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The high price we pay for our finance sectors

Our friends at the Tax Justice Network look at the staggering statistics showing how the US finance sector is a net drag on their economy.

Also, as the British government initiates Brexit divorce negotiations to leave the EU, we discuss something they ought to know, but obviously don’t – they’re actually in a very weak position. Could it mean the beginning of the end of the finance curse gripping the UK economy?

Featuring: John Christensen and Alex Cobham of the Tax Justice Network, and Professor of Economics Gerald Epstein of the University of Masachusetts Amhurst.

Produced and presented by Naomi Fowler for the Tax Justice Network.

How to hit tax dodgers where it hurts, at a local level

Public procurement is the focus of the latest podcast from the Tax Justice Network. What is being done to tackle tax dodging companies on a local level?

This month's Taxcast also looks at how massive amounts of money are flowing into the US to circumvent the flawed Common Reporting Standard, the slippery world of ‘residence planning’ and the ‘synthetic residency’ dodge.

Also discussed: Britain’s Criminal Finances Bill which is likely to be passed this year and includes proposals for ‘Unexplained Wealth Orders’ and holding tax evading enablers to account and Britain's apparent threat to the European Union – ‘if you give us a bad Brexit deal, we’ll push regulation-lite, tax haven Britain even further in a race to the bottom and shoot ourselves in the foot.’

Presenter and producer Naomi Fowler is joined by John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network, Paul Monaghan, co-founding Director of the Fair Tax Mark and Miguel Alba, Policy researcher in private sector and tax policies in Oxfam Intermón, Spain Zonas Libres de Paraisos Fiscales initiative.

See also: New Internationalist’s December magazine feature, ‘Tax cheating, easy living’ by Josh Eisen and Richard Swift.

In trusts we trust?

Our friends at the Tax Justice Network take a look at the new game in town: beneficial ownership avoidance, the booming industry in alternative escape vehicles from public registers and why we must shine the spotlight on all of them.

Plus, two big stories that could define 2017: the race to the bottom between nations on tax aka a transfer of wealth to the corporate community, and how the world's biggest havens are increasingly having to account for the devastating effect their tax and/or financial secrecy policies are having on human rights around the world.

Featuring: Lawyer Paul Beckett of cyber-intelligance agency Synceritas, journalist and financial sleuth Richard Smith of Naked Capitalism, and John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network.

Produced and presented for the Tax Justice Network by Naomi Fowler.

See also: New Internationalist's December magazine feature, 'Tax cheating, easy living' by Josh Eisen and Richard Swift.

Should the Big Four accountancy firms be broken up?

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Panama City financial district.

In this podcast, our friends at the Tax Justice Network (TJN) speak with John Christensen at TJN, tax ethicist George Rozvany and award winning economics and finance journalist Michael West, about the Big Four accountancy firms: are they in fact more like the 'Big One'? Should they be broken up?

Also: the Duke of Westminster's 9 billion tax free inheritance and how his family history forms the legal basis for the justification of tax avoidance around the world; why are the world's biggest banks now officially endorsing transparency measures?

And more: so much for Panama cleaning up its act post-Panama Papers scandal: we discuss the demise of Panama's not-so-transparent Transparency Commission.

Produced and presented by Naomi Fowler.

What does Brexit mean for tax justice?

In this podcast, our friends at the Tax Justice Network speak with two journalists who got the Panama Papers scoop, Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier who've written a book about their experience.

Plus, what does tax justice mean post-Brexit? The podcast looks at F4, the (unholy) alliance between Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK, and the accelerated corporate tax race to the bottom.

'Unfortunately there is the world people like you and me are living in and there is a second world, a parallel world, the offshore world where people with enough money will always find possibilities to hide their money...there are people out there choosing which law they want to stick to and that is a problem for democracy,' explains Obermaier.

'I am very clear about what would happen if you take away the secrecy, if you take away the anonymity. I am completely sure that the whole system would crash because why would they go to the British Virgin Islands for a company when you can see who owns it? You know, it's not rocket science.'

Post-Brexit: 'I think that Britain's likely development strategy will be to actually deepen its tax haven role sitting offshore Europe,' says John Christensen from the Tax Justice Network.

This episode is produced and presented by Naomi Fowler.

Brexit and Kleptocracy

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A British Union flag is seen flying outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 1 June, 2016. © REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

How different could the lives of those in poverty have been without secrecy jurisdictions?

