, suzq, hopesprings, dejavu, psnyder, emmasnacker, NYC Sophia, mrkvica, figbash, roseeriter, duncanidaho, dwahzon, Bluehawk, Sychotic1, Catte Nappe, lcrp, riverlover, dkmich, AllisonInSeattle, zerelda, ybruti, randallt, lonespark, ScienceMom, jcrit, xyz, bablhous, eve, Armand451, Gowrie Gal, maybeeso in michigan, 3goldens, jrooth, Ckntfld, ichibon, LarisaW, Independent Musings, OpherGopher, Militarytracy, kitchen sink think tank, Sailorben, Simplify, basquebob, ChemBob, ratzo, fixxit, eru, owlbear1, GreyHawk, lotlizard, skyounkin, most peculiar mama, CompaniaHill, markdd, Ozymandius, RichterScale, kaliope, LucyandByron, FindingMyVoice, distraught, bunsk, daddybunny, Lindy, peacestpete, littlewren, Alan Arizona, bently, Jim R, Jim P, reddbierd, skywriter, Born in NOLA, martini, Showman, golem, 417els, BlueInARedState, tobendaro, seefleur, victoria2dc, KenBee, arlene, fou, blueoasis, NBBooks, MJ via Chicago, global citizen, erratic, armadillo, CTLiberal, Preston S, el cid, totallynext, sceptical observer, middleagedhousewife, bumbi, democracy is coming, geekydee, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, blueoregon, kurt, chapel hill guy, Statusquomustgo, Tom Anderson, leighkidd, markthshark, Little, Pandoras Box, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, Sapere aude, asilomar, dotsright, Habitat Vic, hawaii2, Loudoun County Dem, byDesign, ColoTim, offgrid, yoduuuh do or do not, LillithMc, Blue State 68, daveygodigaditch, deepeco, bnasley, US Blues, rivamer, klnb1019, cyncynical, rontripp, bobswern, Librarianmom, pioneer111, Wreck Smurfy, uciguy30, GeorgeXVIII, madgranny, trueblueliberal, Assaf, oxon, Empower Ink, MKinTN, also mom of 5, califdem, Foundmyvoice, dadadata, elwior, treesrock, Akonitum, KJG52, Its any one guess, Lujane, tofumagoo, RandomNonviolence, No Exit, petulans, BYw, priceman, Robobagpiper, Mayfly, tristan57, WearyIdealist, watercarrier4diogenes, shortgirl, statsone, bluebelle7, prettygirlxoxoxo, cybrestrike, J M F, arendt, hummingbird4015, ewmorr, cantelow, be the change you seek, Zotz, War on Error, shopkeeper, mkor7, CamillesDad1, JesseCW, petral, Keith Pickering, PhotogHog, stevenwag, haremoor, jfromga, Randtntx, Railfan, coppercelt, fidellio, Crabby Abbey, wvmom, ko62, sunny skies, legalchic, 2questions, renzo capetti, nirbama, Betty Pinson, Otteray Scribe, Floande, USHomeopath, cocinero, fiercefilms, soaglow, theKgirls, Colorado is the Shiznit, Oldowan, spooks51, sostos, MrSpock, trumpeter, marleycat, MysteriousEast, badscience, thomask, Wolf10, muddy boots, tardis10, whoknu, greenkrete, chira2, bluedust, Wood Dragon, VTCC73, Andrew F Cockburn, SNFinVA, bloomin, Vatexia, Miggles, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, just another vortex, DRo, Mentatmark, No one gets out alive, Rejoinder, livingthedream, KansasNancy, Citizenpower, IndieGuy, ahumbleopinion, done lurking, Joieau, rukidingme, 2thanks, Horace Boothroyd III, cherie clark, Arahahex, wxorknot, micwazoo, arizonablue, FrY10cK, Glen The Plumber, T C Gibian, dotdash2u, George3, Marjmar, katiec, CalBearMom, nuclear winter solstice, Blue Bell Bookworm, Chaddiwicker, DamselleFly, countwebb, Eric Twocents, jbob, weck, motherlu, aresea, alice kleeman, helpImdrowning, GreenMother, Smoh, Demeter Rising, marcr22, Gary of Austin, LilithGardener, Jim Domenico, ShockandAwed, oslyn7, shinobi9, Debis Diatribes, smartEpants, footNmouth, Betterthansoap

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site