Thursday 23rd of September 2021

enact brexit, with a kick up the arse: the city of london corporation and its banks have done much damage to the world..

london


The Spider's Web: Britain's Second Empire

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The Spider's Web: Britain's Second Empire is a documentary released in Mexico in July 2017 which details the transformation of the UK as a colonial super power to a global financial power. It suggests that the City of London Corporation and its banks have done tremendous damage to the world economy since the 1960s and that up to half of all offshore wealth (globally) is hidden in one of many British offshore jurisdictions. With contributions from leading experts, academics, former insiders and campaigners for social justice, the film claims to highlight how in the world of international finance, corruption and secrecy have prevailed over regulation and transparency, and the UK is right at the heart of this.[1][2]

The film was co-produced by Tax Justice Network[3] founder John Christensen, and is based in part on the book, Treasure Islands, by expert on British offshore havens Nicholas Shaxson; an interview with Shaxson is one of its major elements. Christensen was an advisor to the Queen’s government of the island of Jersey for a number of years.[4]

 

Read more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spider%27s_Web:_Britain%27s_Second_Empire

 

See also:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np_ylvc8Zj8&vl=en


an old tradition....

tradition

Cartoom by Gillray...

it has been rejected by the UK parliament three times...

The EU's lead Brexit negotiator has rejected Boris Johnson's demands for the Irish backstop to be scrapped.

Michel Barnier said the backstop - intended to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland - was the "maximum flexibility" the EU could offer. 

Mr Johnson has previously told the EU the arrangement must be ditched if a no-deal Brexit was to be avoided.

Meanwhile, the PM has told rebel Tories they face a "fundamental choice" of siding with him or Jeremy Corbyn.

His comments come as some MPs who oppose a no-deal Brexit - including Conservatives - are planning to take action in Parliament next week.

The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October, with or without a deal.

The backstop is part of the withdrawal agreement negotiated between Brussels and former Prime Minister Theresa May, which has been rejected by Parliament three times.

If implemented, it would see Northern Ireland staying aligned to some rules of the EU single market, should the UK and the EU not agree a trade deal after Brexit.

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49540681

the brexiters are hedging their bets...

Gus guesses that one of the main reason some people, like Boris Johnson and his cronies, want out of Europe and that they want a sweet deal — that "he" (Johnson) might get from the Europeans — is all about the loot that is hidden in the UK tax evasion havens (see above) and it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE IRISH PROBLEM though Ireland could become (or has been) a conduit for illicit cash, including advantageous tax rates for companies such as Apple. Phew.

 

The point we have to realise is that many people in high places, political and financial, are tainted with secret cash. They could forgo of it in desperation to appear "clean", but the history of that cash is opened to "blackmail". Although no official records of "trusts" or other mechanisms are kept, there are some secret accounting legers in existence, otherwise robbery would be too easy. Even the President of Europe could be caught into this caper... Or the Queen as she may be... So everyone is going to try to find a discreet solution, including that the UK becomes a fully fledge tax evasion haven. And let's not forget that more often than not, sex is also used as a complement to the secret cash, and also subject to blackmail. Epstein comes to mind.

 

Boris might be able to extract a better Brexit deal than May ever could, because he knows the dirty cash game being played while she might have been no more than an upright stick in the mud. Here Boris had to shut down the government to minimise the possibility of a catastrophic realisation: the UK stays in Europe but has to abandon the Pound Sterling for the Euro, as well as having to clean the British tax haven dunnies — AND PAY TAX. Horror!

 

Oh and this financial gymnastic is why Libya was destroyed: Gaddafi wanted to create a pan-African bank that would have bypassed all the financial trickery so far designed to keep Africa in a state of slavery.

 

AND THIS IS WHY, THE WESTERN COUNTRIES (especially the US and the UK — and Australia) HATE the Chinese. The Chinese make deals that are mostly above board and that are improving the life of Africans (and of the pacific Islanders) in exchange for reasonable amount of cash — or resources. These moneys and resources would have been previously sucked up, plundered via illicit and corrupt ways, back to the West through the West's high interest rates in the money and low interest in the people. See Vulture banking.

 

 

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one easy step...

