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Posts Tagged ‘OECD’

The End of Tax Havens?

Posted by M. C. on August 17, 2022

by Jeff Thomas

So, to return to The Great Race by many governments today, what we are witnessing is a last-ditch effort to squeeze as much wealth as possible from their citizens before those governments run out of gas or, in this instance, run out of credit.

The image above is of a World War II German Panzer tank. So, what does that have to do with tax havens? I’ll get to that soon.

But first, let’s look at the Isle of Jersey, one of the islands in the English Channel. Most people think of it as a British tax haven, but it’s not, strictly speaking, a part of the UK and not a member of the EU. It’s a self-governing parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy and has its own legal, judicial, and, most importantly, financial systems. For decades, it’s been a choice location for those who seek to avoid taxation.

Income tax was first created in England to pay for the Napoleonic Wars (maximum: 10%) and was raised in World War II to a maximum of 99.25%, again to pay for warfare. It was reduced after the war, but climbed again (on investment income over £20,000) to a maximum of 98% in 1974.

Jersey emerged as a tax haven as a result. Since Jersey was not obligated to pay tax to the UK, Britons increasingly deposited their wealth there.

It’s important to mention at this juncture that most of the world’s tax havens first sprouted as a result of similar situations – supply created in response to a clear need. Most people will abide low to moderate taxation but, whenever governments have become truly rapacious in taxing their people, those people have sought to escape enslavement from their own governments. Sometimes, this has meant physically leaving the country (as so many Britons did in the 70’s) and, sometimes, this has meant moving one’s money to a jurisdiction that has either low, or no, direct taxation.

Tax havens have a long history and, since the 70’s, as taxation in much of the world has been on the rise, havens have unsurprisingly flourished.

Not surprising, then, that the blowback from the most rapacious governments has grown. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (a euphemism if ever there was one), or OECD, has led the charge, funded primarily by the US but based in Paris and utilised heavily by the EU as well as the US.

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Doug Casey on the Push for Global Taxation… and What Comes Next

Posted by M. C. on August 11, 2022

There’s always been a move towards world government on the part of a certain type of person—the kind who thinks they know what’s best for everyone else. Busybodies who are willing to use force to ensure you do what they think is right. It’s a disastrous idea. These people are the enemies of individualism, liberty, free markets, and Western values in general. They’re actually antihuman.

As I’ve often said, there are two types of people in the world: People who like to control physical reality and build things. And people who like to control other people. They’re the kind who go into government and push these ideas.

International Man: Last year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and more than 130 countries agreed to set a minimum global corporate tax rate of 15%.

What’s your take on this push for global taxation?

Doug Casey: They say only two things in the world are inevitable: death and taxes. Both evils, to be avoided. With technology developing at its current pace, let’s discuss the inevitability of death another time. But, unlike death, taxes aren’t part of the cosmic firmament. They’re neither necessary nor desirable.

Let’s go back to the basics, define the word in question, and look at the moral concepts that surround the subject.

What is taxation? It’s actually theft. Why do I say that?

If you look up the dictionary definition of theft, it says, “the act of stealing, specifically the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it.”

There is no clause that says, “unless you’re the government, then it’s taxation and not theft anymore.” Theft is theft, even if you and a few associates set yourselves up as the government and decide to call it something else. It’s still destructive, criminal, and immoral, even if you decide the theft is for a “good” purpose.

The ideal in a moral society is voluntarism. Coercion is kept to a minimum. It certainly isn’t institutionalized and made part of the cultural fabric. If funds are needed or wanted, no one has a right to hold a gun to someone else’s head and steal them.

How you think and feel about the subject of taxation is a reflection of your worldview, your ethical makeup, and your essential character. Do you prefer voluntary exchange or coercion? Of course, coercion is the essence of government. That’s why government should be limited to the greatest degree possible.

In that light, it’s very disturbing that 130 national governments have already endorsed the notion of a 15% minimum tax. Why aren’t they, instead, talking about a 15% maximum tax?

If this destructive idea is implemented, at best, we’re going to wind up another layer of bureaucracy to administer worldwide pork barrel spending. Those who are already rich, the politically connected, and the apparatchiks will be huge beneficiaries. Society at large will suffer a big drop in the standard of living.

