May 06 2016

The Panama papers are not about tax

Posted by: Nicholas Shaxson in: Thoughts

This contains a cross-post from a blog I wrote for the Tax Justice Network recently, with the same headline. It complements another article I wrote for the UK’s Prospect Magazine, entitled Don’t Call Them Tax Havens. An introductory paragraph says:

“A few have called this the “Panama tax avoidance scandal,” but this reveals a profound misunderstanding of tax

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Apr 20 2016

Five myths about tax havens

Posted by: Nicholas Shaxson in: Offshore Banking, Thoughts

Cross-posted from the Tax Justice Network, on my article in the Washington Post entitled Five Myths about Tax havens.

The myths go like this:

  • Tax havens protect vulnerable people against despotic governments, unjust laws and political turmoil.
  • Tax havens are good for high-tax nations.
Feb 22 2016

Global Tax Fairness: new book

Posted by: Nicholas Shaxson in: Thoughts

Cross-posted from the Tax Justice Network: highlighting a new book, containing a chapter of mine entitled Tax Competitiveness: a Dangerous Obsession.

This new book from Oxford University Press, edited by Thomas Pogge and Krishen Mehta, publishes fifteen chapters by leading tax justice scholars on different topics ranging from country-by-country reporting to unitary taxation, from automatic information…

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Feb 19 2016

What really goes on in the City of London?

Posted by: Nicholas Shaxson in: Thoughts

John Lanchester has a wonderful description of a new photo exhibition in London by Martin Parr. Read his review, including a nice plug for Treasure Islands.

He describes a set of demands the Occupy movement made to the City of London Corporation (which Lanchester calls “City 2″ — City 1 being the financial services industry which is often called…

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Jan 21 2016

TJN-backed tax haven book a bestseller in Germany

Posted by: Nicholas Shaxson in: Thoughts

On the book Steueroase Deutschland (Tax Haven Germany) written by my colleague Markus Meinzer, cross-posted with the Tax Justice Network.

We are delighted to note that Markus Meinzer’s book Steueroase Deutschland (Tax Haven Germany) is selling like hot kuchen in Germany: currently ranked at Number 1 in business books, and an even more…

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Jan 15 2016

The Heavens: more accolades

Posted by: Nicholas Shaxson in: Thoughts

My tax haven photo book with Paolo Woods and Gabriele Galimberti is getting some serious attention among the photographer community.

Mother Jones: top photo books of 2015.

“This is a fascinating look at the world of tax shelters. No, wait! Seriously. Paolo Woods and Gabriele Galimberti give us a rare inside look at life in the land of the

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Jan 06 2016

The ironic pillage of tax haven Puerto Rico by offshore hedge funds

Posted by: Nicholas Shaxson in: Thoughts

An article I’ve just written, cross-posted with the Tax Justice Network

Puerto Rico is a peculiar historical relic, whose relationship with the United States has strong echoes of the half-in-half-out relationships that the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies enjoy with the mother country, the United Kingdom. This halfway-house link, which provides solid constitutional and legal bedrock for financial investors while…

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Nov 11 2015

Who runs our countries: us, or global finance?

Posted by: Nicholas Shaxson in: Thoughts

From the Fools’ Gold blog ( a new project of mine.) Cross-posted with the Tax Justice Network.

Stuart Fraser is the former head of the powerful Policy & Resources Committee of the peculiar City of London Corporation, and an influential figure in Britain. He’s quoted in The Price We Pay, a recent documentary on tax havens and corporate tax…

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Oct 28 2015

How the wealth managers do it: an in-depth investigation

Posted by: Nicholas Shaxson in: Offshore Banking, Tax Havens, Thoughts

Cross-posted from the Tax Justice Network

The Atlantic is carrying a truly fascinating article entitled Inside the Secretive World of Tax-Avoidance Experts. And this researcher, Brooke Harrington, went to town on it:

“Given the little that is known about the profession and its role in global inequality, it seemed imperative to learn more about

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Sep 11 2015

Russia’s offshore financial nexus, threatening financial stability and security

Posted by: Nicholas Shaxson in: Offshore Banking, Thoughts

Cross posted from the Tax Justice Network

We have for years remarked on the role of the offshore system in promoting financial instability, not least for its propensity to enable financial players to get out from under financial regulations they don’t like, then taking the cream from risky activities and shifting the risks onto others. Now, from Izabella

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