Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens

Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens


By (author) Nicholas Shaxson

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  • Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Format: Hardback | 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 236mm x 28mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 12 April 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0230105017
  • ISBN 13: 9780230105010
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 211,312

Product description

A thrilling ride inside the world of tax havens and corporate mastermindsWhile the United States experiences recession and economic stagnation and European countries face bankruptcy, experts struggle to make sense of the crisis. Nicholas Shaxson, a former correspondent for the "Financial Times "and "The Economist," argues that tax havens are a central cause of all these disasters.In this hard hitting investigation he uncovers how offshore tax evasion, which has cost the U.S. 100 billion dollars in lost revenue each year, is just one item on a long rap sheet outlining the damage that offshoring wreaks on our societies. In a riveting journey from Moscow to London to Switzerland to Delaware, Shaxson dives deep into a vast and secret playground where bankers and multinational corporations operate side by side with nefarious tax evaders, organized criminals and the world's wealthiest citizens. Tax havens are where all these players get to maximize their own rewards and leave the middle class to pick up the bill.With eye opening revelations, "Treasure"" Islands"""exposes the culprits and its victims, and shows how: *Over half of world trade is routed through tax havens*The rampant practices that precipitated the latest financial crisis can be traced back to Wall Street's offshoring practices*For every dollar of aid we send to developing countries, ten dollars leave again by the backdoorThe offshore system sits much closer to home than the pristine tropical islands of the popular imagination. In fact, it all starts on a tiny island called Manhattan. In this fast paced narrative, "Treasure"" Islands" at last explains how the system works and how it's contributing to our ever deepening economic divide.

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Author information

Nicholas Shaxson is a journalist who has written for the "Financial""Times," "The Economist Group," "African Energy," and the insider newsletter "Africa Confidential." He is the author of the highly acclaimed "Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil" and an associate fellow with the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London.

Review quote

"Shaxson's story of offshore banking is nothing short of Shakespearean, a drama full of secrecy, treachery and corruption in which wealthy countries, companies and individuals collude to horde wealth in a complex global network of largely unregulated tax havens. To realize this end, they install corrupt leaders, exploit indigenous populations and, ultimately, deny both developed and developing nations of vital tax dollars. There is much here that should generate outrage...An admirable job of both arguing the consequences of offshore banking and providing a succinct history of the practice."--"Kirkus""A blistering account of the role that tax havens play in international finance. . . brilliant."--"London Review of Books""Perhaps the most important book published in the UK so far this year."--George Monbiot, "The Guardian""Shaxson provides a fascinating narrative that is both analytically compelling and rich in institutional detail."--"New York Times" Economix blog"A useful critique."--Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution"Treasure Islands, Nicholas Shaxson's excellent book on the global offshore tax system."--FT Alphaville"Treasure Islands has prised the lid off an important and terrifying can of worms."--"Literary Review""Shaxson shows us that the global financial machine is broken and that very few of us have noticed."--"New Statesman""In this riveting, well-written expose, Shaxson goes deep into the largely unexamined realm of offshore money. In the process, he reveals that this shadow world is no mere sideshow, but is troublingly central to modern finance, with the US and the UK as leaders. The resulting abuses are widespread, ranging from tax revenue stripping from African nations to individuals and corporations escaping enforcement and accountability. A must read for anyone who wants to understand the hidden reasons why financial services firms have become so powerful and impossible to reform."--Yves Smith, creator of Naked Capitalism and aut