- US haven status undermines despotic regimes by denying them data on citizens hedging their bets with offshore accounts. This provides the US leverage, intelligence, foreign direct investment & tax revenue.
- Offshore dollar pools (eg. Eurodollars) are problem enough for the US Treasury & FED's monetary policy. Absent US haven status this problem would be far worse.
- The secrecy doesn't much apply to US citizen and less so once the Democrat's $600 bank account reporting requirement is passed into law.
The USA is always "do as I say not as I do" and they have zero credibility regarding tax evasion :
```the IRS is still not obligated to share information pertaining to:
* Cash accounts held by entities, including those that are resident in the FATCA partner jurisdiction;
* Non-cash accounts, whether held by individuals or entities, unless the accounts earn U.S.-sourced income; and
* ‘‘Controlling persons’’ of any entities that have accounts in U.S. financial institutions, regardless of whether those entities are from the partnering country, even if those entities are owned and controlled by residents of the partner jurisdiction.
I believe in "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours".
What may be illegal for one government to do might be off-shore-able. Therefore, "allies" are useful in such arrangements.
The 2nd argument is a benefit only to the US so not relevant to outsiders deciding whether they're "playing fair".
Arguably this applies to the first as well, or at best only US allies.
And the third... Again kind of self interest - one rule for your own citizens and another for everyone else's.
IMO there are two ways to view this: the US acts in its own interests, everyone else does too, fine.
It's only hypocritical if the US expects a higher standard from others, "rules based international order" etc, but seeks to exempt itself -
edit: in which case the world just sticks with the previous view, which, hey, every other species does too.
Just to be clear: in the majority of EU countries, it is perfectly legal for a private person to have a bank account overseas. Be it in the US, Panama or somewhere in central Africa. There is also no requirement to report such account.
>This [federal competition] has repeatedly served as an excuse to engage in ruinous intra-German ‘tax wars’ for lax enforcement, auditing and the hiring and staffing of local tax authorities.6
which i never heard of. So i check the source and got got redirected to just an image.
Some of the listed sources there (https://fsi.taxjustice.net/PDF/Germany.pdf) are broken but not all, some do link to actual credible thrid parties.
When we speak of finances, these countries are the top of the top and literally where politicians from all over the world hide their money.
They sure have advantageous tax rates to promote certain types of residency/investment, but the financial secrecy isn't really there, which is what this index is about.
The website provides extremely extensive breakdowns of the exact index contributors for each country, presumably those will illuminate why the rankings are what they are.
Whether it's "stupid" or not depends on how much you weigh bank secrecy and privacy against the fight on money laundering, corruption, terrorism financing and sanctions evasion.
Either way, the degree of secrecy you get is also usually a lot higher if your assets are not in your home country, which means that bank privacy is much higher for the global rich.
And equally so for anyone who escapes globalist & socialist busybodies like AOC and takes their money to a safe place.
Is there such a thing as Literal Secrecy? You know, when you share personal info with a provider and they aren't supposed to leak it? No, that's called privacy.
I live in one of the high ranked countries and I think the more financial privacy is available, the better. That's how it's supposed to be and if someone oppressed (financially or otherwise) from abroad uses local services to escape that oppression, good for them.
If you have a high tax or reckless spending problem that makes your people take their money out of YOUR country, spend less.
Is it fine when the ruling class can get away with moving money?
Who funded this?
Re: the original concern - that website's methodology is very vague and intermixes a number of very distinct criteria. That's why their overall result looks bogus and they even have a page to yell at the critics preventively .
Planet Money has done an episode on this sort of thing in the past where they found it much easier to open a shell business in the US vs the rest of the world. https://www.npr.org/2021/10/06/1043746410/we-set-up-an-offsh...
Example: sure you can transfer your house into South Dakota LLC, and yes when someone looks up the ownership in records, they won't be able to see who owns that house, but there is no tax being avoided.
Probably couldn't get a US mortgage without that tax ID or bank account.
If you rent it out, I guess the contract should be with the LLC and then you run into the tax ID/LLC issues, but people will probably sign a lease with whomever and pay whomever they're told (whether it's the LLC or not).
This is a list of countries that benefit from capital flight from countries such as Russia and China.
> Who funded this?
It's basically funded by European grants so it does not seem fishy.
$2 million Ford Foundation Grant:
Wealthy Russians and Chinese are hiding their money in the West (UK, US, Canada) precisely for that reason. London (AKA Moscow-on-the-Thames) is famous for happily taking in and protecting that dirty money.
Planet Money did an episode in which they registered just such a company in Delaware: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2016/03/16/470722656/epis...
This is a bad analogy (so bear with me), Let's say you want to operate an anonymous private mail server, having an anonymous shell corp is like registering your domain name anonymously. Sure an important piece of the puzzle but nothing close to achieving the whole objective. You then need acquire all the other pieces of the puzzle anonymously as well (which is incredibly hard - especially without committing innumerable crimes along the way).
Seperately, I listened to the podcast, those two are financially literate.