This trend is evil, destructive, and unnecessary. It should be fought against, not just because it will slow, distort, or even destroy the world economy. Taxes degrade everything, as does any form of theft. But taxes shouldn’t be fought with practical or economic arguments; they should be fought primarily on an ethical and a moral basis.

International Man: So far, the US government hasn’t signed on to the OECD deal even though Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen has strongly supported the creation of a minimum global corporate tax rate.

Do you think American companies and citizens will eventually be under the yoke of a global taxation regime?

Doug Casey: Yes. There’s always been a move towards world government on the part of a certain type of person—the kind who thinks they know what’s best for everyone else. Busybodies who are willing to use force to ensure you do what they think is right. It’s a disastrous idea. These people are the enemies of individualism, liberty, free markets, and Western values in general. They’re actually antihuman.

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The Real Reason Behind Janet Yellen’s Global Tax…

Posted by M. C. on April 15, 2021

No matter what they call it and what method they use, bankrupt governments are trying to prevent money from leaving for greener pastures.

by Jeff Thomas

International Man: Recently, Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen called for a global minimum tax rate because it would reduce the likelihood of US companies moving offshore.

It seems that the US government recognizes that its confiscatory tax policies are driving productive people and companies out and is looking to make sure they have nowhere to run.

What is really going on here?

Jeff Thomas: For many years, I’ve heard businesspeople, particularly American businesspeople, complain that their government is making all the wrong moves; that neither increased taxation nor capital controls are going to help business succeed and thrive in America. I’m afraid that they’re looking at this the wrong way round. They’re making the assumption that the government’s primary objective is to serve the American people. It is not. Governments don’t see themselves as existing to serve the people, they see themselves as feeding off the people. They are essentially parasitical organizations that produce nothing and consume what they can successfully take from the populace. Once that concept is understood, such moves as the present one become easier to understand.

Government could help business simply by downsizing government and lowering taxes. Business would then thrive. But that would dramatically diminish the take by government. Governments operate through coercion. So, when business leaves a country in response to greater taxation, government reacts by force. In this case, that means an attempt to eliminate the freedom that exists in another country. Rather than declare war on that country and take it over, it’s more palatable to create economic warfare “for the greater good.” So, yes, Ms. Yellen’s call for a global tax rate is intended to eliminate places for American business to run. In essence, this is The Land of the Free seeking to eliminate freedom worldwide as it has at home.

International Man: The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has long tried to end financial privacy and impose regulations on countries with low (or no) taxes.

In light of Yellen’s comments, do you think the next step is a big push to try to harmonize global tax rates?

Jeff Thomas: The OECD’s goals have never been broadly understood. They’ve always presented themselves as a “helping hand” organisation, but from the beginning, they’ve had two primary goals: 1) The regulation of tax compliance worldwide and 2) The elimination of tax havens through global tax uniformity. The first effort has been pursued by periodically creating “Minimum International Standards.” The implication has been that the nations of the world have all agreed on these, but in fact, the standards are arbitrary, created solely by the OECD and announced to the world, imposing them on not all countries but on a selection of targeted tax havens under the guise of the prevention of money laundering, terrorism, etc. This latter ploy is used in order to gain public acceptance of what is essentially an attempt at selective global economic control.

The second effort is one that they’ve kept under wraps for decades, but it has always been the top priority. Until recently, it would not have been either palatable or achievable, but it is being put forward now, amid the confusion over COVID – a time when it may be able to grow some legs.

The claim is that the goal is to harmonise tax rates worldwide, but that’s not the real intent. The goal is to neutralise tax havens in order to trap their own citizens.

International Man: Will it work?

Jeff Thomas: Yes and no. They’ll succeed to some extent, but there will be massive blow-back by the tax havens and their investors. Until now, progress for the OECD has been slow, as tax havens have been very adept at dodging bullets and finding work-arounds for OECD demands. In addition, most tax havens cannot simply change their national policies; they’d need to change their constitutions to bring about dramatic change. So, elections would need to be fought over those changes, and there would be a considerable variety of outcomes, accompanied by endless delays. Don’t forget: No tax haven will voluntarily commit economic suicide just to please the OECD. This will be dragged out as long as possible, and the outcome will be far from uniform.

