OPEN SUGGESTION to all NGOs, Foundations and Movements:
include the claim to "Abolish Bank $ecrecy! - AB$!" in your statutes and ALL communications and actions to increase social awareness and put more pressure on the authorities.
BANK SECRECY and Tax Havens finance, allow, maintain and stimulate Global Corruption: the single one cause of all serious world problems: war, terrorism, organized crime, violation of human rights, poverty, destruction of the planet and society.
(we DO have enough examples to be sure of that now, don't we?)
This does not mean that these organizations have to set aside any of their own specific claims, but simply that all of them always additionally include the demand to eradicate Tax Havens, to turn this into a collective and constant clamor, delivering unceasing pressure on the global authorities and elites, increasing at the same time the social awareness of this fundamental global problem and main collective enemy of the 99%. In fact, we'd suggest all Movements and Organizations to make it your nº1 demand, to emphasize its importance and because it always, directly or indirectly, affects your specific mission.
Also see: Scotland Independent: start of the end of BANK SECRECY?
WHY bring down Bank Secrecy and Tax Havens?
- BANK SECRECY stimulates GLOBAL CORRUPTION & CRIME
Greed will always dominate the lesser human beings.
However, if that kind of people would not have a secret place to hide their money many politicians, bankers, drug dealers and other criminals, would loose most of the incentive to be corrupt or criminal.
- BANK SECRECY induces poverty by hiding 30% of all global wealth
There is no crisis, it's simply BANK SECRECY that works like a black hole. Anything that disappears in it, will never come back.
About one third of all global wealth is hidden on Offshore 'banks' (this is an extrapolation of a Tax Justice Network 2010 estimation).
Getting this hidden capital back in the official, legal, transparent global money flow would solve almost of all countries' financial problems and allow for true democracy and Human Progress to flourish.
Global super-rich has between $21 and $32 trillion hidden in secret tax havens (Tax Justice Network - 2010)
Wealth doesn't trickle down, it just flows offshore (the Guardian - 2012)
Tax havens hold $7.6 trillion; 8% of world's total wealth (BoingBoing 1/1/2016)
How ISDS threatens tax justice
This facebook post asks the people one question:
"If you could get rid the world of ONE THING, what would it be?"
GREED is a very frequent answer.
Our view is that: Most probably you cannot just get "greed" out of this world, unfortunately it is part of human nature. But we CAN do the next best thing: take away the greatest incentive of that greed (on large scale) Abolish Bank Secrecy!
WHO use tax havens
- BANKS, practically all - UBS, Clariden, Deutsche Bank, ING or ABN-Amro to name some
- Large corporations, Wall Street and other stock exchange basically all those where you get roughly 90% of what you're tought to consume: Microsoft, Google, Apple, Starbuck, Ebay, Vodafone, to just name some of the biggest and most sounding ones.
("Multinational corporations such as Google, Amazon and Starbucks don’t even try to hide their greed.")
- Speculators - simply the worst race of humanity, generating capital from capital without producing a minimum of added value for society, on the contrary, only draining capital out of society to those Treasure Islands, frequently leaving the most important or the most needed without resources at all.
- Corrupt politicians and other authorities
Unfortunately those who should wake over society are at the same time those who most frequently are bribed.
- Organized crime - trafficking of weapons, drugs, people and animals
the 'classic' maffia or terrorist integrants, many of which are, at the same time, fully integrated in one of the other groups.
- Wealthy individuals - take an hour off, go to www.icij.org/offshore/who-uses-offshore-world and enjoy, better and more real than any 'reality' show!
- And not to be forgotten: most probably even most Governments themselves will have a considerable amount of secret money stashed away on the Treasure Islands. Including those who publicly say they want to end their existence. Additionally, current (old) world order's logic makes it more than probable that countries' military and secret services will have their own share of secret accounts too.
Consequences of Corruption as stimulated by BANK SECRECY
All the serious global problems that NGOs or movements want to solve or reduce, find their origins in this Large Scale Corruption and other Crime that is only maintained and stimulated by the existence of Bank Secrecy. For this reason alone Bank Secrecy in itself should actually be considered a major crime, at the same level as genocide:
- War and terrorism are being fought for one reason only: ultimately someone is making huge profit out of it. A profit which is managed through hidden bank accounts. At the same time they financed through black money, again, from hidden bank accounts.
All other, supposedly idealistic, arguments for war are just false excuses to gain the support and implication of greater parts of the population. Most tipically these false excuses are religious, nationalistic, political because through them it is so easey to blindly arouse the masses.
- Violation of human rights
Generally occur in situations of war or under dictatorial, non-democratic regimes and under the same false excuses as above.
- Organized Crime
Obviously large scale, organized crime is (one of) the first and biggest client(s) of Bank Secrecy and Offshore "banking", to hide their criminal profit from trafficking of arms, drugs, people or animals, additionally to the lesser, ordinary crimes like robbery.
- Destruction of nature and planet.
