Has the FT lost its marbles?

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For obvious reasons I rarely mention the many discussions I have with journalists. I leave them to get on with their stories.

But every rule needs to be broken sometimes. I’ve just had a call from a journalist on the FT who told me they are planning to do a big feature on the benefits of using tax havens - next week.

There could be no better indication of where they stand on this issue.

There could be no better indication of the contempt of the financial services community, of which they are a part, for the G20 process - which is meeting to curtail tax haven activity next week.

Unsurprisingly they did not get what they sought from me — which was a list of tax haven tax rates and how a UK based person could take advantage of them.

I reminded them of Denis Healey’s old maxim:

The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison wall.

In most cases those using a tax haven should be the wrong side of that wall. It’s only secrecy that saves them. Which is why it has to go.

And why the FT really has got to understand that promoting abuse of society is not a long term option for a viable business.

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