This brings up another important point in answer to your question. In addressing the “Great Reset,” we don’t doubt the determination of The Powers That Be to achieve this, which often leads us to assume they will ultimately succeed. Yet we know that the First World countries that are at the forefront of the New World Order have entered the crisis stage; it’s unlikely that they’ll survive the crisis intact. At some point, they’ll crash and will be unable to fund all their agencies, such as the OECD. It’s quite likely that the effort to eliminate tax havens will fall apart in mid-transformation since it will be a drawn-out affair. Tax havens will certainly be hard hit, but that doesn’t mean they won’t survive.

International Man: No matter what they call it and what method they use, bankrupt governments are trying to prevent money from leaving for greener pastures. What do you think is the next scam they’ll try?

Jeff Thomas: Well, this is it: the recent announcement by Ms. Yellen. I’ve been waiting for this one for a very long time, and this is the big one: the OECD’s main objective, as I mentioned. I don’t think they’ll be as patient with this one as they have with the effort to regulate the tax havens. They’re running out of time and will have to fast-track this before their whole power base visibly unravels. I’ve talked to many people in the tax shelter industry about this, and they unquestionably fear this development becoming a major force. But I personally welcome the fast-tracking. The quicker they attempt to rush the effort, the more likely that it will fall apart midstream. People will only tolerate so much loss of freedom at one go.

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‘Global Taxes – Global Stagnation’ – Ron Paul’s 12 Apr. Column

Posted by M. C. on April 13, 2021

The goal of those supporting global minimum taxes enforced by a global tax agency is to prevent countries from lowering their taxes. Lowering corporate and other taxes is one way countries are able to attract new businesses and grow their economies. For example, after Ireland lowered its corporate taxes, it moved from being one of the poorest countries in the EU to having one of the EU’s strongest economies. Also, American workers and investors benefited from the 2017 tax reform’s reduction of corporate taxes from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Apr 12 – Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has proposed that governments around the world require payment of at least a uniform “global minimum corporate tax.” A motivation for Yellen’s push for a global minimum corporate tax is fear that the Biden administration’s proposed increase in the US corporate tax will cause some American corporations to flee the US for countries with lower corporate taxes.

President Biden wants to increase corporate taxes to help pay for his so-called infrastructure plan. The plan actually spends more on “progressive” priorities, including a down payment on the Green New Deal, than on infrastructure.

Much of the spending will benefit state-favored businesses. For example, the plan provides money to promote manufacturing and electric vehicles. So, the idea is to raise taxes on all corporations and then use some of the received tax payments to subsidize government-favored businesses and industries.

The only way to know the highest valued use of resources is by seeing what goods and services consumers voluntary choose to spend their money on. A system where the allocation of resources is based on the preferences of politicians and bureaucrats — who use force to get their way — will be less efficient than a system where consumers control the allocation of resources.

Thus, the greater role government plays in the economy the less prosperous the people will be — with the possible exception of the governing class and those who make their living currying favor with the rulers.

Yellen’s global corporate tax proposal will no doubt be supported by governments of many European Union (EU) countries, as well as the globalist bureaucrats at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). For years, these governments and their power-hungry OECD allies have sought to create a global tax cartel.

The goal of those supporting global minimum taxes enforced by a global tax agency is to prevent countries from lowering their taxes. Lowering corporate and other taxes is one way countries are able to attract new businesses and grow their economies. For example, after Ireland lowered its corporate taxes, it moved from being one of the poorest countries in the EU to having one of the EU’s strongest economies. Also, American workers and investors benefited from the 2017 tax reform’s reduction of corporate taxes from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Yellen and her pro-global tax counterparts deride tax competition between countries as a “race to the bottom.” In fact, tax competition is a race to the top for the countries whose economies benefit from new investments, and for the workers and consumers who benefit from new job opportunities and new products. In contrast, a global minimum corporate tax will raise prices and lower wages, while incentivizing politicians to further increase the minimum.

