Report: at least $20.3 trillion hidden in offshore banks by global elite

By End the Lie

1 trillion dollars compared to a standard American football field, a Boeing 747-400 transcontinental airliner and the White House with both wings. (Image credit: Demonocracy)

According to the most detailed study of the so-called offshore economy to date, conducted by James Henry, former chief economist with the consultancy McKinsey, the world’s richest people have taken advantage of cross-border tax laws in order to put away a shocking $20.31 trillion in offshore banks.

While this likely isn’t all that crazy to those who are familiar with the massive conflicts of interest in the Federal Reserve and the fact that the Federal Reserve works with banks to put Americans on the line for the failures of banks, it might be surprising to those who have no clue how the international financial system works.

The astounding sum uncovered by the Henry is slightly less than the 2011 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Japan ($5.87 trillion) on top of the 2011 United States GDP ($15.09 trillion).

The findings were published in the new report, “The Price of Offshore Revisited,” which shows that money continues to leak out of major nations and into infamous tax havens like Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

These transactions are enabled by private banking institutions which all battle to get the accounts of what the Guardian calls the “global super-rich elite,” also known as high net-worth individuals.

Henry demonstrates that sums between £13 trillion ($20.3 trillion) and £20 ($31.23 trillion) have made their way from countries around the world into these secretive banking jurisdictions.

Thus, the wealth of these ultra-rich individuals is “protected by a highly paid, industrious bevy of professional enablers in the private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries taking advantage of the increasingly borderless, frictionless global economy.”

Ah, such is the glory of globalization! With liberalized trade and finance laws, what petty issues must the so-called global elite be concerned with? None! No more pesky regulations and legal issues to worry about when dealing with huge sums of money!

Henry’s research revealed that the world’s top 10 private banking institutions managed over $6 trillion in 2010 alone. This is obviously a major increase from $2.3 trillion in 2005.

Among others, these banking institutions include the U.S.-based Goldman Sachs and the Swiss UBS and Credit Suisse.

The research used a wide variety of sources including none other than the Bank of International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund and led to some quite astounding conclusions.

The analysis in the report revealed that in some developing countries, the amount of money which has left the country since the 1970s would easily be able to pay the country’s debts.

Unsurprisingly, some of the worst hit by this practice have been the oil-rich nations with an ultra-rich class which can easily take its money out of the local economy.

For instance, the Guardian reports, “Once the returns on investing the hidden assets is included, almost £500bn has left Russia since the early 1990s when its economy was opened up.

“Saudi Arabia has seen £197bn flood out since the mid-1970s, and Nigeria £196bn,” they add.

“The problem here is that the assets of these countries are held by a small number of wealthy individuals while the debts are shouldered by the ordinary people of these countries through their governments,” states the report.

Unfortunately, the number of people holding a significant amount of the assets of various nations is steadily shrinking and obviously the supposedly “public” debt is placed on the shoulders of the everyday people who can’t hide away their riches in foreign banks.

One of the most troubling conclusions we find in this report is that the massive amount of money held in jurisdictions outside of the reach of various tax agencies indicates that the actual gap between the rich and poor around the world is in fact much larger than previously believed.

As evidence of this, Henry calculated that around $9.84 trillion is in the hands of a mere 92,000 individuals. In other words, 0.001% of the population holds more than the yearly GDP of every country except the EU and the US.

“These estimates reveal a staggering failure: inequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people,” said John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network.

“People on the street have no illusions about how unfair the situation has become,” Christensen added.

“The very existence of the global offshore industry, and the tax-free status of the enormous sums invested by their wealthy clients, is predicated on secrecy,” explained Henry.

Indeed, if it was not for the secrecy – which has never been questioned even after leaders of G20 nations claimed they would crack down on such activities – there wouldn’t be such a thing as offshore tax havens.

Unfortunately they are real and they are constantly being used by the ultra-wealthy to avoid the same taxes everyone who is too poor to remove their money from the country is forced to pay.

Brendan Barber, the General Secretary of Trades Union Congress said, “Countries around the world are under intense pressure to reduce their deficits and governments cannot afford to let so much wealth slip past into tax havens.”

“Closing down the tax loopholes exploited by multinationals and the super-rich to avoid paying their fair share will reduce the deficit,” Barber added. “This way the government can focus on stimulating the economy, rather than squeezing the life out of it with cuts and tax rises for the 99% of people who aren’t rich enough to avoid paying their taxes.”

If nations were to go after these funds, the Guardian posits that huge sums of money would become available.

