Treasure Islands: EU publishes a blacklist of 17 tax-havens and a long-list of runner-up tax avoidance jurisdictions


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US banking is entirely controlled by federal law. I don’t know how an individual US state could do anything to promote banking secrecy.


As a resident of Trinidad and Tobago I find this very hard to believe. The country is basically bankrupt, if I go to the bank they have no foreign currency there are limits on credit card transactions as well.


That’ll show em!


I’d add in the U.K. (It’s their only business model for Brexit that makes any sense, depraved as that is) and Ireland. Because.

Oh France and Germany are really fucking dodgy too.


Bear in mind that this report describes bank services provided to wealthy foreign/trans-national individuals and businesses and not to local residents.The former are just parking cash (in digital form, not physical currency) that generally won’t be withdrawn in any manner within your country’s borders.

The bank collects its fees and, via the bank, the near-bankrupt government wets its beak as well, but besides that they don’t touch the money. It’s a parallel banking universe and local schnooks with their credit cards and chequebooks and such are not welcome.


If you can’t find the sucker, then you’re it.
I get the feeling that we’re all the suckers at this table.


in fact many are in New York and the City of London (the city within London which has its own Mayor and many special privileges and outdates the UK itself)

This book is quite an eye opener Treasure Islands on the approximate $29 trillion plus hidden in offshore accounts. - Some of them like the ELF affair in Gabon which allowed for a huge slush fund used for military projects by French Governments over the years to accounts held by criminals and elites that have special flee clauses (ie. if someone starts looking into it, it immediately closes up and goes somewhere else)


Incorporation laws. It’s all nice and fine that ABC holdings can’t hide money, but if you can’t figure out who owns what percentage of ABC holdings or where exactly its funding comes from it can still be used as a tax haven.


Finally some sense as to why the big money Tory funders followed a small group of nutty racists in promoting Brexit.

  • EU clamps down on dodgy financial havens

  • Tax avoiders and money launderers realize their money is in British colonies / dependancies and that EU will soon force a change

  • Fund a fringe group of morons to encourage racists and ignorant people to back a movement for UK to leave EU

  • Their ill-gotten gains are safe (for now)


The City of London is legally a separate entity from, well, everything else!


The other eye opener from Treasure Islands: The practice was invented and developed by the Mafia. Eureka!


corporate law is the province of the states…


Among the “features” that Mossack Fonseca touts to potential customers about Wyoming in its marketing materials:

“Ownership is confidential and under state law may only be obtained by court order.”

“Managers and members can either be corporate entities or natural persons,” meaning it’s possible for a shell corporation to be formed in Wyoming without any individual person named in the corporate records. [NB: allows combining with other avoidance strategies]

“No requirement to file with the Secretary of State the name” of company managers or members, although the company’s registered agent — not the state government — must keep the information on file at its offices, and apparently those offices must be physically located in the state.

from “Tiny Wyoming office at heart of Panama Papers empire”, USA Today.


Okay, that’s a wrinkle I didn’t know – I’ve created 100s of DE, NV, and CA companies in my day and the reporting requirements really only need to show any officers and a registered agent. Never done one in WY. Still, I don’t see that hiding names of officers does very much to shelter tax money when these companies still need to file federal tax returns and that requires a lot of disclosure. Any beneficial ownership over 10% needs to be disclosed on an corporate tax return, and the IRS aggregates beneficial ownership between family members and (IIRC!) companies with similarly-structured ownership.

Corporate law for most entities in most states requires very little disclosure. That said, the US is an astonishingly bad place to hide money from the tax authorities. I can’t imagine WY does much to overwhelm that basic problem. But maybe.


Also, a note on registered agents – there are a couple of companies – CT Corp, and Incorp, among others that serve these functions. Nothing nefarious about them, they exist to help you track and comply with local corporate law. If the RA has to keep ownership on file, it’s a tiny effort for the IRS to grab that if they are investigating tax fraud.


One issue: affording secrecy to wealthy individuals who wish to disguise their ownership of a venture that, while legal and taxpaying, impacts on the public well-being, say. Cory is attaching this to an item mostly about tax havens, a different issue in the same vain. He did make a distinction IMO.

And then another issue is criminal schemes that, for whatever reason, require a US company, and where the tax filing is probably false, anyway. Perhaps WY is confident it can handle this, but I don’t get why you’d want to attract such actors, as a state. Since you do have a lot of experience with this, out-and-out criminal enterprises often incorporate, for various reasons, do they not?


That was quite a convoluted mess that involved more than Gabon. Anecdotically, Eva Joly, the former judge who led the Elf investigation in the 90s, ended up running for president of France in 2012 under the Greens banner. I voted for her on first round, both out of fidelity to the Greens and appreciation for her character - even though she didn’t stand a chance to reach second round.


Also, it’s not enough to simply have a law. They must also have enforcement. I’m sure that varies from state to state.