A global minimum corporate tax will also set a precedent for imposition of other global minimum taxes on individuals. This scheme may even advance the old Keynesian dream of a global currency. The Biden administration is already taking steps toward a global currency by asking the International Monetary Fund to issue more special drawing rights (SDRs).

Global tax and fiat currency systems will only benefit the world’s political and financial elites. In contrast, regular people across the world benefit from limited government, free markets, sound money, and reduced or eliminated taxes.

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The Recovery Is Stalling. We Need Pro-Market Reforms Now. | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 16, 2020

Government shutdowns have created a solvency problem with severe long-term ramifications in large parts of the business fabric. One in five companies in the UK are considered “zombies,” almost 12 percent in the United States, and more than 15 percent in the eurozone.

Daniel Lacalle

The Economic Sentiment Index of the European Commission for August shows that the recovery of the European economy is slowing down. Not only has the pace of recovery slowed significantly, but the data for Spain reflected evidence of being the only economy in the euro area where the index fell compared to July. If we look at the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) leading indicator index, the evolution is also worrying. 60 Bloomberg also tracks the daily activity in most economies, and the evidence points to a deceleration in August in most developed and emerging economies. Only the United States seems moderately better in comparison, although the slowdown in the recovery process is also evident.

Many may say that it is normal to see a deceleration in the recovery after such a fast bounce in June and July, but when most economies’ outputs remain 10 to 20 percent below February levels after the reopening, we must be concerned. We also must warn about a rapid recovery in GDP (gross domestic product) that comes mostly from massive increases in debt and government spending. The reality is that for most businesses and households the economy remains far away from 2019 levels.

Why Such a Rapid Change in Trend?

The first and wrong analysis is usually to blame the slowdown on a bad tourist season affecting the travel and leisure sector. Of course, it is an important factor, but many other parts of the economy are showing an abrupt change in trend. Furthermore, the worsening of the indicators is clearly reflected in industry and consumer confidence, with manufacturing purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) slowing down in the eurozone and even entering contraction in Spain.

The forced closure of the economy by government decision and the lack of confidence in the future have a profound midterm impact on the economy.

Government shutdowns have created a solvency problem with severe long-term ramifications in large parts of the business fabric. One in five companies in the UK are considered “zombies,” almost 12 percent in the United States, and more than 15 percent in the eurozone. The Bank of Spain warns that 25 percent of Spanish companies are in a situation of technical bankruptcy and business closure.

Governments have ignored the fragility of the private sector for years, while corporate debt and solvency ratios reached new record highs. However, what is more important is that governments have not paid any attention to the weakness of the small business fabric, millions of companies with one or two employees that managed to survive day by day, that had no debt or assets and have been destroyed by the misguided and ineffective forced shutdown, not because their owners used the wrong strategies.

The excess of capacity built in the fake and indebted growth period of 2017–19 is also evident in the weak recovery. Small businesses’ death by working capital and so-called strategic sectors’ zombification through low rates and high liquidity are the collateral damage of the eternal stimulus we have seen in the post-2008 period, particularly in the European Union, where large conglomerates are viewed by governments as hidden social security systems and behave almost like state-owned enterprises in numerous cases. The August composite manufacturing index in the eurozone shows this slack. It worsened from 54.9 in July to 51.6 in August. Still expanding, but a massive slump for one month. Following the daily activity indices published by Bloomberg Economics, economic activity in the euro area is still 10 percent below February levels, and recovery slows after reopening.

The main problem is that all this occurs in the middle of the largest chain of stimuli since the creation of the eurozone. The balance sheet of the European Central Bank has soared from 39 percent of the GDP of the eurozone at the beginning of the year to 55 percent in August 2020, much larger than the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve (33 percent of US GDP) or of the Bank of England (32 percent), though still far from the monetary insanity of the Bank of Japan (120 percent). Negative interest rates, a European Central Bank that has bought more than 20 percent of the outstanding debt of most member countries, liquidity injections into the financial system via targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTROs), and a fiscal stimulus of almost 10 percent of GDP, yet the eurozone economy is not even close to February levels.

