Tisti, ki kritizirajo vlogo ZDA pri razkritju Panamskih dokumentov, imajo bržkone prav: ZDA v tem primeru delujejo najmanj hinavsko, če že njihove tajne službe nimajo prstov vmes pri posredovanju razkritih Panamskih dokumentov (zaradi političnih ali poslovnih razlogov). Predsednik Obama je leta 2008 omenjal eno stavbo na Caymanskih otokih, ki naj bi gostila 12,000 podjetij, kot bodisi “največjo stavbo na svetu ali največjo davčno prevaro vseh časov“. No, na domačem dvorišču, v Delawaru, je stavba, ki je še 20-krat večja – v njej je gostuje več kot 250,000 podjetij. Ja, in ZDA so tretja država na svetu, ki je najmanj pripravljena razkrivati bančne skrivnosti – takoj za Švico in Hongkongom. Gre pač za posel, za izjemno dober posel.
During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama criticized Caribbean tax havens. He mentioned one building in the Cayman Islands that is the registered home of more than 12,000 U.S.-based corporations, saying, “That’s either the biggest building in the world or the biggest tax scam on record.” But as the example of 1209 North Orange St. demonstrates, the same activity is going on in President Obama’s backyard.
The single-story brick building at 1209 North Orange St. in downtown Wilmington, Del., looks bland and innocuous. But the building, home to the Corporation Trust Company, has an intriguing claim to fame. In the last few years, it has served as the registered address for more than 250,000 businesses, giving companies around the world access to Delaware’s business-friendly laws.
“We often say that the U.S. is one of the easiest places to set up so-called anonymous shell companies,” says Mark Hays, a senior advisor with Global Witness, an NGO that advocates for financial transparency.
Offshore isn’t so much a destination anymore as “a set of capabilities,” which include ensuring secrecy, minimizing taxes, managing assets, and providing clients security and access to their wealth from anywhere in the world, James Henry, a senior adviser to the Tax Justice Network and former chief economist of McKinsey & Co, wrote in a 2012 report. The Tax Justice Network ranks the U.S. third in terms of the secrecy and scale of its offshore industry, behind Switzerland and Hong Kong but ahead of the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg.
A 2012 study in which researchers sent more than 7,400 email solicitations to more than 3,700 corporate service providers — the kind of companies that typically register shell companies, such as the Corporation Trust Company at 1209 North Orange St. — found that the U.S. had the laxest regulations for setting up a shell company anywhere in the world outside of Kenya. The researchers impersonated both low- and high-risk customers, including potential money launderers, terrorist financiers and corrupt officials.
Contrary to popular belief, notorious tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, Jersey and the Bahamas were far less permissive in offering the researchers shell companies than states such as Nevada, Delaware, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming and New York, the researchers found.
Part of the reason that the U.S. looks so attractive as a tax and secrecy haven is that the country has not signed on to new global disclosure standards that are forcing anonymous companies to reveal their real owners around the world. Compared with other developed countries, and even traditional offshore destinations such as Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. now appears to be among the most lenient and secure destinations for the fortunes of the global rich.
Vir: Washington Post