What tax havens do – 1 – They handle stolen property

Posted on

Tax havens handle stolen property. This is not by accident, this is by design. The tale of the creation of Swiss banking secrecy says it all. As noted in a letter in the Financial Times today, Swiss secrecy laws date back to 1934. They were not created to protect German Jews and trade unionists from the Nazis as the Swiss like to claim.This is a big myth.

The reason bank secrecy was strengthened in 1934 was a scandal two years earlier, when the Basler Handelsbank was caught in flagrante by the French tax authorities facilitating tax evasion by members of French high society, among them two bishops, several generals, and the owners of Le Figaro and Le Matin newspapers.

Rather than risk their clients being found to be breaking the law again the Swiss introduced banking secrecy and the notorious numbered bank account system to ensure that customers of Swiss banks could evade their tax at will.

Tax evaded funds are money claimed by fraudulent means. they are stolen property. tax havens have, following in the wake of Switzerland, set out to handle that stolen property.

In March 2009 a Swiss banker quoted in the Financial Times said he believed that half of all funds deposited in that country would leave if bank secrecy was abolished – implying they must be tainted by tax evasion – and that the bankers know it.

The case is not isolated. Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria and a number of British tax havens such as Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man all refuse to automatically exchange information on all interest paid on bank accounts held in their domain by people who live in other EU territories under the terms of the EU Savings Tax Directive. That Directive has only one stated purpose, which is to curtail tax evasion. These places deliberately subvert that purpose and in the process deliberately and knowingly facilitate tax evasion. As such they can all stand accused of deliberately handling stolen property, as can all other tax haven locations that refuse to even consider participating in this process.