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Thread: Amazing resource for tracking corporate #taxhaven strategies&costs. What stands out: absence of data for Africa, ME, etc. We have to talk more abt costs of #taxavoidance for low-income countries, beginning w history of shifting profits from the late colonial world 1/n
The overall amount of profits shifted/cost incurred will be bigger for countries such as US and Europe. But the recent #mauritiusleaks showed that #African countries are hurt by multinational strategies of using tax havens to route investments and book profits 2/n
In a forthcoming article in Past and Present, I show how white European settlers, businessmen, officials etc liquidated their assets during decolonization, fearful of newly independent governments and their attitude towards foreigners and their money. The choice was often 3/n
To send such funds to tax havens, as taxes had been generally low in the colonial world, and European welfare states (as well as the US) were taxing at high rates during the 1950s&60s. As a rule of thumb, assets from French speaking colonies were moved to Switzerland; 4/n
Assets from the British imperial world and places such as Kenya, Rhodesia, were moved to the Bahamas. In Switzerland and Bahamas, such funds propelled the expansion of foreign banking and in the Caribbean, the emergence of tax havens in the Bahamas and other places 5/n
After the withdrawal of Euro-American funds, practices by Swiss and British banks in newly independent countries continued to hurt local economies. Local elites - rulers and others with wealth to hide - soon discovered the advantages of a Swiss bank account for themselves 6/n
Soon, multinational corporations developed strategies for booking profits in tax havens, thus hurting developing countries by depriving them of revenue-ironically the same countries where some initial funds going to tax havens had come from 7/n
Cambridge economist Nicholas Kaldor pointed out such abuses as early as 1963. In other words, there is a long relationship btwn former colonies&tax havens, even going back to decolonization. Low-income countries today continue to be affected by the legacies of this history (end)
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