Treasure Island by Nick Shaxon. Book made me angry, talk angrier
The City of London is a big player – unaccountable, secretive and abusive, it lobbies and protects these practices. The British component is huge, centred around Jersey, Guernsey and the isle of Man but also the British Virgin Isles, Caymen Island and Bermuda. It’s big and it’s global. Criminal money and practices are mixed up with other money. None of this is clean.
Is there a clean-up? Not really. But make no mistake, public opinion has swung against the practice and is rock solid – we hate it. But Osborne and others are playing a game of obfuscation. The weasel word ‘competition’ has crept in. We need ‘competitive tax markets’. Read that again. It makes no sense. It’s a race to the bottom, where reasonable, democratic decisions by states are undermined by the few for the benefit of the few. All tax havens are an affront to decency, fairness and even fair markets. The book made me angry, the talk made me angrier.