So, how much do we think he’ll get wrong in this?

Verso Books is to publish Dirty Secrets, an “explosive” new book from tax expert Richard Murphy, following the revelations from the Panama Papers.

Senior editor Leo Hollis acquired world English rights to the title from Carrie Kania at Conville and Walsh, and plans to publish in the UK and US this autumn.

Dirty Secrets argues that the extent the rich hide their wealth in tax havens has “wide-ranging and calamitous” effect on all of us, and tells readers “what we can do to fight this corrupt practice”.

Hollis said: “Richard is a world expert on this subject, he was one of the first people to highlight the dangers of tax havens. This will be an explosive book.”

Murphy is the head of Tax Research UK and the author of The Joy of Tax (Bantam Press).

The author said: “The tax haven world is changing fast, but there’s a risk that its dirty secrets will continue to undermine the world economy unless there is concerted action to save markets from the abuse the offshore world facilitates. This book will explain how and why capitalism must turn on tax havens to save itself from them.”

Also, do his book royalties turn up in Tax Research accounts so that we can see the tax he pays?

38 thoughts on “So, how much do we think he’ll get wrong in this?”

  1. Like his tax gap reports, Ritchie never seems to have the same publisher from one book to the next. Does he piss each one off in turn?

    Verso books look ideal for him, having published Owen Jones’s “Chavs” and their celebration of Marx’s birth.

  2. At first I thought this was about the Panama papers and imagined Dickie rushing out a book in the same manner as Stephen J. Cannell. But from the sounds of it they are just using that story to garner publicity.

    ” This book will explain how and why capitalism must turn on tax havens to save itself from them.”

    We had to destroy capitalism in order to save it?

  3. ‘This book will explain how and why capitalism must turn on tax havens to save itself from them.’

    Richie speaks for capitalism?

  4. Demetrius,
    You’re quite wrong.

    Having secured Jersey, and the trillions of pounds hidden there, Hitler was able to threaten the whole world.

    Stalin was a cuddly uncle.

  5. “Richard is a world expert on this subject”

    No he’s not. He’s even dropped ‘tax expert’ claim from his own blog following the years of ridicule he received.

  6. This afternoon, I passed a place in Galicia called Cuntis. For some reason, my thoughts turned to the Murphatollah.

  7. Demetrius

    I have literally dropped a bottle of water on my foot reading both your comment and his response to it!What an absolute cretin – he really is without even the semblance of a clue!

    To avoid Linking:

    Demetrius:

    ‘ When I found myself near the banks of the Elbe not long after Stalin died on the personal staff of the General Officer Commanding the 7th Armoured Division the information we had suggests that you are wrong. We were facing the Third Shock Army and they were ready to go and we were on one hours notice to move.’

    RMurphy
    ‘But things changed

    Thankfully’

  8. Noel Scoper

    Still struggling through ‘the Joy of Tax’ although I have read ‘the Curajus State’. My worry is he will look at expanding his blog on crypto – currency into something else – what kind of idiotic title could he come up with now?

  9. Any news on the drop out rate from his classes at Uni?

    Surely no student with any sense would want to remain on a course that will in future probably become a minus point on one’s CV?

  10. I’ve had trouble understanding the high profile of some people in public life. How to explain the Kardashians, the Brigstockes, the Murphys?

    The reason is counter intuitive, insofar as a lack, which should be a liability, is in fact an asset.

    The Ks have nothing about them which I need to know, Brigstocke has not a funny bone in his body and I’d be interested to see Ritchie walk,, because he seemed to stop learning anything at an early age.

    The lack is the lack of shame.

    If I were brave enough to write a blog, I’d have to be right 99% of the time, or I’d crawl away and hide.

    Murphy gets it wrong so often that him getting it right is in defiance of terrifying odds.

    But he feels no shame.

    It’s the way forward, I suppose.

  11. Easily Impressed

    I’ve been lurking here for a little while (since The Register changed and sent me looking for something interesting). The Murphy attacks caught my eye.

    Now, I’m not knowledgeable enough to judge Murphy one way or another. But the way you lot talk – does he suffer from
    Dunning–Kruger “syndrome”?

  12. The general opinion around here varies between his being the prime exemplar of Dunning Kruger or he’s just a cunt.

  13. The Pedant-General

    Tim,

    “or he’s just a c*nt”
    I am reminded that for quite some while, before becoming the “Lord High Tax Denouncer”, each thread on a Murphy pronouncement would inevitably have a comment that read, in its entirety “WGCE”.

    I believe the phrase was “Weapons Grade Cock End” wasn’t it?

  14. He’s just Murphaloon to me. Of course I believe everyone I’ve so far come across doesn’t have a clue what the economy will actually do.

    Does anyone here understand the Fractal Market Hypothesis?

  15. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Yes, the WGCE moniker was coined by Obnoxio the Clown, quondam commenter in these parts.

  16. @BiCR
    For Sirmurphalot, certainly. But I seem to remember the term being used by either Mr Eugeniades or DK in other & earlier contexts.

  17. @EI

    Like many on here I happened upon Murphy’s site originally thinking he might just be a tax expert whose opinion was just different from mine. He’d got an interpretation of some new legislation hopelessly wrong and I politely pointed it out, there then followed the usual refusal to admit he was wrong, ad hominem attacks and the first of many bans.

