Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dreaming of New Haven Taxes

Yuppy Seal at Bronte MMXI ... Carlos and Us

Why Panama remains a money laundering haven

Won’t somebody please think of the tax havens?

Lucky for the Isle of Man, Moody’s notes it’s been wise enough to anticipate such headwinds and has been working hard to diversify its economy for a while...
As an aside, Moody’s also reports that deposits for the island — the majority sourced from IoM *cough* corporates and the UK — have been on a declining trend, falling by about 30 per cent since 2008.
So there’s obviously no “regulatory arbitrage substitution” dimension to any of this. This is an entirely new type of industry, totally unrelated to providing the international market with a means to skirt taxes or regulationss. For realz.
Nor is it focused, like Las Vegas, on giving refuge to those entrepreneurs who earn their income from encouraging those in more stringent jurisdictions to pass over money in the form of gambling losses.
And last of all, it certainly has nothing to do with using language — specifically the application of the word “technology” — to disguise traditional tax efficient financial services as something entirely different, innovative and technological.
We are reminded in the Moody’s report that there was once a time — up until the 1980s in fact — when the Isle of Man economy was based on agriculture, fishing and tourism. But, with the island’s transition to a low-tax legislation model, these low-value added sectors were substituted for financial services, which initiated a magical period of soaraway growth.
The big news from the offshore financial centres is that giving tax refuge to old-school industrial wealth and carte blanche to the financial rent-seekers who prey on its availability, is so yesterday.
Today it’s all about offering regulatory and tax protection services to the new masters of the universe: techies....
The rich are drawn to services which anonymise and obscure wealth from the intrusive eyes of the state because they believe this will stop it being confiscated in the form of taxes. What they neglect, however, is that amongst the services taxes pay for are state protection from greater predators than themselves.
That, ultimately, is the irony about tax havens. The rich get overly glamoured by the tax savings, so tend to overlook all the other ways they habitually get ripped off or over-exposed to risk instead. Nor does it help their cause that being fairly accomplished business people in their own right they probably tend to over-estimate their ability to navigate such treacherous waters independently.
To wit, Matt Levine’s observations about the demise of gold broker Bullion Direct because of, well, missing gold and overzealous beliefs about the ability of gold to protect wealth unilaterally:

There is a deep lesson here, which is that even if someone has convinced you not to trust the fundamental institutions of modern society, that doesn’t mean you have to trust him! Just because he’s opened your eyes to the vast conspiracy of the modern financial system doesn’t mean that he’s not also running a smaller, more focused conspiracy to take your gold.

Worker voice critical in US growth agenda Larry Summers (!), FT. “Strengthening collective worker voice has to be an important component of any realistic American inclusive growth agenda.” 
Growing economic segregation among school districts and schools Brookings
Greetings From Bitcoin Island
The City's stranglehold makes Britain look like an oh-so-civilised mafia state

Taib a little taste of laundering lurks

 “The reason KPMG is promoting privatization is the same reason it's helping wealthy individuals use tax havens: tax havens increase its profits at the public’s expense.” — James Clancy, NUPGE National President KPMG

Caleb Newquist, Coca-Cola Can’t Beat the Feeling That Its Taxes Are Just Fine (Going Concern). “Coca-Cola Co. is learning that the IRS side of life includes a challenge to its transfer pricing method.”

Education Gap Between Rich and Poor Is Growing Wider New York Times. It’s not an accident.