“Assuming the £13tn mountain of assets earned an average 3% a year for its owners, and governments were able to tax that income at 30%, it would generate a bumper £121bn in revenues – more than rich countries spend on aid to the developing world each year,” they write.

Indeed, this would offset the national deficits of so many countries considerably and create a great deal more money for much-needed causes.

Yet I seriously doubt this will ever happen as the people making egregious use of these tax havens are the same ones bankrolling the political campaigns.

Thus, I seriously doubt any smart politician is going to risk his or her political future on going after the ultra-rich class of the world’s wealthiest figures in the name of a couple votes. Sure, they might spew some rhetoric but when it comes down to it, they know who pays for the primetime television advertisements.

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17 Responses to Report: at least $20.3 trillion hidden in offshore banks by global elite

  1. Anonymous July 22, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    This is insane. I think we all know they aren’t going to do anything about it either.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Super-rich stash $21 tn in offshore havens — RT

  3. Marlon July 22, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    This is getting weirder and weirder by the day! These banks are robbing us in broad daylight, with no mask. Not only that they are daring us to say something! This is worse than insane, it’s a global catastrophe!

    Reply
  4. Pingback: BBC News – Tax havens: Super-rich ‘hiding’ at least $21tn « Dr Alf's Blog

  5. Pingback: At Least $20.3 Trillion Hidden in Offshore Banks by Global Elite

  6. Sadasivan July 23, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    The following ARE nothing but,Financial Terrorism:-
    1.Fractional Reserve Banking
    2.Unregulated Derivatives and their misuse to Manipulate the prices almost all things.
    3.Tax havens and Banking Secrecy Laws
    Should there not be a “War On This Terrorism”,too?

    Reply
  7. PAUL LEO FASO July 23, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    There is only one final solution to the financial sodomy being conducted by these criminals. Follow the link below and make it happen. Get all the money back and throw them in jail where they belong.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/print/365866

    Reply
  8. Carlos Chavez July 23, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    If they’re “Elite”, why do they have to hide? What are they afraid of?

    Reply
  9. Walter Burien July 23, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Hmm.. Global elite..32-trillion. How dare they try to compete with our own government?

    Estimates of “collective” local and federal global investments held outside the US is a conservative 55 to 65-trillion dollars.

    It is estimated in China alone US local and federal has market capitalization valued at over 14-trillion.

    And government investment funds do not pay taxes also.. Hmm..

    BUT HOW DARE the Elite compete with our own government, how dare they!

    Review your local government CAFRs today (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) Google your cities; counties; states; and school districts using quotes on the local government and “annual Financial Report”.

    Google PERS CAFR to see a few local government pension fund CAFRs. You will be amazed when you look at the listing of investments how many are scattered all over the globe!

    Reply
  10. BlueyBlogger July 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    There is a perfect and simple way to “milk” these bank accounts of the so-called “elite”.
    Bill Clinton knows how……. ask him!
    He was shown this in 1999, and used it to milk accounts overseas, but took $6 Trillion too much.
    Now you know who funded Iraq…..not Bill, his replacement!

    Reply
  11. acutititis July 24, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Why is the word, “Elite” being parrotted by all? Are these not Beggars & Thieves in reality or is there perhaps some mesmeric agenda conspiring in the background. Afterall, a paedophile is the one who is acutely aware of the sexual development of his victim, is it not? Human being are truly stupid because we were dumb, being of stupidity before our moment of dumbness and so on and so forth. Without the truth being at the front, there can be little truth coming from the rear – unless butter is liberally applied to facilitate.

    Reply
  12. Anon July 26, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Audit the Fed Passes the House! 327(Y)-98(N)
    http://www.campaignforliberty.org/profile/7788/blog/2012/07/25/audit-fed-passes-0

    THIS FIGHT ISN’T OVER YET, FOLKS! MOMENTUM. WE HAVE IT NOW. LET’S USE IT, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT!

    CONTACT Sen. Harry Reid on H.R. 459′s Passage (327-98) – TODAY!

    I did! Here is the text of my message:

    “I was just informed, that the House voted, 327-98, on H.R. 459, & AUDIT THE ‘FED’ passed! I was also just informed, that ‘Sen. HARRY REID is refusing to put Audit the Fed up for a vote in the Senate.’ And, to ‘Please contact his office today and tell him to support AUDIT THE ‘FED’ and allow for a Senate vote!’

