Monday, 19 November 2012

James Bond Hunts $10 trillion Tax

Costas Vaxevanis, the publisher of Hot Doc, which published 2,059 names of Greeks with Swiss Bank Accounts at one HSBC branch, having been found innocent, is now threatened with a re-trial for “invasion of privacy”. The Greeks, who desperately need the €6.5 billion capital repatriated, have decided to shoot the messenger rather than arrest the tax evaders. The list of 2,059 Greeks here. 

The Financial Times reports that (another) 15,000 of 54,000 Greek tax-evasion-capital-flight siphoning operations, amounting to €22 billion might be investigated as fraudulent. I would guess, from my 40 years professional experience of supervising and straightening out tax-planning, that most of the 54,000 transactions, either fully concealed or presumably claiming tax-relief in Greece before shovelling the money to tax-havens, are clumsy acts of false accounting and, as they may involve several stages and people, are probably criminal, fraudulent conspiracies. The details of the invoices, contracts, paperwork, ownership, valuations, transfer-pricing, ultimate control, Trusts, bearer-bonds etc – will not stand up to legal scrutiny or plain common-sense juries. Unless – of course – the judges, examiners, lawyers and auditors are also tax-evaders, who are intent on proving, as most UK journalists have been trained to repeat “It is all perfectly legal”.  I assure you, you optimistic Little Rays of Sunshine, – it ain’t.

Back-duty-tax-cases usually result in legal costs, penalties, fines and compound interest at least amounting to the total capital gouged from the host economy (Greece in these cases).  So, IF the bent, corrupt, criminal, Greek legal and tax system miraculously reformed and adopted the recommendation to motivate its Intelligence Service – all the Greek James Bonds – to collect the off-shore assets – Greece could rapidly increase its Treasury and Bank of Greece liquidity by this well identified €28.5 billion. It would help their collapsing economy.  Properly invested it would create businesses and sustainable jobs.


Newspaper reports are pouring onto the Internet about OECD nations rushing to investigate and recover lists of tax-haven, off-shore and Funny Money bank accounts. These nations include France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Britain, US, Greece (reluctantly), even seriously corrupt African countries, some Indian and other Asian nations – and one or two Pacific Rim countries. The Homelands need to stake their claims quickly.

Britain, with its long, old tentacles embedded in most of the World’s tax-havens, with international banks, James Bond ready for action, and hundreds of years of world- trade, could do a new, roaring trade in recoveries. Aiming to recover, say, 50% of the $21 trillion in tax-havens, for the countries of origin, say, $10 trillion after direct costs – for 10% commission – would net the UK $1 trillion. That would correct its deficits “at a stroke”.   

As there is literally, $21 trillion at stake, of liquid cash and assets – by definition surplus to the needs of the “owners” – as the OECD go after this vast treasure chest, expect resistance, bribery, counter-claims, skulduggery, weaving dodging and bullying. They will not give it up easily.

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