Setup your company without leaving your seat

 

Anguilla

Bahamas

Belize

British Virgin Islands

Canada

Cayman Island

Cyprus

Delaware

Florida

Gibraltar

Hong Kong

Latvia

St Lucia

Malta

Marshall Islands

Nevis

Mauritius

Panama

Ras Al Khaimah (UAE)

Samoa

Seychelles

Singapore

Switzerland

United Kingdom

Vanuatu

St Vincent

 

https://www.sfm.com/

 

SFM Corporate Services is a Dubai-headquartered financial and corporate services firm specializing in offshore company formation.[1]The firm was founded in GenevaSwitzerland[2] but now has its headquarters in Dubai with additional offices in SeychellesHong Kong, and others.[3][4]

History[edit]

SFM was founded in 2006 in Geneva, Switzerland.[1][3] By 2011, the firm had opened offices in Seychelles (2009) and Hong Kong (2010)[5] and was helping create onshore and offshore companies around the world. Prominent locations for these offshore companies included Seychelles and Cyprus.[3] By 2012, SFM was forming companies in 15 different jurisdictions.[5] In 2013, the company moved its headquarters to Dubai. There, the company continued to offer services like international tax planning and corporate structuring (among others).[1] In April 2015, SFM collaborated with officials from the Ras al-Khaimah emirate on a roadshow in Geneva.[6] SFM is a member of the International Tax Planning Association and the International Financial Management Association.[2][4]

Services[edit]

Services include obtaining UAE residency, corporate structuring,[1] opening bank accounts,[2] and others. SFM acts as a resident agent in order to register companies in onshore and offshore jurisdictions.[7] Most of SFM's services are provided online through its different websites, "Dubaicompany" or "SFM Offshore."

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SFM_Corporate_Services

 

Note: has the City of London offices in Dubai? See also:

https://www.difc.ae/public-register/city-university-of-london/

https://www.difc.ae

 

 

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playing soccer with the british virgin islands...

 

The confidential memorandum that a high-ranking UEFA employee drafted on Dec. 15, 2016 for the association's top executives carried a rather unremarkable heading: "Internal memo." Nothing in the seven points listed below was intended for outside eyes. The case was much too sensitive. The memo, after all, documented a degree of misadministration that would put UEFA on a par with the global football association. And it's hard to sink any deeper than FIFA.

The paper pertained to payments made to the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU). UEFA had apparently spent more than 15 years paying money that was supposed to go to the FFU or to individual Ukrainian football clubs to a company based in the Caribbean tax haven of the British Virgin Islands.

The name of the company was Newport Management Limited -- and until 2016, nobody at UEFA had apparently made a serious effort to discover who was behind Newport. Or perhaps no effort was wanted. Now, though, the "internal memo" documented the unsettling suspicion that the man who controlled Newport was none other than Igor Surkis, one of the most influential oligarchs in Ukraine.

Igor Surkis has been president of the football club Dynamo Kyiv since 2002 and is the brother of Grigori Surkis, who controlled Dynamo Kyiv from 1993 to 1998 before launching into a career as a UEFA functionary. From 2000 to 2012, Grigori Surkis was president of FFU and from 2004 to 2019, he was also a member of the UEFA executive committee, at times even acting as President Michel Platini's deputy.

 

Read more:

https://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/how-uefa-payments-ended-u...

 

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tax fraud scandal that exposes City’s pursuit of profits...

They have been called “the men who plundered Europe”: a group of cowboy traders, seasoned tax lawyers and mathematical whizz kids who are alleged to have conspired in the heart of the City of London to siphon at least €60bn in taxpayers’ money from the state coffers of several EU countries.

In Britain, the so-called “cum-ex” scandal, named after the complex derivatives juggling act employed, gained little attention amid the frenzied debate around the UK’s departure from the European Union when the fraud scheme was discovered in 2017.

But in continental Europe what Le Monde has described as the “robbery of the century” has done almost as much to shape the view of Britain as Brexit itself. Dutch media has called it “organised crime in pinstripe suits” and one of the original German whistleblowers saying he now welcomes Britain’s exit from the EU in the hope it could weaken the influence of London investment banking on European financial institutions.

This week, a British former investment banker involved in developing the scheme for the first time gave the public an insight into how the scheme worked and what spurred on its architects.

Speaking at a regional court in Bonn, Martin Shields, one of two former bankers on trial for 34 instances of serious tax fraud between 2006 and 2011, painted a picture of a London banking scene which lured in the brightest scientists from the country’s top universities and used them to boost their profit margins – without teaching them about the moral and legal consequences of their actions in return.

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/sep/20/the-men-who-plundered-e...

 

 

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the policy of destroying the mittelstand banks...

 

Financial syndicate wants to dry up savings banks


by Professor Dr Eberhard Hamer



Throughout the world, the financial and banking system is arranged in completely different ways: 


The respective money is supplied by the central banks, which have to control and secure the currency. In the Anglo-Saxon region (USA, UK among others), the central banks are private banks, so that their owners ultimately control currency and money supply via the central bank. In other words, they can increase (print) or decrease (crash) money at will for their own benefit. In the City of London, for example, the Anglo-Saxon financial syndicate has created a sovereign small state that is subordinate to the Queen, but not to the British government – not even to the English tax system. In the UK, 90 % of bank deposits are held by only five major banks, which thus in principle represent the entire banking system. In the USA, there are likewise a dozen big banks that dominate the banking landscape. They make their profits mainly from speculative and investment transactions (derivatives, participations, stock market launches, financial transactions, speculative loans), but also from real estate loans as well as corporate and country bonds. The big banks are also owners of the central bank and in turn belong to a financial syndicate consisting of a handful of families. 