These stimuli do not solve a problem of solvency and falling sales. Most businesses that are closing are not doing so due to lack of access to credit or because interest rates are high (they are the opposite), or due to lack of public spending. They close because sales after reopening are nowhere near the levels needed to cover growing expenses and tax bills. Death by working capital, as I mentioned previously.

Europe and the rest of the world must learn that huge stimulus can disguise the risk of highly indebted countries with serious solvency problems but it does not solve it.

At some point we must begin to understand that periods like the current one are precisely the most dangerous. With the excuse of attending to a crisis, structural imbalances are increased while the productive sector is left abandoned.

When we read about the “support for businesses” in these stimulus packages the majority are just giving companies the opportunity to borrow more now to pay taxes in the future.

This chain of stimuli and government spending will not strengthen the economy. At best, it will zombify sectors that already had growth, productivity, and debt problems before the pandemic. There is some hope, however. Countries like France are recognizing for the first time that the measures they must take if they want to get out of this crisis are reforms that free the economy. These include serious tax-wedge and administrative reforms that attract investment, employment, and improve competitiveness. There must also be reductions of the tax burden on productive sectors, elimination of bureaucratic obstacles, reduction of so-called social charges and hiring costs, lifting of useless regulatory restrictions, incentivization of high-productivity sectors instead of subsidization of low-productivity ones, etc.

Structural reforms are urgent, but the eurozone and Japan have shifted from using monetary policy to buy time to implement those structural reforms to using such monetary stimulus as an excuse not to implement them.

Most developed economies face a dangerous dilemma: choose to follow the path of debt stagnation or strengthen the economy to exit the crisis in a stronger way. Unfortunately, the first alternative benefits a political sector that refuses to adjust, although in the medium term it destroys it by making debt and deficits unsustainable. Author:

Daniel Lacalle

Daniel Lacalle, PhD, economist and fund manager, is the author of the bestselling books Freedom or Equality (2020),Escape from the Central Bank Trap (2017), The Energy World Is Flat (2015), and Life in the Financial Markets (2014).

He is a professor of global economy at IE Business School in Madrid.

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Sweden’s Coronavirus Strategy Will Soon Be the World’s | Foreign Affairs

Posted by M. C. on May 12, 2020


China placed 50 million people under quarantine in Wuhan Province in January. Since then, many liberal democracies have taken aggressive authoritarian measures of their own to fight the novel coronavirus. By mid-March, almost all Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries had implemented some combination of school, university, workplace, and public transportation closures; restrictions on public events; and limits on domestic and international travel. One country, however, stands out as an exception in the West.

Rather than declare a lockdown or a state of emergency, Sweden asked its citizens to practice social distancing on a mostly voluntary basis. Swedish authorities imposed some restrictions designed to flatten the curve: no public gatherings of more than 50 people, no bar service, distance learning in high schools and universities, and so on. But they eschewed harsh controls, fines, and policing. Swedes have changed their behavior, but not as profoundly as the citizens of other Western democracies. Many restaurants remain open, although they are lightly trafficked; young children are still in school. And in contrast to neighboring Norway (and some Asian countries), Sweden has not introduced location-tracing technologies or apps, thus avoiding threats to privacy and personal autonomy.

Swedish authorities have not officially declared a goal of reaching herd immunity, which most scientists believe is achieved when more than 60 percent of the population has had the virus. But augmenting immunity is no doubt part of the government’s broader strategy—or at least a likely consequence of keeping schools, restaurants, and most businesses open. Anders Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist at Sweden’s Public Health Agency, has projected that the city of Stockholm could reach herd immunity as early as this month. Based on updated behavioral assumptions (social-distancing norms are changing how Swedes behave), the Stockholm University mathematician Tom Britton has calculated that 40 percent immunity in the capital could be enough to stop the virus’s spread there and that this could happen by mid-June.

