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Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens Kindle Edition
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Customers who bought this item also bought
“Shaxson’s story of offshore banking is nothing short of Shakespearean, a drama full of secrecy, treachery and corruption in which wealthy countries, companies and individuals collude to horde wealth in a complex global network of largely unregulated tax havens. To realize this end, they install corrupt leaders, exploit indigenous populations and, ultimately, deny both developed and developing nations of vital tax dollars. There is much here that should generate outrage…An admirable job of both arguing the consequences of offshore banking and providing a succinct history of the practice.”--Kirkus
“A blistering account of the role that tax havens play in international finance. . . brilliant.”—London Review of Books
“Perhaps the most important book published in the UK so far this year.”--George Monbiot, The Guardian
“Shaxson provides a fascinating narrative that is both analytically compelling and rich in institutional detail.”—New York Times Economix blog
"Treasure Islands, Nicholas Shaxson’s excellent book on the global offshore tax system."--FT Alphaville
“Treasure Islands has prised the lid off an important and terrifying can of worms.”--Literary Review
“Shaxson shows us that the global financial machine is broken and that very few of us have noticed.”--New Statesman
"In this riveting, well-written expose, Shaxson goes deep into the largely unexamined realm of offshore money. In the process, he reveals that this shadow world is no mere sideshow, but is troublingly central to modern finance, with the US and the UK as leaders. The resulting abuses are widespread, ranging from tax revenue stripping from African nations to individuals and corporations escaping enforcement ...
About the Author
- Publication Date : April 12, 2011
- File Size : 606 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 273 pages
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press; 1st Edition (April 12, 2011)
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B004OA6420
- Best Sellers Rank: #348,768 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Big claims were made about former colonies and developing countries being sucked dry by tax havens, but there were very few examples that were not really fleshed out enough. It often felt like the author was just putting a buckshot of facts on a wall, and leaving the reader to make the connections between the facts. The language was dry, yet somehow not informative- it was very difficult to get through certain sections of the book.
What I learned from this book, I could have learned in roughly 30 pages. The rest was a lot of quotes from officials on how bad things are, and lots of terms like "bamboozling" which I feel were unnecessary editorialization- show me the actual money trail, and I can decide who is the bamboozler/bamboozlee.
Personally I think this book could have used a bit of editing and more of a bottom-up approach. Walk me through how Apple gets away with paying an 8% (or whatever the number is) tax rate, then explain how others do the same thing, and I would have found the book a lot more compelling.
These various places and the bankers who have used their immoral devices to rob, cheat and steal from the community of the world, are the worst sort of filth on earth. If there were a God, the people whose actions are described in this monumental book would burn in a seething miasma of oil.
While pretending to be honorable professionals, the bankers and hedge fund managers and accountants and attorneys who enable the practices described in detail in this book are the worst sort of scum, stealing from the poor, forcing others to pay the taxes they shirk, all while these same people benefit from the stable societies in the countries where they live and whose taxes they don't pay.
Even more infamous, these same super wealthy and corporations complain about income taxes they claim are high while they in fact evade, lie and slime their way out of paying any of them. The super wealthy in America but all over the world now evade taxes almost 100% while whining and complaining about those same taxes, in the most astounding and shocking and angering display of venality you can imagine. In truth, no matter how bad you thought it was--these people who do business in Bermuda, in the Cayman Islands, in the Bahamas, in Manhattan, in Delaware, in the Isle of Jersey, Gurnsey, the Isle of Man, in the financial center of London called the "City of London" and in a thousand other places across the world--are 1,000,000 times worse than in your worst horror imaginings. These people are not only responsible for the finacial crisis--and for the destruction of economies going back to the mid 1980s. These self-justifying slime are the reason that our world is in trouble. They don't care and if this world is to be saved from destruction from within, each one of us owes it to humanity to say, I personally am not going to put up with this.
In the United States, it is the super wealthy who screw everybody and their enablers are of course the Republicans but, I am horrified to realize, the Democrats are in the tank too.
Read this book and see if you don't join my outrage. It's time for us to take action. Action--yes--you know what I mean. Not indignation but real action, the kind that comes out of a pitchfork. You, reading this in the Isle of Jersey, in the Cayman Islands. We are looking right at you. You have enabled these crimes. We know.
It illustrates regulation, and legislative, arbitrage, at a country level. It also highlights the strategic struggle for economic dominance by nations, most notably the United Kingdom and the US, in the text.
In the UK case, I was astonished to read about the roles, and apparent involvement, of the City of London Corporation and the Bank of England. The focus of this activity appears to be a little more diverse in the US, but with equally damaging effects.
This is not a happy story. And it is not easy to envisage sufficient international cooperation, amongst nations, to halt, or turn back, these developments.
Countries are now making public announcements about getting tough on off-shore tax evasion, which is part of this story, But given the depth and volume of this activity, and the powerful players involved, one could be forgiven for thinking such
announcements are just so much window dressing.
I am glad I read the book. But it does not inspire much hope for any fairness in our economic plight.
Top reviews from other countries
This book explains how the rich stopped paying their share. How huge amounts of money avoids tax by being routed through the likes of the Cayman Islands or Jersey. How large countries like Britain and the USA have virtually given up attempting to stop tax evasion and instead become tax havens themselves.
If you want to understand how we've created a society where a few people are incredibly rich and getting richer at an ever increasing rate while real incomes after inflation have been falling for everyone else for over thirty years this book explains the huge role tax havens have played in creating it. If you read this book the next time a politician boasts about "deregulation" you'll understand that it doesn't just mean horse-meat in burgers. it's also the reason Warren Buffet pays a lower proportion of his income in tax that his receptionist and the reason there's no money to run the local library or fix potholes in the street.
I can't recommend this book highly enough.