Sep 26 2013

New York and London: two tales of two cities

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Bill de Blasio, the current frontrunner to be New York’s next mayor, has been making quite a splash with his ‘Tale of Two Cities‘ campaign slogan.

When political slogans are just empty words, they very often fade away. But de Blasio’s words, of course, are chock-full of substance: in fact, they encapsulate one of the defining stories of …

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Sep 25 2013

U2’s Bono sticks up for economic illiteracy

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Something I’ve just written up for the Tax Justice Network:

Britain’s Observer newspaper is carrying an interview with U2’s frontman Bono, containing these pearls of wisdom:

“Q: The other persistent criticism is about the band’s decision to offshore part of their income through the Netherlands to avoid tax. Was it not hypocrisy for you to try to hold the

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Sep 23 2013

Tax Justice Focus: the Finance Curse

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

From the Tax Justice Network blog: a publication I’ve been co-editing.

The latest edition of Tax Justice Focus, edited by Daniel Hind, Nicholas Shaxson and John Christensen, explores the Finance Curse, a phenomenon rather similar to the Resource Curse afflicting resource-rich economies. Evidence continues to mount suggesting that, far from being an asset, a large and globally …

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Sep 13 2013

Five years post-Lehman, five big bank problems remain

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Updated with BIS comments

A summary of a good article by Gillian Tett in the Financial Times. After the 2008 collapse of Lehman brothers, popularly taken to be the big moment of the financial crisis, what has changed? Well, she’s selected six, of which I’ll highlight five since the sixth is rather US-focused:

  • The big banks are bigger than ever,
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Sep 13 2013

Via the American Enterprise Institute: regulate Wall Street More

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Update: another, more recent, poll via Americans for Financial Reform.

From that hotbed of pinko softies at the American Enterprise Institute, a graph (from Harris Interactive) showing the results of a 2012 survey on public opinions about Wall Street:

Hat tip: Stephanie Ostfeld.

These results are all worth remarking on, but I’ll merely focus on one here: where two …

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Sep 10 2013

One Hyde Park “worst investment in prime central London”

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Following my long article in Vanity Fair this year about One Hyde Park in London, the world’s most expensive residential apartment building and a fascinating micro view of tax haven activity in what I’d regard as the world’s most important offshore jurisdiction, I am fascinated to see this, from the Financial Times:

“A one-bedroom apartment in the Candy Brother’s

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Sep 06 2013

Why we need progressive taxation

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

This cartoon kind of says it all, explaining the main basis for a principle that has been accepted by democratic societies since the beginning of taxation.

Read the fascinating vintage comic from which this is drawn, here and here.…

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Aug 30 2013

More on Cyprus, Jersey and the Captured State

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

More and more details continue to emerge about the issue of ‘state capture’ in small tax havens and elsewhere, as I’ve remarked on many times. The latest is a particularly striking one from that old British tax haven favourite, Jersey. The rest of this is posted directly from the Tax Justice Blog. This one is really pretty outrageous.

Over …

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Aug 20 2013

City of London: don’t tell anybody, but we are making lots of money again

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Updated, Aug 21. See below.

An article from the Telegraph newspaper (hat tip: Tax Research)

“I read a private analyst’s note the other day that said: “Some people are partying like it is 1999.” And a successful fund manager volunteered over lunch: “Don’t tell anybody, but we are making money again. Lots of money.”

It’s an appalling article, but …

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Aug 13 2013

Deloitte boss to the UK government: stop this democracy nonsense

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Back from hols, and I’ll start with a story from yesterday’s Telegraph newspaper in the UK:

David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte UK, said that a number of companies the firm had been advising about a move to the UK have put their plans on hold as a result of the mixed messages on tax.

It’s never …

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