The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens by Gabriel Zucman, Teresa Lavender Fagan, Thomas Piketty

By Gabriel Zucman, Teresa Lavender Fagan, Thomas Piketty

We are good conscious of the increase of the 1% because the speedy development of financial inequality has positioned the vast majority of the world’s wealth within the wallet of fewer and less. One much-discussed way to this imbalance is to noticeably elevate the speed at which we tax the rich. yet with a major quantity of the world’s wealth hidden in tax havens—in international locations like Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the Cayman Islands—this wealth can't be absolutely accounted for and taxed rather. not anyone, from economists to bankers to politicians, has been capable of quantify precisely how a lot of the world’s resources are presently hidden—until now. Gabriel Zucman is the 1st economist to supply trustworthy perception into the particular quantity of the world’s cash held in tax havens. And it’s staggering.

In The Hidden Wealth of Nations, Zucman deals a creative and complex method of quantifying how substantial the matter is, how tax havens paintings and are prepared, and the way we will start to process an answer. His learn unearths that tax havens are a fast growing to be chance to the area economic system. long ago 5 years, the quantity of wealth in tax havens has elevated over 25%—there hasn't ever been as a lot cash held offshore as there's this present day. This hidden wealth debts for no less than $7.6 trillion, akin to eight% of the worldwide monetary resources of families. struggling with the suggestion that any makes an attempt to conquer tax havens are futile, in view that a few international locations will continually supply more suitable tax premiums than others, to boot the counter-argument that because the monetary challenge tax havens have disappeared, Zucman exhibits how each side are literally very incorrect. In The Hidden Wealth of Nations he deals an formidable schedule for reform, inquisitive about ways that international locations can switch the incentives of tax havens. in basic terms through first figuring out the enormity of the key wealth will we start to estimate the type of activities that may strength tax havens to renounce their practices.

Zucman’s paintings has fast turn into the ideal for quantifying the quantity of the world’s resources held in havens. during this concise booklet, he lays out in approachable language how the foreign banking method works and the damaging quantity to which the large-scale evasion of taxes is undermining the worldwide marketplace as a complete. If we're to discover the way to resolve the matter of accelerating inequality, The Hidden Wealth of Nations is vital reading.

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Extra info for The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens

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In the United States, a liability: American statisticians see that foreigners hold US equities. In Switzerland, nothing at all, and for a reason: the Swiss statisticians see some Google stock deposited in a Swiss bank, but they see that the stock belongs to a UK resident—­and so they are neither assets nor liabilities for Switzerland. In the United Kingdom, nothing is registered, either, but wrongly this time: the Office for National Statistics should record an asset for the United Kingdom, but it can’t, because it has no way of knowing that the British person has Google stock in her Geneva account.

According to the figures of the BIS, these deposits amount to a total of around $7 trillion. As we have seen, wealthy individuals do not use tax havens to let their money sleep in low-­yield bank accounts; for the most part, they make financial investments. In order to account for them, Henry multiplies the amount of bank deposits by three, relying in this on studies according to which the financial wealth of the rich is generally made up of one-­third bank deposits and two-­thirds stocks, bonds, and shares in mutual funds: $7 trillion times 3 equals $21 trillion.

As for Ireland, outside of UCITS and hedge funds, it is the chosen land of monetary funds. Most money managers still work in New York, Paris, or London—­close to their clientele—­but the funds are subjected to the laws of the tax haven in which they are domiciled. What is the benefit of this maneuver? It enables—­completely legally—­the avoidance of various taxes created to penalize defrauders. Take the example of a Luxembourg fund that invests in American stocks. By virtue of the tax treaty between the two countries, the United States collects no tax on the dividends that are paid into the fund.

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