The latest GFI report

Two things stand out from my entirely cursory skim of this new report (cursory because my word this really is getting boring having to point to the silliness of much of this research):

PRIVATELY HELD, NON-RESIDENT DEPOSITS IN SECRECY JURISDICTIONS

The first is this:

Furthermore, we find that such deposits have been growing at a compound rate of 9 percent annually over the last 13 years, far faster than the growth in world GDP at 3.9 percent per year.

You know, if you\’re going to use a nominal value then you\’d better compare that to other nominal values. The 9% includes inflation (and one would assume returns to investments as well) so we should compare it with whatever inflation and returns to investments are.

No, I don\’t know the numbers either but I could certainly imagine that 9% is the nominal return to investment meaning that there\’s been no growth at all in the sense of extra money going into such accounts. Just the same amount there always was growing over time.

This is even more amusing:

We find that such deposits are currently approaching US$10 trillion, with the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Cayman Islands each holding more than US$1.5 trillion.

In a global financial system people invest money in accounts in a) the global hegemon and b) the world\’s global financial centre.

Whocoulda\’nowed?

Final point. This report identifies $10 trillion and makes very clear that this is the total. Some portion of it (anything from very little to almost all) is entirely legit, taxes are paid on it, there\’s nothing at all to worry about.

Within a few weeks the next report from the same cabal will be using the same estimate of $10 trillion as the amount that is illegally being hidden from the taxman. We\’ll also get an estimate of a \”reasonable return\” which I\’ll, just for giggles, peg at 5% meaning that there\’s $500 billion a year in income being hidden from the taxman, that at headline rates (the assumption will be that this is all rich people who pay high tax rates doing it) there is therefore $250 billion a year being unjustly deprived to the Treasuries of the world and this shows that WE MUST DO SOMETHING NOW.

The caveats about not knowing jack shit about whether tax is being avoided at all will be forgotten or deliberately glossed over.

One further minor prediction. We\’ll see comparisons between $10 trillion in wealth and $60 trillion in global GDP. \”16% of global GDP is being hidden from the taxman\” sort of thing. When of course we should be comparing wealth with wealth…..\”5% of global wealth is held out of reach of thieving governments\” would be more accurate.

Prizes for the first person to spot my predictions becoming reality.

3 comments on “The latest GFI report

  1. am i following it right that the report considers the UK and US to be “secrecy jurisdictions”?

  2. Yes they have listed them as two of the biggest secrecy jurisdictions. I’d love to see Richard Murphy’s take on it!!!

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