Great deal of environmental crimes like illegal discharge of toxic waste or other contamination, deforestation or poaching of wild animals have but one reason... again, the hidden bank account of some person(s) without any scruples.
Western leaders look at Africa and blame their leaders for corruption but they don’t recognise that the systems we’ve put in place – above all the tax havens jurisdiction economy – are an open invitation to criminal behaviour, fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement, and non-disclosure. John Christensen, director of the Tax Justice Network
Some random links of millions of cases all over the world:
Not just stop 'tax evation', (the lesser of the crimes allowed)
but full abolition of Bank Secrecy and any place to HIDE money from society!
Most probably it can be stated that true eradication of Tax Havens will not be a real fact until specifically Switserland and England (+ colonies), mother and father of all Treasure Islands, definitely abandon Bank Secrecy.
Note that Independency Project is addressing full dismantling and disappearence of Bank Secrecy, Tax Havens, Offshore (Off Record!) Banking and all the like, for society and humanity to experience true transparancy of global finance and thus, maybe, a first glimpse of true democracy as well. Just avoiding or reducing tax evasion is not the point, only full eradication is!
Even so, tax evasion is indeed a rather easy (thank you Offshore Leaks) and valid enough starting point.
Specific Tax Evasion references
- UK Tax Avoidance: Top 10 Giant Companies Dodging Corporation Tax
- Leaked Records Reveal Offshore Holdings of China’s Elite
- The 10 biggest Tax Havens in the World
Further reading and references:
- Book: Treasure Islands - Nicholas Shaxon
- HSBC whistleblower Falciani says his work is not done: El Mundo
- Whistleblower? Thief? Hero? Introducing the Source of the Data that Shook HSBC (ICIJ)
- Swiss Leaks
- Wealth doesn't trickle down, it just flows offshore
- G8 summit and tax evasion: what's really been achieved? -
The Guardian 2013/06/18
Progress at the summit itself was virtually non-existent, with certain G8 countries - like the US - putting up strong resistance to change. A declaration of G8 principles was a windy document that committed the west's leading industrial nations to do little specific. The G8 Action Plan was similarly weak. The G8 said information on the beneficial ownership of companies could be achieved through central registries. Plenty of wriggle room, there.
- G8 deal on tax havens a long way off - The Guardian 2013/06/16
Western leaders are unlikely to deliver anything comprehensive now – but the fact they are discussing the issue is progress.
It is possible that the G8 will agree a deal on tax havens that will be comprehensive, public and provide rich and poor countries alike with access to the same hitherto highly secret information. But not this year.
- Francois Hollande call to eradicate tax havens - BBC + video
- Abolish every tax haven in the world - Daily Mail
- Cash-starved Cyprus no more tax haven - EuroNews.com
Finally Cypriots could get into their banks, after two weeks of locked doors. When they reopened, in spite of anger over feelings that their accounts had been held hostage, people were generally calm, Russian television reported on the period of closure. (with video)
- As Banks in Cyprus Falter, Other Tax Havens Step In
- EU's six largest members agree to fight tax havens - Reuters 2013/04/12
Germany, France, Poland, Italy, Spain, Britain to tackle evasion
France's Moscovici says bank secrecy outdated
Austria rejects bank data exchange as offence to privacy rights
- Austria slams U.S., UK "tax havens" as EU turns up heat - - Reuters 2013/04/11
Under fire for its banking secrecy, Austria hit back at Britain and the United States on Thursday, urging them to crack down on money laundering and tax havens in their own backyards, as EU ministers prepared to debate the issue in Dublin.
- Major EU countries to tackle tax havens
- EU Comissioner: Time to Move 'Quicker and Harder' Against Tax Evasion
- British offshore banking under fire in EU tax haven battle
- Hollande pide la erradicación de los paraísos fiscales - El Pais
- Dealing with Taxh Haven & Tax Fraud
For those who do not know what tax havens are, it may come as a surprise that they are considered an important solution in creating a just economy. The sad reality is that this little known industry is one of the greatest enablers for allowing corrupt individuals to hide money from the global public. By their very design, they are created for deception and allow stolen money to remain hidden. Their secrecy is for no other purpose than to hide illicit money stolen from and creating the poor of the world.
- UK Tax Avoidance: Hypocritical Consumers Still Drinking at Starbucks and Shopping on Amazon
- How Tax Havens Plunder the Poor
Tax havens have recently become big news, as well as big business. But amidst all the scandals of ministerial Swiss bank accounts and celebrity tax avoiders, there has been much less discussion of the impact of tax havens on the poorest countries in the world.
The public did not really know the facts until recently. The rich and powerful kept the public distracted when stock markets were rising and budgets were full. Yet the tax haven system was eating away at the roots of the world economy, making it increasingly easier for wealthy individuals, corrupt businesses, money launderers, political parties, and of course the ever-more-powerful banks, hedge funds, and multinational companies to protect their profits from taxation.
Something going the right way?