US overtakes Caymans and Singapore as haven for assets of super-rich
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: November 8th, 2015
The US has overtaken Singapore, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands as an attractive haven for super-rich individuals and businesses looking to shelter assets behind a veil of secrecy, according to a study by the Tax Justice Network (TJN). The US is ranked third, behind Switzerland and Hong Kong, in the financial secrecy index, produced every two years by TJN. But the study noted that if Britain and its affiliated tax havens such as Jersey were treated as one unit it would top the list. Though the US has been a pioneer in defending itself from foreign secrecy jurisdictions it provides little information in return to other countries, making it a formidable, harmful and irresponsible secrecy jurisdiction, the TJN report said. The scale of hidden offshore wealth around the world is difficult to assess. The economist Gabriel Zucman has put it at $7.6tn, while the TJNs James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey, estimated three years ago it could be more than $21tn. The US states of Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada have for decades been operating as onshore secrecy havens, specialising in setting up shell companies catering to overseas individuals and companies seeking to hide assets. The US has not seriously addressed its own role in attracting illicit financial flows and supporting tax evasion, the TJN report found. Like the US, Britain too remains a central player in the vast financial secrecy industry despite championing corporate transparency on the international stage.