The German, Austrian and Swiss banking systems, on the other hand, are dominated by small local banks – in Germany, 1050 Volksbanken (people’s banks) and 450 Sparkassen (savings banks) make up 70% of all banks – and these do not lend money which has been newly created by their syndicate. Instead, they collect money from their customers and lend it – with interest gains – to small and medium-sized enterprises and households. Contrary to the speculative profit basis of the big banks, our small local banks therefore live off the interest difference between deposits and loans. 


This is reflected in the respective risks incurred by the two banking systems. While the risk of speculative banks lies in their risk transactions, the large risks of their corporate bonds or the financial standing of their debtor states, the risk of local banks is not only widely spread, but also limited to the individual risks of their diverse borrowers. So while the big banks are the “large scale economy banks” respectively the banks of international speculation and public sector loans, the small local banks are limited to their regional medium-sized customers. 


Big banks are not interested in medium-sized companies; they want to grant large loans globally and to conduct large financial transactions. The cooperative banks and savings banks, on the other hand, are regional, small and therefore also interested in small and medium-sized enterprises and private customers in their region. They have to live from this “Mittelstand”, so they are his original partner. 


About 100 years ago, there was also a flourishing landscape of small regional credit banks in the USA. Most of them have now disappeared because of the concentration pressure and currency manipulation of the big banks. By concentrating, the financial syndicate has extended its financial dominance throughout the country.


When the EU was founded, the Anglo-Saxon financial syndicate acted as a godfather, filling in particular the central positions (Goldman Sachs: Macron, Draghi, Lagarde; plus all EU presidents and most central bank heads). Almost every year, the author has warned against the financial syndicate’s wish to drag down small banks and achieve a concentration in favour of big banks also in Europe, as well as in the USA. Not only should the nation states be abolished according to the Lisbon Treaty and the will of the old and new EU Commission, but currency and finances should also be concentrated in an EU liability, debt and financial union. To this end, the syndicate wants to destroy the small local banks (Draghi: “Overcapacities in the banking sector in the euro zone”, “the number of banks is to be reduced” (21 July 2016)).


This policy of destroying the Mittelstand banks is being pursued through three measures:


Interest is being abolished, so that the savings banks and people’s banks, which live from the interest rate differential, can no longer pass on interest to their customers and can hardly take interest on their loans. In this way, the basis of existence of the SME banks – the interest-rate lending business – is to be destroyed.


At the same time, however, the speculative transactions of the big banks belonging to the syndicate are guaranteed, at the expense of the citizens, by EU rescues of banks and states in the event of loss.

By means of the so-called “banking union” all banks are to be forced to merge, so that there will be only a few big banks left per country. In particular, the joint funds already in existence make the financially sound small banks liable for the speculative losses of the big banks.

To this end, the ECB and the European Commission have tightened the supervisory requirements for banks to such an extent that small banks in particular are suffering, because they have to meet the same requirements and fill out the same forms as the big international banks.


In addition, the “Basel III/IV regulation” has decisively tightened up lending by savings banks, so that they no longer have to deposit only 8.1 % equity capital for a SME loan, but 10.5 %, which excludes most SME loans economically. In addition, the requirements for loans are formulated in a way that is hostile to SMEs: The credit basis is only the real value, i.e. the underlying real capital. The success basis of medium-sized sole-proprietor companies, however, is the entrepreneur, and their loan is therefore a personal loan. This aspect of success, which is decisive for small and medium-sized enterprises, is practically no longer allowed to be evaluated by the SME banks today. 


In this way, requirements, regulations and obstacles hostile to small and medium-sized enterprises have torpedoed the interest-rate lending business of our people’s banks and savings banks, which remained financially sound for 200 years, and these small and medium-sized personnel banks now all have their backs to the wall, and some of them are in existential need.

The German federal government does not seem to be interested in these facts. It has agreed to all the harassment against the Mittelstand banks, or it is so heavily influenced by the financial syndicate that it has not dared to object. No protest could be expected from other EU countries, because (with the exception of Austria) they do not have the typical German cooperative bank and savings bank culture. 


Those who deal with people’s banks know about the existential need now prevailing there. At the same time, however, the Mittelstandsinstitut Niedersachsen points out that a decline or even dying of this branch and of the local banks will necessarily have a more disastrous effect on the German economy than it would have on that of other countries, because 94% of our companies are medium-sized single proprietor companies, which in turn depend existentially on the financing of their local Mittelstand banks (cooperative banks, savings banks). Any decline of these important middle class banks also affects the financing of the Mittelstand (SME’s and middle class), undermines its existence, because in contrast to Ludwig Erhard’s times politics today prevent enterprises’ self-financing from profit by means of maximum taxation, and so make the enterprises dependent on outside credit. If, however, outside credits are also no longer to be got, not only the local banks die, but so does the Mittelstand in Germany. And if this decreases, the main pillar of our economy will collapse, which is still supporting half of our national product, two-thirds of our taxes and social security contributions and three-quarters of jobs in our economy. 


