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Massive capital flows to tax havens

New research for the Tax Justice Network campaign group – sifting through data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and private sector analysts, shows capital flooding out of countries across the world and disappearing into the cracks in the financial system.

So what has actually gone offshore? Has this capital been sent out by the shipload? Are these containers filled with bundles of high denomination banknotes? Have giant ports been constructed in places like the Cayman Islands to handle this huge flow of goods? Are there secure guarded warehouses full of gold bars, jewellery, machine tools and old master paintings in these tax haven islands?

Of course not. Most of these assets remain exactly where they were to start with and what has been squirreled away are paper and electronic claims on wealth. And wrapped up, and at the core of most of these assets, is something very tangible and immovable – real estate ie land.

Which is easy to tax unavoidably given the will. Unfortunately people like John Christensen and the Tax Justice Network do not want to recognise the nature of the problem, possibly because they have too much intellectual capital invested in their thinking.