Must reads at Tax Justice Network

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Tax Justice Network has been producing piles of good blogs this week.

I recommend its review of the new OECD peer review reports. As TJN notes:

The linchpin of effective information exchange, of course -- the number of pieces of information actually exchanged -- is notably absent in this report (to get an idea of the appalling ratio see table 1, page 12 and table 2, page 15 of our recent briefing paper on automatic information exchange).

Will this kind of relevant information be contained in the second phase report? Until we see numbers of the pieces of information requested and exchanged, sorted according to the origin of the requests, and also as shares of total business activity with the respective jurisdiction, these assessments will look more like exercises in Ignoring The Elephant.

No surprise there then.

The link to a video on the US tax cuts for the wealthy is great. Pity I can’t seem to embed it here, but watch it all the same. It’s an attack on anarcho-capitalism, again.

Then there's a piece that asks:

How and why did Britain come to be such a dominant player in tax havenry? Did it arise from government policy, or was it driven more by private sector players striving to shake off the shackles of regulation imposed by Bretton Woods? And how did the various Whitehall departments react to the emergence of this tax haven empire during the crucial period of the 1960s and 70s as it suddenly mushroomed in scale?

In 2009 a TJN research team visited the Bank of England and national archives to explore files released under the 30 year rule. What we discovered was an astonishing inter-departmental battle of ideas, with Inland Revenue on one side fighting to prevent rupturing revenues, and the Bank of England and Ministry for Overseas Development on the other, both supporting tax havenry. The research team, consisting of Paul Sagar, John Christensen and Nicholas Shaxson, has written up its initial findings in a paper which it gave at a conference at Loughborough University this week.

The paper's abstract is shown below. You can download the presentation we used at Loughborough here.

This is a key issue – which the UK likes to ignore. And TJN is tackling it.

Which highlights the importance of the work it does.