From Volume 8, Issue 11 of EIR Online, Published Mar. 17, 2009

Global Economic News

Brown Ridiculed on Defense of British Tax Havens

March 8 (EIRNS)—Even the London Guardian ridicules the hypocrisy of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's address to the U.S. Congress last week: If Brown opposes banking secrecy, as he told the gullible U.S. Congress, then, says the Guardian, "We shouldn't forget that 11 of the world's 37 'suspect jurisdictions,' as defined by the proposed U.S. anti-tax-dodge law, are inextricably linked to Britain.

"If this Gordon Brown is so opposed on principle to tax evasion, those congressmen might have asked themselves, why did he not as chancellor [of the exchequer] demand transparency from Jersey, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and the rest? With Brown in the Treasury, Britain regularly lobbied the UN and EU against moves to bring financial services under great multilateral supervision," the Guardian adds.

There is an estimated $8.2 trillion British pounds of private wealth currently sitting in "tax havens," that would produce £180 billion in lost tax revenues—more than double last year's global aid budget. But, says the Guardian, cracking down on tax havens would serve "an even more profound purpose—to recast the debate on offshore taxation in moral terms. A better expression for tax havens is 'secrecy jurisdictions,' where along with the profits of legal activity, the spoils of fraud, terrorism, drug trafficking and plunder ... are hidden. That is the company global businesses keep when they operate offshore ... It should be a goal of G20 leaders meeting in April to begin negotiating a universal convention on transparency in accounting for profits—and paying tax on them—in the jurisdiction where they are earned."

All rights reserved © 2009 EIRNS