Treasure Islands for Bankers

I just read an article in the Guardian (so many of my posts start this way, but it really is a great newspaper). The article talks about how the London financial center is a tax haven. This was a huge surprise to me. I new Austria, Switzerland and a bunch of other places made their money this way, but I was surprised to find that this was the majority of the ‘financial services’ being offered by London.
I don't have the book yet that the journalist is reviewing in the article, but I'm sure going to get it. It sounds like dynamite.
Basically avoiding tax seems easy. You make your money in a rich country like America, but pay your taxes in a poor country where you can bully your way to a low payment. Big banks, the Bank of England included, apparently, can help you do this by bribing the right people (politicians in the poor and the rich country) and throwing a veil of secrecy over the whole thing.
It's depressingly simple, just ugly and corrupt, not clever.
This is just part of the greater problem of income misdistribution of course. It's just one mechanism that moves money to the savings accounts of a tiny strata of society that are unlikely to spend it usefully instead of the huge mass of wealthy, mid income and poor people who would probably put it to use immediately and keep the economy moving.
As the spirit level abundantly shows, the more evenly wealth is distributed, the better everyone lives.
Shaxon's book about tax havens is also referenced in this journalist's article about the way the UK government is removing tax after tax from large financial institutions, banks in other words. And research out today shows that the majority of the UK government's funding comes from these large financial institutions in the London financial center - so we can expect income misdistribution (and therefore quality of life) to be getting worse for some time to come in the UK-

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