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  #21  
Old 04.04.2016, 14:42
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

I can definitely agree with some of their sentiments. It's funny how the West was so in love with Yeltsin – a guy who was drunk most of the time, turned a naturally rich country into a debtor state, created oligarchs, rigged elections, started the war in Chechnya. Putin's obviously shady, but he reversed much of that, increased Russia standing in the world and, ironically, is hated for it by outsiders. So yeah, it's pretty transparent that the West is more interested in keeping Russia weak than anything else, but I still think the Russian people can do better, though like delusional battered wives maybe they're past the point of thinking it's possible.
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Old 04.04.2016, 14:46
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

With the exception of Iceland, the rest of the world leaders on that list are known for corruption, so not much of a shock really, and doubtful and real changes will come out of it. It's kind of like evidence of money laundering comes out against a mafia boss, real shocker

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It's appearing some papers, but most Russians are so hopelessly in love with him that they'll find a way to rationalize it away.
Not rationalize...demonize...it's the West's fault, like usual...poor Putin is the victim of "Putinophobia"


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"The main target of this disinformation is our president, especially in the context of the upcoming parliamentary elections and in the context of a longer-term perspective - I mean presidential elections in two years," Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with journalists.


"This Putinophobia abroad has reached such a point that it is in fact taboo to say something good about Russia, or about any actions by Russia or any Russian achievements. But it's a must to say bad things, a lot of bad things, and when there's nothing to say, it must be concocted. This is evident to us."
http://www.reuters.com/article/panam...-idUSR4N16X02R

In somewhat related news, an anti-Putin politician was snagged in a KGB-style sex-video sting complete with hidden cameras in the bedroom, then the video was broadcast on Russian state TV as part of a "documentary"
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Old 04.04.2016, 14:48
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

Low oil prices of Regan era undid the Soviet Union.
If the current oil and gas lows persist then they might undo Putin as well.
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  #24  
Old 04.04.2016, 15:30
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

I knew he'd be in there somewhere http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016...er-tax-bahamas
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Old 04.04.2016, 17:07
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

I know that David Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the UK, and that Britain has a more open society than Russia or Egypt. But one of the reports I read said that Cameron's late father Ian was one of the people listed among these names. According to wikipedia, Ian Cameron was a stockbroker. What did HE do to merit getting on this list? I assume (or at least hope) that Ian just put his own money away in a tax shelter in Panama. There isn't any indication that this money was ill-gotten, right?
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  #26  
Old 04.04.2016, 17:22
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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There isn't any indication that this money was ill-gotten, right?
Well, yes. There is also no reason to believe that the brother in law of the Chinese president (or anyone of the other 8 close friends or relatives of past and present members of the Chinese politburo) has done anything illegal. For what we know so far is there no sign that any of the dozens of 3rd world politicians did something illegal. Common sense tells you they did, but there is no ultimate proof. All they did was park some money in some seriously dodgy places... the point is not any single case, the point is the extent this game is going on globally. If one Arab leader has some letter box company in Panama can this be a bizarre coincidence. When pretty much the entire Arab league has their companies there... well, then there is something fishy going on. Not necessarily illegal, but most likely morally wrong.
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Old 04.04.2016, 19:01
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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I know that David Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the UK, and that Britain has a more open society than Russia or Egypt. But one of the reports I read said that Cameron's late father Ian was one of the people listed among these names. According to wikipedia, Ian Cameron was a stockbroker. What did HE do to merit getting on this list? I assume (or at least hope) that Ian just put his own money away in a tax shelter in Panama. There isn't any indication that this money was ill-gotten, right?
This is not some list of heinous war criminals hiding their money (well, not per-se), it's just a list of people with offshore companies managed by a particular law firm in Panama. Ian Cameron didn't have to do anything to "get on this list" apart from enlisting the help of the law firm. To what end he did that remains to be seen, but I fail to see how this particular thing should affect David Cameron in any way. Unless it can be proven that there was something illegal and he was personally involved.

There are many legitimate reasons for using offshore companies, tax avoidance being one of them. If tax avoidance is legal in a country (e.g. Switzerland or the UK), there is nothing stopping (apart from their morals) the residents from taking advantage of it.

Years ago (I don't know these days), consultants (IT or finance mostly) working in the UK would often set up companies and take out their earnings as capital gains because it would be far more tax efficient. Is it bad? Be honest about this, imagine you are earning 100-200k pounds a year and have the choice of paying 20% tax instead of the regular 50%. No catch, nothing shady or illegal. Would you have honestly rather paid 50% because of some moral code that you should pay your fair share? What is a fair share to begin with?

