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Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens Paperback – September 4, 2012
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Title: Treasure Islands( Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens) <>Binding: Paperback <>Author: NicholasShaxson <>Publisher: PalgraveMacMillan
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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.
The escape from legitimate regulation and taxation - via the global offshoring & tax havens system - of such a huge amount of individual and corporate money is staggering. The malign power of those who benefit from such escape exerted upon national and international politics and law is horrifying. The realization that we, "the little people," are truly being forced to pay far more than our fair share is crushing. And to have a British author actually state that his country and its former British Empire colonies handle nearly one half of these global escapes is arresting, as is his exposure of how our nation (via Wall Street and U.S. states like Delaware and Wyoming) functions as a major tax haven, and why. While some "expert" reviewers may find fault with this book, we two ordinary folk - with degrees in Economics and Public Policy - found the book fascinating, informative and well worth reading. Recommended.
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.
Includes thorough replies to those who argue the (supposedly) positive moral case FOR offshore havens.
Detailed, thoroughly documented, and, while the body presents a case that left me feeling hopeless that anything might be done to reverse the juggernaut, the Conclusion includes ten highly actionable, practical proposals for solution.
Shaxson quotes the Law Justice Network, which examines how wealthy individuals spend their money in the so-called tax havens. $ 11.5 trillion is hidden from the tax authorities of the countries where this money is earned.
Treasure Island is an impressive book. Well written and provide the necessary juicy stories. It is particularly illuminating how the world of big money is designed and how they deal with the payment of tax.