Super rich hold $32 trillion in offshore havens

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An employee checks a safe box in the vault of the Basler Kantonalbank (BKB) in Basel January 21, 2009. Picture taken January 21, 2009. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

An employee checks a safe box in the vault of the Basler Kantonalbank (BKB) in Basel January 21, 2009. Picture taken January 21, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

LONDON | Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:49pm BST

LONDON (Reuters) - Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion (20 trillion pounds) of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday.

The study estimating the extent of global private financial wealth held in offshore accounts - excluding non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses - puts the sum at between $21 and $32 trillion.

The research was carried out for pressure group Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co.

He used data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations and central banks.

The report also highlights the impact on the balance sheets of 139 developing countries of money held in tax havens by private elites, putting wealth beyond the reach of local tax authorities.

The research estimates that since the 1970s, the richest citizens of these 139 countries had amassed $7.3 to $9.3 trillion of "unrecorded offshore wealth" by 2010.

Private wealth held offshore represents "a huge black hole in the world economy," Henry said in a statement.

(Reporting by Chris Vellacott)

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Comments (1)
Checksbalances2 wrote:
Is not that about half of the total amount of (fake)money that hangs over the market as a consequence of wheeling and dealing in the bear and bull’s markets?

Should not we aim promotion at the “holders” to invest that in our (the old capitalist)economies?

A tax on business profits mde within the US (and not outside) as proposed by Romney would certainly not help that, the only way to move them more or less friendly into that direction is to (heavily) tax profits made abroad (head offices in tax havens) and stimulate jobs created here (The last bit is in line with Obama’s plan, the first bit is my idea)

Jul 22, 2012 1:42pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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