Sweden has won praise in some quarters for preserving at least some semblance of economic normalcy and keeping its per capita death rate lower than those of Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. But it has come in for criticism in other quarters for exceeding the per capita death rates of other Nordic countries and in particular, for failing to protect its elderly and immigrant populations. People receiving nursing and elder-care services account for upward of 50 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Sweden, according to Tegnell, in part because many facilities were grievously slow to implement basic protective measures such as mask wearing. Immigrants have also suffered disproportionately, mainly because they are poorer on average and tend to work in the service sector, where working remotely is usually impossible. But Swedish authorities have argued that the country’s higher death rate will appear comparatively lower in hindsight. Efforts to contain the virus are doomed to fail in many countries, and a large percentage of people will be infected in the end. When much of the world experiences a deadly second wave, Sweden will have the worst of the pandemic behind it….

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Central Bankers Have Declared War on Your Savings | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on December 2, 2019

Recently, European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde bemoaned their surpluses, complaining that they would be better off spending the money on infrastructure and education. Desperate for a modicum of growth, Lagarde is of the philosophy that the only way to grow an economy is through government intervention.

…Lagarde is a proponent of the NIRPs , championing the unconventional mechanism to achieve growth. Since the eurozone has barely cracked 2% GDP, many are anticipating that Lagarde will deepen negative rates during her term as president. Anytime she has mused on the subject, Lagarde has usually dismissed concerns about the saver, noting that they are also consumers, borrowers, and workers.

Unfortunately, this contempt for savers is commonplace because it is antithetical to the Keynesian approach of spending. Disciples of John Maynard Keynes will contend that consumption over saving should only happen during the bust phase of the business cycle, but if you peruse any opinion pieces by individuals subscribing to this ideology, you will only come across spending prescriptions for every type of economy – boom or bust. They dismiss the fact that capital accumulation, not consumption, creates wealth.

This myth originates from Keynes’ The General Theory and Treatise on Money, in which he posits that a saver is reducing the income of another person because he or she is not consuming the goods or services extended by somebody else. Put simply, he considered saving a self-defeating act.

“Saving is the act of the individual consumer and consists in the negative act of refraining from spending the whole of his current income on consumption,” he wrote.

The crusade against savers has been prevalent in the Democratic primary. The likes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have grieved about hoarders , particularly those who are the top 0.1% (no longer just the 1% anymore; likely because these two people are the 1%, too). The presidential candidates are perturbed that the supposed capital hoarders are not putting their fortunes into the economy. This is nonsense talk to justify their wealth confiscation policies, since the affluent are saving and investing, not just stuffing their money under mattresses.

Negative rates, higher taxes, and inflation – the statists are employing every measure to gain access to the fruits of your labor…

If you don’t like it, then you are out of luck. You have nowhere to go. The globalists have declared war on mom and pop savers, pillaging bank accounts and conquering our lives. Is there a chance for victory? As long as the omnipotent and iniquitous institutions remain in charge, optimism over sound economics can only fade to black.

Originally published by Liberty Nation.

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Younger Generation Will Probably End Up Poorer Than Their ...




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Corporate Executives Try to Assess Potential Impact of Tax Change Proposals

Posted by M. C. on November 26, 2019

A global tax. How many tens of thousands of pages of regulation do you suppose that will generate.

Every page dripping with fairness. The end result will be our bleeding.

Corporations don’t pay taxes, they collect them.

Consumer facing-means the military-industrial-government-bankster complex conveniently will not be burdened.

When you hear a politician say “the corporation pays the tax, the citizen will never feel it” you know this person is totally ignorant, lying scum or more likely both.

Corporate tax chiefs are trying to assess the potential implications of a proposal for a new global tax system for consumer-facing businesses, an effort that is being complicated by what some companies describe as a lack of critical details.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is running the initiative, was scheduled to meet Thursday and Friday in Paris to discuss a proposal that would set a standard tax rate for a company’s global operations and allow individual governments to tax profits above that based on sales accounted for by each country.

The new rules would represent a departure from current regulations that look at where companies are based and where they hold patents and brands.

Dubbed the “unified approach,” the rules would apply to companies with annual revenues of more than €750 million ($830 million) in consumer-facing industries, a broad term that includes technology companies—which have been in the spotlight for their tax practices—and other firms selling services and goods to consumers…

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Global Warming Alarmists Chant ‘Forget The Carbon, We ...

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