Many of the people on that list did the same thing, but they had to be a bit more clever because there were larger sums involved or their circumstances were different (e.g. complicated business deals).

Again, I'm not talking about the Putins and the Assads, but guys who may have made a nice treasure chest in perfectly legal ways and then wanted to minimize their tax burden in (again) perfectly legal ways.

Let's not judge before we see the details.
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  #28  
Old 04.04.2016, 20:02
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

BBC-1 Panorama programme tonight at 20:30 Zurich time

http://www.radiotimes.com/episode/d4...sed---panorama
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  #29  
Old 04.04.2016, 22:03
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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This is going to be huge!
I disagree. I think this will be gone by next week. So far, no one has come out to declare anything revealed is actually illegal, it's not exactly a surprise given the list, and the details will be too complicated for John Q Public to follow.

US, UK and maybe a few more will "investigate", but it will be allowed to die.
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  #30  
Old 04.04.2016, 22:12
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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So far, no one has come out to declare anything revealed is actually illegal
Well, the panorama program showed some small fry actually doing some actually illegal things... a few millions tax fraud here, some money laundering there and I frankly did not even understand the case with the NHS guy who channeled money from a hospital project to make a downpayment on an used 747(?!)
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  #31  
Old 04.04.2016, 22:28
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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This is not some list of heinous war criminals hiding their money (well, not per-se), it's just a list of people with offshore companies managed by a particular law firm in Panama. Ian Cameron didn't have to do anything to "get on this list" apart from enlisting the help of the law firm. To what end he did that remains to be seen, but I fail to see how this particular thing should affect David Cameron in any way. Unless it can be proven that there was something illegal and he was personally involved.

There are many legitimate reasons for using offshore companies, tax avoidance being one of them. If tax avoidance is legal in a country (e.g. Switzerland or the UK), there is nothing stopping (apart from their morals) the residents from taking advantage of it.

Years ago (I don't know these days), consultants (IT or finance mostly) working in the UK would often set up companies and take out their earnings as capital gains because it would be far more tax efficient. Is it bad? Be honest about this, imagine you are earning 100-200k pounds a year and have the choice of paying 20% tax instead of the regular 50%. No catch, nothing shady or illegal. Would you have honestly rather paid 50% because of some moral code that you should pay your fair share? What is a fair share to begin with?

Many of the people on that list did the same thing, but they had to be a bit more clever because there were larger sums involved or their circumstances were different (e.g. complicated business deals).

Again, I'm not talking about the Putins and the Assads, but guys who may have made a nice treasure chest in perfectly legal ways and then wanted to minimize their tax burden in (again) perfectly legal ways.

Let's not judge before we see the details.
It has to be remembered that the UK had capital controls until 1979. This meant you could not take your own money out of the UK in excess of £600 per person, without approval from the Bank of England.
Anybody who was wealthy would want to move their money offshore whilst it was an option, who knows they might want to have the option to retire abroad if they so wished.
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  #32  
Old 04.04.2016, 22:32
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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This is not some list of heinous war criminals hiding their money (well, not per-se), it's just a list of people with offshore companies managed by a particular law firm in Panama. Ian Cameron didn't have to do anything to "get on this list" apart from enlisting the help of the law firm. To what end he did that remains to be seen, but I fail to see how this particular thing should affect David Cameron in any way. Unless it can be proven that there was something illegal and he was personally involved.

There are many legitimate reasons for using offshore companies, tax avoidance being one of them. If tax avoidance is legal in a country (e.g. Switzerland or the UK), there is nothing stopping (apart from their morals) the residents from taking advantage of it.

Years ago (I don't know these days), consultants (IT or finance mostly) working in the UK would often set up companies and take out their earnings as capital gains because it would be far more tax efficient. Is it bad? Be honest about this, imagine you are earning 100-200k pounds a year and have the choice of paying 20% tax instead of the regular 50%. No catch, nothing shady or illegal. Would you have honestly rather paid 50% because of some moral code that you should pay your fair share? What is a fair share to begin with?

Many of the people on that list did the same thing, but they had to be a bit more clever because there were larger sums involved or their circumstances were different (e.g. complicated business deals).

Again, I'm not talking about the Putins and the Assads, but guys who may have made a nice treasure chest in perfectly legal ways and then wanted to minimize their tax burden in (again) perfectly legal ways.

Let's not judge before we see the details.
I suppose the key questions are
1. Is the name of the person who owns the money listed in the directors register of the off shore company ?
2. If not then why not?

