Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Super rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues. Super rich hold $32 trillion in offshore havens:
The research was carried out for the group Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co.
He used data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations and central banks.
The study estimating the extent of global private financial wealth held in offshore accounts - excluding non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses - puts the sum at between $21 and $32 trillion.
The report also highlights the impact on the balance sheets of 139 developing countries of money held in tax havens by private elites, putting wealth beyond the reach of local tax authorities.
The research estimates that since the 1970s, the richest citizens of these 139 countries had amassed $7.3 to $9.3 trillion of "unrecorded offshore wealth" by 2010.
More details from Daily Kos, World's elite loots at least $21 trillion and stashes it in tax-avoiding hideaways:
According to James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey, half of that gigantic stash is owned by just 92,000 individuals. That is 0.001 percent of the world's population.
But even that $32 trillion doesn't account for everything. Because TJN's report only covers financial assets, not all the real estate, fancy automobiles, yachts and other non-financial assets owned by the ultra-super-mega-rich.
This offshore sector that specializes in tax dodging, the report's authors say, is "basically designed and operated, not by shady no-name banks located in sultry islands, but by the world’s largest private banks, law firms, and accounting firms, headquartered in First World capitals like London, New York, and Geneva. Our detailed analysis of these banks shows that the leaders are the very same ones that have figured so prominently in government bailouts and other recent financial chicanery."
[James Henry says] "This offshore economy is large enough to have a major impact on estimates of inequality of wealth and income; on estimates of national income and debt ratios; and – most importantly – to have very significant negative impacts on the domestic tax bases of 'source' countries" [...]
"These estimates reveal a staggering failure," says John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network. "Inequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people.
Around the world, in very many countries, paying off government debt is dealt with through austerity, cutting programs for the middle and lower classes and imposing tax systems that are unfair on their face. But that's not good enough for the looters. Their offshore stash of trillions goes untaxed.
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Among the findings:
• The top 50 private banks in the world collectively managed more than $12.1 trillion in cross-border invested assets for private clients.
• The three private banks handling the most assets offshore on behalf of the global super-rich are UBS, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs.
As TJN's Christensen says, "What's shocking is that some of the world's biggest banks are up to their eyeballs in helping their clients evade taxes and shift their wealth offshore."
While the super rich engage in tax avoidance to the tune of trillions of dollars, for those "Lucky duckies" poor people, Economists: U.S. Poverty On Track To Hit Highest Level Since 1960s:
According to economists and other experts surveyed by the Associated Press, the U.S. poverty rate is on track to hit its highest level since the 1960s. The consensus among those surveyed is that “the official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent.” Just a 0.1 percent increase would put the poverty rate at its highest since 1965.