An open space for global conversation
"The world is calling for a bold vision of economic justice to counter dislocation and austerity. But since the global economic crisis reasserted its icy grip after a brief Keynesian impasse, world leaders have failed to deliver one. The inability to articulate a narrative beyond a long, hard march out of economic malaise ultimately caused by politicians' and regulators' failure to adequately supervise the financial system is resulting in a widespread disillusionment with mainstream politics that threatens to undermine faith in democracy.
World leaders need to respond quickly, and business must play its role. A good place to start is talking up the idea that there are mechanisms beyond severe budget cuts to eliminate sovereign debt. There is money in the global financial system that, if accessed and used wisely, could go a long way to mop up deficits and reinvigorate the global economy.
That treasure trove is the $3.1tn of tax, equivalent to 5.1% of global GDP, which according to international campaign group Tax Justice Network is illegally evaded in 145 countries, covering 98.2% of the world's population. In December, Washington-based thinktank Global Financial Integrity confirmed the reality of vast sums of cash flowing freely through an unregulated financial system last month. Developing countries, it said, lost $903bn in illicit outflows during 2009 – a year when economic activity was severely constrained.
The majority of these flows are washed through tax havens. These secrecy jurisdictions act as cover from international tax authorities. Disturbingly, the obstacles placed by the global financial system that would allow individual countries to track down and repatriate this cash are prohibitively burdensome. This is why a new age of financial transparency and accountability is required."
No Trickle-Down; No Job Creation; No Honour! Just 1% Greed & Fraud!