If the answer to 1. is yes then no problem.
If the answer is "no" then the answer to 2. will quickly show who is running a legitimate company and who is not.
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  #33  
Old 04.04.2016, 22:38
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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I suppose the key questions are
1. Is the name of the person who owns the money listed in the directors register of the off shore company ?
2. If not then why not?

If the answer to 1. is yes then no problem.
If the answer is "no" then the answer to 2. will quickly show who is running a legitimate company and who is not.
The Directors don't own a company, they operate it, the company owners are the shareholders.

It's identical in CH or anywhere else in the world.
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  #34  
Old 05.04.2016, 09:57
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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The Directors don't own a company, they operate it, the company owners are the shareholders.

It's identical in CH or anywhere else in the world.
The point is that you save UK tax when an off-shore company is operated abroad. The leak shows clearly that the foreign directors were purely straw men and simply just proxied whatever their UK owners send them in an email.


I guess that's what it boils down to: They might have followed the laws to the letter, but clearly not the intention of them: It makes sense that a multinational company can tax its earnings in one place as it is very difficult to define where exactly value is created. But if an English guy sets up a company in Panama, and his lawyers there hire him some people who simply sign whatever company papers they give them... that is not exactly a foreign operated company. And I am pretty sure that the taxman will go after those cases.


For me is that a completely different level of tax avoidance compared to the example discussed on contractors deciding to set up companies and pay capital gains instead of income tax - that was a very transparent and obviously legal thing. This case obviously should be illegal, the question is how you can proceed. I know there is a massive difference between UK law and anything in Europe based on French law. I am pretty sure that these cases will be punished in Germany. Not sure what happens in the UK, especially if the PMs dad was in it as well and flew to the Bahamas on a regular basis to pretend his company was run out of Nassau...
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  #35  
Old 05.04.2016, 10:09
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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Only if they did something illegal. As far as known right now did the lawyers and banks not break any laws... they simply adapted their strategies to ever changing and ever tighter controls.


What this leak shows is that as long as there is a single tax harbor open in the Caribbean... this game will continue.
The bad news is that a very high number of transaction flowing through these tax shelters are still coming from swiss banks...

I also find it very interesting that it takes the US justice department to investigate and stop swiss corruption like with the fifa

I would be happy to read news about swiss law enforcement making big corruption and tax evasion investigations...
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  #36  
Old 05.04.2016, 10:19
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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I also find it very interesting that it takes the US justice department to investigate and stop swiss corruption like with the fifa
It's like they don't like the competition or something...
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  #37  
Old 05.04.2016, 10:28
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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It's like they don't like the competition or something...
Nah, it's simply the only major nation who does not care about football and understand that having corrupt executives is basically part of the culture... it's a bit like us Europeans not understanding the American culture to tip your waiter.
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  #38  
Old 05.04.2016, 10:28
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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It's like they don't like the competition or something...
I dont understand, what do you mean to say ?
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  #39  
Old 05.04.2016, 11:38
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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This is not some list of heinous war criminals hiding their money (well, not per-se), it's just a list of people with offshore companies managed by a particular law firm in Panama. Ian Cameron didn't have to do anything to "get on this list" apart from enlisting the help of the law firm. To what end he did that remains to be seen, but I fail to see how this particular thing should affect David Cameron in any way. Unless it can be proven that there was something illegal and he was personally involved.

There are many legitimate reasons for using offshore companies, tax avoidance being one of them. If tax avoidance is legal in a country (e.g. Switzerland or the UK), there is nothing stopping (apart from their morals) the residents from taking advantage of it.

Years ago (I don't know these days), consultants (IT or finance mostly) working in the UK would often set up companies and take out their earnings as capital gains because it would be far more tax efficient. Is it bad? Be honest about this, imagine you are earning 100-200k pounds a year and have the choice of paying 20% tax instead of the regular 50%. No catch, nothing shady or illegal. Would you have honestly rather paid 50% because of some moral code that you should pay your fair share? What is a fair share to begin with?

Many of the people on that list did the same thing, but they had to be a bit more clever because there were larger sums involved or their circumstances were different (e.g. complicated business deals).

Again, I'm not talking about the Putins and the Assads, but guys who may have made a nice treasure chest in perfectly legal ways and then wanted to minimize their tax burden in (again) perfectly legal ways.

Let's not judge before we see the details.
I've nothing against tax avoidance and tax havens.

I do have a problem with politicians demanding everyone pays tax whilst using the very same havens to hide their own money away.
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Old 05.04.2016, 11:43
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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I've nothing against tax avoidance and tax havens.

I do have a problem with politicians demanding everyone pays tax whilst using the very same havens to hide their own money away.
That bit is very, very debatable in many of the cases...
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