How about a trip to the Cayman Islands?
SAN FRANCISCO, USA: San Francisco Chronicle, August 24, 2009 – Swiss banks are seeing their much-vaunted privacy crumble, and it can’t happen fast enough for the deficit-ridden United States.
Governments in the United States and Switzerland have reached a deal to disclose the identities of thousands of account holders who have been using the Swiss bank to evade taxes.
This sorry state of affairs means that it’s incumbent on the IRS, the U.S. Treasury, and Congress to keep up the pressure on tax cheats, wherever they may hide. Switzerland is a great place for American tax officials to start hunting. But how about a trip to the Cayman Islands, Bermuda or Hong Kong? When it comes to hiding money, tax dodgers will travel the world.
Cayman copied the Swiss model
NEW YORK, USA: New York Times, August 22, 2009 – While Switzerland is arguably the largest off-shore center, it is not the only one. Supporters of its banking secrecy code point out that the code is wrapped up in the country’s claims to neutrality and being above the global political fray. But secrecy has also turned out to be immensely lucrative; according to some estimates one-quarter of the world’s offshore money now resides in Switzerland.
Other countries or territories have copied the model – Liechtenstein, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Macao and Hong Kong among them. And while Switzerland is probably seen as the most conservative, blue chip, upstanding offshore haven, the others are measured by a sliding scale of probity and association with dubious business practices, if not crime.
Financial assets stowed in the Cayman Islands
TUCSON, USA: Inside Tucson Business, August 21, 2009 – Obama has good financial reason to close tax havens. This could boost federal tax revenues, helping pay for healthcare reform. Levin estimates the annual loss at $100 billion. No one knows for sure. But Baker says financial assets stowed in the Cayman Islands alone peaked at about $1.9 trillion, with an estimated half belonging to Americans.
Requiring more financial disclosure abroad might also make the world’s financial system safer. Huge amounts of “toxic” financial assets have been hidden in tax havens, some of which had to be repatriated, worsening last fall’s near-meltdown of the financial system.