Cover

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Half Title, Series Info, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Tables and Figures

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pp. vii-viii

Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

In September 2007, only a month after the beginning of one of the most devastating financial crises ever experienced, the British bank Northern Rock was on the brink of collapse. Northern Rock had expanded rapidly prior to its failure, funding its growth as an aggressive player in the international market for Collaterized Debt Obligations (CDOs) ...

Part I. Tax Havens and Their Uses

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1. What Is a Tax Haven?

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pp. 17-45

The term “tax haven” has been widely used since the 1950s.1 Yet there is no consensus as to what it means. The influential U.S. Treasury’s Gordon Report concluded: “there is no single, clear, objective test which permits the identification of a country as a tax haven” (1981, 21). Twenty-five years later, Jason Sharman reached similar conclusions. ...

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2. Tax Havens: Vital Statistics

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pp. 46-76

The head of the OECD offshore unit, Jeffrey Owens, declared in 2007 that “between five and seven trillion US dollars are located in tax havens.” Others tout that “half of the global stock of money goes through offshore” (Cassard 1994). BIS data suggest that Cayman-registered banks have accumulated in excess of $1.5 trillion in deposits, ...

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3. The Instruments of Tax Havens

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pp. 77-104

Despite the secrecy that surrounds tax havens, we have considerable knowledge of their role and function in globalization. What are the instruments through which this “bright guilty world,” to quote Orson Welles, lives its daily life? ...

Part II. The Evolution of Tax Havens

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4. Origins of the Tax Havens

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pp. 107-123

The history of tax havens is riddled with myths and legends. The hideouts of pirates and robbers have added new layers of mystery and glamour to their names through association with shady deals, mafias, and the secret services. There are many conflicting accounts of the origins of tax havens, few of them backed by hard evidence. ...

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5. The British Empire Strikes Back

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pp. 124-150

Switzerland was the archetypal tax haven, but the British Empire more than matched it, proving a fertile ground for the development of tax havens. Today, the United Kingdom retains responsibility for fourteen Overseas Territories, eleven of which are permanently populated. Of those, seven are tax havens: Bermuda, Caymans Islands, ...

Part III. Tax Havens in World Politics

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6. Tax Havens and the Developed World

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pp. 153-171

Tax havens may have their origins in the United States, but the last one hundred years have witnessed their evolution into a developmental state strategy. Tax havens are now an essential component of financial and economic globalization, but their impact has been uneven. ...

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7. Issues in Development

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pp. 172-188

Tax havens have played a significant role in shaping the economies of developed countries. They may play an even greater role in shaping the lives of those who live in developing countries.
Most developing countries do not possess sophisticated tax systems. Typically, they are characterized by large and undertaxed informal economies, ...

Part IV. The Battle for Hearts and Minds

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8. Signs of Discontent

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pp. 191-202

The emergence of tax havens has not gone unnoticed. Policies aimed at combating tax abuse coincided with the emergence of tax havens after World War I. The battle against tax abuses, capital flight, and money laundering was conducted simultaneously on three fronts: national law courts, national legislators, and bilateral and multilateral treaties. ...

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9. Institutional Attacks on Tax Havens

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pp. 203-225

By the late 1990s, the left-of-center governments of the United States, France, and Germany led international organizations toward a much more aggressive attack on offshore financial centers. As we have seen, the United States took the lead throughout the twentieth century in developing unilateral measures against tax havens, particularly those located in the Caribbean. ...

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10. Tax Havens in the Twenty-First Century

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pp. 226-235

If there is a recurring theme in the story of the tax havens, it is their continuous development in the face of opportunity and opposition. Indeed, one of the most remarkable features of the last de cade has been their ongoing growth. Rawlings’s survey of companies doing business in tax havens showed that the net effect of the various campaigns ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 236-248

The central argument of this book is that tax havens not only are conduits for tax avoidance and evasion but belong more broadly to the world of finance—to the business of managing the monetary resources of an organization, country, or person. Individually, tax havens may appear small and insignificant; combined, they play a central role in the world economy, ...

Glossary

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pp. 249-252

References

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pp. 253-266

Index

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pp. 267-270