    And I realised what a twat he was. And worse an ignorant twat. And worse still an ignorant twat pontificating on a subject that has been my career for more than a quarter of a century.

  18. Ironman,

    If that was in response to me then both. Tim at least has a clue what he is talking about. Murphaloon appears to not be able to comprehend basic logic. I’m not claiming to know any better, than Murphaloon but I am trying to learn though.

  19. He has the ability to upset an incredible number of people unnecessarily, and also manages to do this on a one-to-one basis. His workrate in this regard is astounding.

  20. “Fractal Market Hypothesis”: the notion that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil might silence a dim accountant in Norfolk. Or so we might hope.

  21. Good one, dearieme.

    I am looking for something that actually lays out the basic structure of a fractal based economic model. Although my freshman econ professor dismissed the thought offhand, I have never gotten over the feeling that we are using the wrong math for our models. Gary Lammbert’s site isn’t helping with my current knowledge base.

  22. Bloke in Costa Rica

    There was some work on applying non-linear dynamics to the stock market if I recall but it didn’t seem to get anywhere because it wasn’t any more predictive than the default assumption that the best model for a market is basically red noise. I mean, even if the process has a Lyupanov exponent and you know what it is it isn’t going to help you much.

  23. As someone who’s actually worked in a stock market. On the floor of a stock market, when stock markets had floors. I find the notion of mathematically modelling one hilarious wankery. (Although you could, no doubt make a good living doing it. Fools are everywhere.)
    There is only confidence. As ephemeral as morning dew in a hot August.

  24. I wouldn’t expect any model to accurately predict the stock market with enough detail to make a killing. There are far too many variables to be that precise.

    The more I learn about current economic models the more it seems like we are trying to measure the coast of Wales using only a yard glass, after emptying it of course. The question that came to me in my sleep was, Is there a better mathematical system to use for our models? I assume someone else has had this thought so I am now curious on why fractals fail.

  25. LY
    Think of this. For every share traded, there must be a buyer & a seller. Who have entirely opposing views of the price. So one half of share traders profoundly disagree with the other half.
    You want to choose sides?

  26. BiS,
    Is it even that simple? Some buyers and sellers may have the SAME view of the price, and still go ahead, for all sorts of reasons. (May need cash, may be taking a profit, maybe cutting losses, may not want to take losses, whatever)

    In just the last year we’ve been at the greatest peak ever, to doom, to pretty okay, with no great change in reality.

  27. BiS>

    While your ‘it’s just confidence’ explanation sits pretty easily with me intuitively, at least as an explanation for some of the noise obscuring the signal in the short term, shouldn’t we see less volatility now almost all markets are electronically traded?

    Personally, I think the EMH is about right – but the problem is that as well as the long-term economic outlook, which we might call the wind, the market also measures the cumulative total of people’s expectations.

  28. “In just the last year we’ve been at the greatest peak ever, to doom, to pretty okay, with no great change in reality.”
    Exactly.
    The ebb & flow of confidence. Two totally opposing points of view, based on identical information.
    And here’s a share tip:
    When every single one of the experts are telling you a share’s a buy, sell it. Fast. Because their opinions are fully discounted in the price.

  29. I’ve just realised I left half a sentence out of my last comment. Now it reads like I’m even stranger than I actually am.

    What I meant to write was:

    “as well as the long-term economic outlook, which we might call the wind, the market also measures the cumulative total of people’s expectations, which are the hand on the tiller and trimming the sails.”

  30. Looks like a rehash of Dirty Politics by Nicky Hager. Hager is tied into the Panama papers as well, and looks about to release something on them too. Not quite in the same complete loon scale as Murphy, but very much a comrade.

  31. “shouldn’t we see less volatility now almost all markets are electronically traded?”
    Mmmm..Interesting question, Dave.
    Back in the days when market trading was being done in dealers heads, expressed in pencilled jottings in dealing books, there were a lot of limitations to market volatility. Work rate limits, for a start. There were very real limits on how many transactions could be done at any one time. And dealers tended to be very experienced, cautious people. The human brain’s a remarkable thing. It can process a remarkable amount of information very quickly. And it can do so in ways computers can’t. Subtle pattern recognition. Spotting significant outliers. Even at my lowly level of doing the grunt, day to day trades I’d be walking around with several hundred positions in my head. If one of those positions became doable because of a price movement, I’d be asking myself “Do we want to do this?”
    You must remember that stock market prices reflect the, usually, very small proportion of shares being traded at that instant. Most are sitting comfortably in portfolios, undisturbed. So there’s a great deal of amplification in the signal. In a thin market, a couple of forced sellers chasing an elusive buyer, can lop a helluva lot off a share price very quickly. But what’s that signify? It’s only the reflection of a couple of individuals amongst thousands. And that’s the sort of thing you’re concious of. And sniffing that all important perfume or stink of confidence you can’t write mathematical models for. When the winds of doubt blow through, you learn to hunker down ’till the storm passes. Everything gets overblown in the short term.
    I think when the shouty barrow boys in their striped shirts came in, a lot of that got lost. I am certain that some of the “rogue trader.” episodes featured in the headlines would have been less likely. It’d have been much harder building up these unsustainable positions with lots of real people in the loop. They’d’ve stuck out like a sore thumb.

  32. Well, the lawyers will be licking their lips. One thing for a minor blogger to publish stuff, another thing to put it in print.

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