Palm trees, Cayman Islands 2006. Credit: Kris Fulgham/Flickr
The Cayman Islands is the world’s leading hedge-fund domicile. Photo: Kris Fulgham/Flickr (http://ow.ly/hXcjW)

Corruption, extortion and money laundering: Time for the G20 to act

22 February, 2013 | General

Corruption, extortion and money laundering will be on the agenda this week (Feb 25-26) when the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group meets in Moscow. They will have to act decisively and strongly to stem the flood of dirty money bleeding poor countries dry.

Tax havens and developed western economies facilitated the illicit outflow of nearly $6 trillion from developing countries over the past 10 years, research by Global Financial Integrity has found – money that could have been used to invest in health and education, and end hunger in the world’s poorest countries. Oxfam calculates that just over a quarter of the taxes that could be raised each year from money now hidden away in tax havens would be enough to lay the foundation to end global hunger.

It's estimated that there is $32 trillion sitting in tax havens globally which could raise $189 billion annually if it were taxable. Just $50.2 billion a year is the level of additional investment needed, combined with other policy measures, to end global hunger. In 2009, the G20 agreed to take action against tax havens secrecy by negotiating new transparent tax cooperation agreements.

There’s been some progress: a new Anti-Corruption Action Plan for 2013-14, and a commitment last year to closing the gap between anti-corruption actions plans and declarations, and actual implementation and enforcement. But so far a G20 tax haven crackdown has largely failed to materialize.

The leaders of the world’s largest economies can’t stand by as tax havens take billions from the pockets of ordinary people in rich and poor countries alike.

The G20 now needs to commit to mandatory country-by-country reporting by multinational companies, lifting the veil of secrecy on taxes paid in countries where they operate, and ensuring they pay their fair share. 

Related links

Research report: Owning development: Taxation to fight poverty

Briefing paper: Left behind the G20? How inequality and environmental degradation threaten to exclude poor people from the benefits of economic growth

Comments

... the lifestile in the 21. st centuries ...

 

as long as we go on this way there is no hope ...

the system failed ...

mankind on its way down ...

destuctive humens on the rule ...

damaging actions on mass ...

society went to a point where we should ask ourselves ...

should species Homo sapiens, distinguished from this planet ...

my vote is on yes for that issue ...

hope is extinguished little by little ...

just becouse i have seen & experianced all this ...

... on the other hand ...

Sartre, in March 1980, within three weeks of his death, declared: "It is necessary to try to explain why the world of today, which is horrible, is only an instant in a long historical development, that hope always has been one of the dominant forces in revolutions and insurrections, and how I still feel hope as myconception of the future."

... thank you Stéphane Hessel the Path to hope ...

  1. ... thought, we urge striving to bring about a latter-day Renaissance by adopting the moral and spiritual contributions on other cultures.
  2.  In particular,we advise looking to Asian wisdom. We need too offer the world something more than a mere perpetuation of westernization. Let us offer, instead,a political approach based on humanism.
  3.  Such anapproach respects the distinctive features and the resources of various cultures, and also takes intoaccount their peculiarities and shortcomings. It strives to create a synthesis of the best of all civilizations. 
  4. The   idea of such a symbiosis among ci  vilizations ought to dispel
  5.  once and for all the idea of culture shock or a war of civilizations.

 Stéphane Hessel and Edgar Morin

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