Breaking News Shock Horror!!!!!
It seems the Rich and Powerful use tax havens to avoid paying their fair share.
Well, there’s a bloody surprise. Who could have guessed it? You could knock me down with a feather.
We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes. ~ Leona Helmsley (from 1989)
I worked in Banking and Financial Engineering all of my ‘official’ career, and I’ve known this ever since I could tell which side of a cheque was the front. Any Banker worth his salt knows that the rich and powerful don’t actually pay taxes. The British Chancellor of the Exchequer knew this, so did the US Secretary of the Treasury, and the Minister of Finance in France, and everyone else with more intelligence than a demented gerbil. Even dimwit David Cameron’s father knew all about international tax avoidance.
These people have to pretend surprise now that the whole Panama Papers thing has hit the news. (For some of these people the brown stuff has really hit the fan ~ because their roles in all of this will now be in the limelight.)
There are a few basic techniques, (conjuring tricks), towards not paying taxes;
- Your companies are ‘officially’ based in and report through a low-taxation regime; Dublin Docks, the Irish-Dutch Sandwich, Lichtenstein, one of the obscure Caribbean nations, & etc, & etc….
- You ‘officially’ reside in a low taxation regime, Switzerland is nice, Monaco even more so.
- You don’t actually make any money. Trust me, it’s ridiculously easy to not make any money.
- You don’t own anything except your companies. Everything you buy is on the company, everything you use is on the company, the company owns all of your homes, your private jet, your yacht, your cars…
- Your companies ‘officially’ make losses.
- You don’t employ anyone. Your lawyers, accountants, butlers, drivers, maids, pilots, yacht captain, mistresses, hookers, are all employed by the companies you control. Your company even pays the bill when you eat at a fancy restaurant.
- All direct taxes, sales tax, value added tax, are reclaimed through the companies you control.
- Get ‘slightly criminal’ and invest in bearer shares and bearer bonds.
- Choose your banks very carefully, HSBC has a global reach and is really good at this stuff, (as well as money laundering if you require that service).
It would be boring to go on and on, but you get the basic idea.
Various top people in various governments are making a big show of trying to put a stop to all these scams. Don’t hold your breath. The efforts to make global finance more transparent are more up-front show than Las Vegas.
You know what? It’s actually worse than that. If you are rich enough, and powerful enough, various governments will fall over themselves to give you a shed-load of money. Put up a few ugly wind turbines, invest in a lot of solar power, plant some trees, buy the British steel industry… The list of things for which your government will make the rich even richer is long, wide, and detailed. Read some of it and weep.
There is a slightly brighter spot on the horizon. Rich and powerful men just can’t stop getting married to gorgeous, scheming, avaricious women. When the marriage breaks up, then their ex will take them for all she can get ~ and the divorce lawyers will be rubbing their hands with glee. Serves the evil bastards right.
There is one brutal truth you need to remember; The Rich get Richer, and you get ground into the shit. Meanwhile the old-age pensioner has to choose between heating her home and buying enough to eat.