Links Apr 9

Tax havens unveiled – Investigation reveals massive offshore network’s rolling coverage and analysis on the ICIJ investigation

Germany: Schäuble Seeks New Drive To Combat Tax Evasion Tax-News
German finance minister fought hard for useless German-Swiss tax deal, which kept secrecy intact. However now, Germany’s Schäuble Demands Access To Leaked Tax Data. See also: Merkel challenger sees opportunity in tax haven uproar Reuters
German reliance on Deutsche Bank outweighs scandals Reuters

Austria says ready to exchange more tax data Agence France Presse
Austria is ready to discuss exchanging more data in an effort to tackle international tax evasion, but banking secrecy will remain in place, the chancellor said Monday following sharp EU criticism

Luxembourg: the EU’s top tax haven Deutsche Welle
“Luxembourg operates fully within the law. We are not a tax haven.” Utter nonsense, as expected from this white-listed hotbed of dirty money.

UK: Osborne urged to improve tax transparency in dependent territories The Guardian
Chancellor and PM warned by Save the Children to introduce greater transparency prior to G8

Caribbean Go-Between Provided Shelter For Far-Away Frauds, Documents Show Huffington Post

IRS Releases Draft FATCA Form For Comment Tax-News

Tax havens are a threat el Periódico de Cataluña (In Spanish)

Tax Havens 101: The high cost of going offshore The Washington Post
In this animation, see how investors can create companies and trusts in offshore jurisdictions, where an estimated one-third of the world’s worth resides.

Global Resistance to Tax Havens Grows
Der Spiegel

Czech Republic losing billions due to firms moving to tax havens Prague Daily Monitor

Global Wealth Inequality – What you never knew you never knew The Rules

The Economic Story of the Year: The Stock Market vs. the Labor Market The Atlantic

Trimmed hedges The Economist
Large numbers of hedge fund managers fiddle the stats on their own track records.

The Evaders: British banks control enough tax evasion to almost pay off our National Debt at a stroke The Slog

Verizon Looking to Beat MetroPCS with its LTE Launch in Q1 2010

According to a report by, Verizon is planning to launch Long Term Evolution (LTE) services across its key markets in the first quarter of 2010, in an effort to beat rivals MetroPCS to market. Verizon officially plans to begin testing its networks by the end of 2009 before commercially launching services in the second quarter of the following year.

In March, MetroPCS announced that it was aiming to introduce LTE to its network in the second quarter of 2010

There have been conflicting comments from Verizon with regard to their roll out and launch dates for LTE. These have varied from the following:

Aug. 13, 2008: Verizon said it will roll out the network in 2010 and cover most of the country by 2012
Dec. 10, 2008: Verizon said it would deploy LTE in 2009
Jan. 27, 2009: Verizon said it hopes to have LTE commercially available by the first half of 2010
Feb. 18, 2009: Verizon said LTE will be commercially deployed in 2010 with handsets coming in 2011
May 15, 2009: Verizon said it plans to launch LTE commercially in the second half of 2010

The most recent update is that Verizon will launch LTE trials in Seattle and Boston later this year and plans to launch its commercial service in 30 markets in 2010 and that they plan to have full network coverage by 2013, leading to rumours about Verizon wanting to launch the service in time for the new iPhone tablet, expected in early 2010.

The CTO of Verizon Wireless will be giving a keynote speech at Informa’s LTE Americas conference in Dallas on the 4th of November. For more information visit

Jim Henry’s Postcard from Barbados


Barbados, “the Jewel of the Caribbean,” the tiny easternmost island in the Lesser Antilles with 288,000 year-around inhabitants and lots of very rich foreign visitors and investors, is in the throes of a financial meltdown.
While its entire GDP is now only worth about $4.2 billion, and its population is smaller than that of Duluth Minnesota, this crisis is worth examining closely. For here we have a very precise example of the “finance curse,” where excessive dependence on high debt, an aggressive offshore haven industryvery low tax rates for high-net worth investors, foreign companies, and banks, and high tax rates for everyone else, have essentially brought this little country to its knees.

Economists revel in grim statistics, especially at Christmas time. In recent weeks Barbados’ current account deficit has soared to 12 percent of GDP, and the island is down to 10 weeks of reserves, compared with 16.4 weeks last June – which was already the lowest level since 2008. Deficit spending is 6 percent of GDP and headed higher.
At 94 percent, Barbados’ ratio of public debt to GDP, already the Caribbean’s second highest, is fast approaching Cypriot levels.
Now read on from here from the source at

Update July 2014: to be informed on the Finance Curse, read here.