We give you the very latest estimates on the missing trillions offshored from the world's developing regions.

Also: Brexit and the special interests behind it: 'Nakedly, brazenly, they're pushing the City of London's deregulated, criminal approach to finance.'

Plus, the Panama Papers shed some light on secretive, pro-tax haven US lobbying group the Center for Freedom and Prosperity's funders.

The 'revelations from the Panama Papers have been sensational but an international investigation with some kind of subpoena power would I think be 10 times as important.' - James Henry

Featuring: John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network, and Columbia University Professor, Economist, lawyer and Tax Justice Network senior advisor James Henry.

Produced and presented by @Naomi_Fowler for the Tax Justice Network.

What is corruption?

London anti-corruption summit

David Cameron hosting London's anti-corruption summit. by IIP Photo Archive

Sleaze and global fraud discussed in this month’s Taxcast from the Tax Justice Network. 

In the May 2016 Taxcast: What is corruption? Well, that’s a political question, and the answer depends on who you ask. We discuss the anti-corruption summit in the City of London, the world’s capital of sleaze, and ask if the sun ever set on the colonial era and the idea that corruption is a poor-country issue. We explore extortive corruption versus collusive corruption and look at a new poll which indicates for the first time the vast gulf between what the British people consider corrupt, and what has become a ‘normal’ way of doing business and politics. The overlap between the public and private spheres raises serious questions about democracy – and the nature of global fraud.

Featuring: Nicholas Shaxson of Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and The Men Who Stole the World, Professor Vincenzo Ruggiero of the Crime and Conflict Research Centre at Middlesex University, Will McMahon of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, Professor David Whyte of Liverpool University and editor of the book How Corrupt is Britain?, plus a brief appearance from British Prime Minster David Cameron and President Buhari of Nigeria. 

The Panama Papers: a podcast special

In the April 2016 Tax Justice Network Podcast we discuss the biggest offshore leak in history, the #PanamaPapers: could it provide an opportunity for nations to expand their secrecy market share? Once again, all eyes are on Trusts... Also, as the #LuxLeaks whistleblower Antoine Deltour’s trial begins in Luxembourg, we ask why protections for whistleblowers are being eroded and what it says about the state of our democracy.

Presented and produced for the Tax Justice Network by Naomi Fowler. Featuring John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network, Member of the European Parliament Fabio De Masi, Antonio Gambini of CNCD 11.11.11, co-founder of Luxembourg’s home-grown tax justice collective Collectif Tax Justice Lëtzebuerg Luc Dockendorf and a brief appearance by EU Commission President and former PM of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker.

Are US politicians serious about tackling corruption?

In this month’s podcast, our friends at the Tax Justice Network ask ‘is the US president really serious about tackling corruption in the finance sector?’ And, ‘are the presidential candidates?’ Now these politicians can prove it. Bank Whistleblowers United tell us how they can restore the rule of law to Wall Street and avoid the next financial crisis in 60 days without any new legislation. Plus: why a wave of tax amnesties is likely to sweep across the world (how does 1 per cent tax and immunity from prosecution sound?) and what the very first transparency data on banks exposes about how they do business.

‘It doesn’t matter what the rules are if you put people in charge who are committed to not enforcing the rules...not a single banking leader of the three fraud epidemics that drove the US financial crisis and much of the global financial crisis has been prosecuted for leading those fraud schemes, not one,’ says William Black, of Bank Whistleblowers United.

Also mentioned in this month's podcast: Democracy Spring, a mass nonviolent action on a historic scale ‘to save US democracy’ in April 2016, Washington DC. More details on www.democracyspring.org

From Google tax scandals to Taiwan havens

The Tax Justice Network examines the companies and countries that profit from lack of regulation, with host Naomi Fowler.

In this podcast, the Tax Justice Network ask which country is the second easiest in the world after Kenya to set up an anonymous shell company? A spotlight is put on tax haven USA and the lawyers secretly filmed by Global Witness advising a fake corrupt African government Minister.

Additionally, Google's tiny tax payment in the UK and how politicians are interfering with the independence of our tax authorities, and the rise of the unnoticed tax haven of Taiwan.

Featuring: Eryn Schornick of Global Witness, Clark Gascoigne of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, John Christensen and Markus Meinzer of the Tax Justice Network, and the voices of some (now shamefaced) New York lawyers.

The Taxcast is produced and presented by Naomi Fowler.

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