Attali: London, and Not Panama, is the Biggest Depravity
PARIS, April 19, 2016 (Nouvelle Solidarité)—Jacques Attali, former grey eminence of French President François Mitterrand, wrote in his regular column in the weekly L’Express that people should not be dazzled by the Panama Papers scandal, and that the real problem and threat to the world economy is the City of London and similar financial centers in the U.S.A.
Since the Panama Papers were revealed, Attali says,
"a debate has created enormous confusion." That large capital flees paying taxes is well known, and one should not "pretend to believe that only a few exotic places could hide assets from public scrutiny so as to avoid paying taxes, yet many of the most respected countries in the world provide the means to do so."
A serious fight against tax havens, however, is difficult,
"when we know in fact that several U.S. states are at the forefront in this area, such as Delaware, and several European countries, such as Great Britain or Luxembourg. I look forward—as a delicious treat—to the publication, one day, of the ’London Papers,’ which will unveil how the so respectable City is home to many base fiscal and financial behaviors at the expense of countries in which wealth is created. It will be infinitely more important and meaningful than the Panama Papers revelations."
Attali’s anti-British lunge occurs amid resentment among the French establishment, for the treatment inflicted by U.S. authorities on BNP Paribas ($9 billion fine) for violating sanctions and for imposing sanctions on Russia which the French followed but U.S. firms did not.