    327-98, Senator, is a CLEAR MAJORITY. THE PEOPLE have spoken. Question: Do you represent THE PEOPLE? You may wish to think about this question when it comes time for your re-election”

    CONTACT SEN. HARRY REID TODAY! LET’S FLOOD HIS EMAIL ON THIS ISSUE!
    (Feel free to Copy and Paste the message above, if you wish)
    http://www.reid.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm

    Reply
  13. Pingback: Report: At Least $20.3 Trillion Hidden in Offshore Banks by Global Elite « 2012thebigpicture

  14. Pingback: Report: at least $20.3 trillion hidden in offshore banks by global elite

  15. Abdul August 9, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Congratulations for hiding your wealth from commie FRENCH AND US governments.

    Reply
  16. Banking August 22, 2012 at 6:14 AM

    With this Euro Zone Debt Crisis, Germany may think they are in control, but they might come to realize that they have wasted too much time and too much trust from the other Continental European Countries.

    Perhaps Germany will be damned if they do what is needed to resolve the Euro Zone Problems, and damned if they do not do what is needed to resolve the Euro Zone Problems, and that is Anglo-America’s Secret Scheme, because of the issues involved with the value of the Euro, the British Pound, and the American Dollar.

    If the Euro Zone breaks up, then Germany will suffer, and Germany will get the blame, and European Countries will boycott the exports that Germany needs to survive.

    It could be that once the other Euro Zone Countries recover, they will have long Memories, and they will boycott all of Germany’s Goods and Services, while Many Non Euro Zone European Union Countries will be boycotting German exports, because of being the Puppets of Anglo-America, because of their concerns over a Russian threat.

    What would need to occur is that the current Structure of NATO is changed to have Defence Agreements with Individual Countries, where Germany who was not invited to the recent British Northern League Summit, but Anglo-America would Only make that change a few days before their Scheme, because they will exploit the current NATO for what it is worth.

    The Southern European Countries would have no love lost for Germany, and that is why the Southern European Countries were invited to that Northern League Summit in London.

    This means that Anglo-America only needs to prevent the Baltic, Germanic, and Nordic Countries from trading with Germany using the thought of a Russian treat to make sure that their Currencies keep their Value, and possibly increase their Value at the expense of Continental Europe.

    Germany Demands Independence for Kosovo before the European Union gives Serbia a date to begin ascension talks with the European Union.

    This is because of the Historic and Unbreakable Alliance that was forged between the German and Albanian Peoples in WW 2, as an unbreakable brotherhood of likeminded People, who share a Common Vision for Continental Europe.

    The Serb Republic is not a product of ethnic cleaning, because the two Largest waring groups are both Serbian, and the civil war was essentially between the Muslim Serbs and the Christian Serbs.

    The small group Catholic Croats became Allies with the Muslim Serbs against the Christian Serbs, because of the Historic and Unbreakable Alliance that was forged between the German and Croatian Peoples in WW 2, as an unbreakable brotherhood of likeminded People, who share a Common Vision for Continental Europe.

    That civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina started because the Bosnian Serb Muslims wanted to set up an Islamic State and impose Islamic Sharia Law on a Democratic People, and in Europe of all places.

    The Serb Republic is the creation of International Negotiations of the Legally Binding International Dayton Peace Accords.

    The Internationally Legally Binding Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement, Dayton Accords, Paris Protocol, or Dayton-Paris Agreement, is the peace agreement reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio in November 1995, and formally signed in Paris on 14 December 1995.

    This Internationally Legally Binding Dayton Peace Accords put an end to the three and a half year long civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    The Serb Republic is the product of the Christian Serbs Defending themselves, their families, and their friends, and it is the product of the Christian Serbs Defending Democracy and Human Rights, which may or may not be European Values at all times in Europe, because this is Europe.

    History shows us all that European Commitment to Democracy and Human Rights, even to Not Lying and Not Maliciously Slandering comes and goes in Europe, despite the Fact that this is taught in German Schools.

    Mafia America and the Neo-Nazis of Europe, particularly Germany, will not recognize as sovereign the Political Entity of the Serb Republic, because its origin was the result of the Principled Defence of the United Nations, International Law, and Human Rights and Democracy in Europe.

    America and Germany does not want the Serb Republic to become Independent, because the Bosnian Muslim Serb Islamic State is a platform for Turkish Terrorism.

    Turkey claims that the Serb Republic, Serbia, and Kosovo as Provinces of Turkish Ottoman Empire, and Turkey being a NATO Member and an American Puppet, means that Defence of Human Rights and Democracy are ignored with regards to the Serb Republic and Serbia, as they are with Serbia’s Province of Kosovo.

    Reply
  17. Anoka Shiva May 7, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    Time to check out OPPT-In and join THE ONE PEOPLE movement !

    Reply

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