So if the international financial syndicate gains control over all the banks in Europe in the banking union, it will impose its quite different international banking structure on us and not only cheat German savers out of 360 billion interest as it already does, but it will also use the zero interest rate to torpedo the livelihood of our SME banks – and thus the financing of our SME sector and our middle class. To wit, anyone who no longer has an interest rate differential between income and expenditure will no longer be able to grant loans to his SME customers. And if the local cooperative banks and savings banks are no longer able to grant personal loans, small and medium-sized enterprises can no longer grow, can no longer finance themselves, can no longer create jobs, and in many cases can no longer survive.


In the great game of money, credit, debt and speculation, the financial jugglers of the Anglo-Saxon financial syndicate are deliberately destroying medium-sized banks and promoting big banks. And if the latter should collapse, they do not even have to bear their own risks and debts.


It was not for nothing that the financial syndicate prevented the steady and reli­able German Bundesbank President ­Weidmann in the ECB by appointing the willing Goldman-Sachs servant Lagarde, who promised unlimited state funding, zero interest rates and centralisation.


As finance scientists and researchers, we are left with only appeals. Unfortunately, politicians are not personally liable for their mistakes. But since there is an imminent danger for the majority of our companies, for jobs and for the welfare of our state, our entreaty should also hold an appeal to the majority of our population; it is but a question of journalistic presentation to make people understand and see the danger and protest against it. The danger could be averted if the policy were forced to be corrected by the voters!•

(Translation Current Concerns)

 

Read more:

https://www.zeit-fragen.ch/en/editions/2019/n-24-11-novembre-2019/le-syn...

 

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the money laundering capital of the world...

Britain is due to leave the European Union later this month but there is no sign of banks quitting the City of London, one of the main claims made by Remainers in the run-up to the Brexit referendum. But are the wheels of the City of London only kept turning by laundered money?

Nicholas Wilson, a financial services whistleblower who was fired by UK law firm, Weightmans, after exposing millions of pounds in unfair customer charges, claims the City of London relies on "dirty money" and says the world economy would collapse if the City stopped laundering it.

UK Tried To Block EU Bid To Tighten Up On Money Laundering

Mr Wilson, a former litigation manager, said: "The EU wanted to tighten up on money laundering and the UK was the only country who voted against it."

He said: "Capitalism relies on a swash of dirty money which is moved around and supports investment around the world."

report last year by the Centre for Banking Research at Cass Business School painted a rosy picture of the City of London post-Brexit.

The report’s co-author Professor Barbara Casu Lukac wrote: “London will continue to be a key player in the global financial services industry and capital markets following Brexit. However some of its operations, capabilities and margins will be affected by the long-term political regulatory uncertainty underlying the Brexit process.”

It comes in stark contrast to the dire utterances about the City's future made by the then Chancellor, George Osborne, as part of his “Project Fear”, before the Brexit referendum in 2016.

After the referendum David Cameron resigned and was replaced by another Remainer, Theresa May, and when her efforts to push through a Brexit deal failed she was succeeded by Boris Johnson, who had been an enthusiastic supporter of leaving the European Union all along.

In June 2019, during the Conservative leadership contest, Boris Johnson bragged about how much he had done for the City of London.

Johnson renegotiated a new deal with the EU but the future of the City of London will be part of negotiations on trade later this year.

Banks will be able to continue providing services during the transition period, which will begin on 1 February, but they are due to lose their “passporting rights” which allow them to offer services to customers in the 27 European Union states.

One possible solution is that UK banks might have to set up a subsidiary in an EU member state and apply for a passporting licence there.

FCA Chief Promoted But Was He 'Asleep at the Wheel'?

Last month the government announced Andrew Bailey, the current head of the Financial Conduct Authority - the regulator which oversees financial services and markets in the UK - would take over as Governor of the Bank of England in March.

Mr Bailey said: “The Bank has a very important job and, as Governor, I will continue the work that Mark Carney has done to ensure that it has the public interest at the heart of everything it does. It is important to me that the Bank continues to work for the public by maintaining monetary and financial stability and ensuring that financial institutions are safe and sound.”

But Mr Wilson said in the last 12 months Mr Bailey had failed on several high-profile scandals  including the collapse of mini-bond firm London Capital and Finance, the implosion of Woodford Investment Management and the gating of the M&G Property Portfolio over liquidity issues.

He said: “He has certainly failed over many years on his handling of the HSBC fraud I first reported to the FSA in 2012.”

Mr Wilson was fired after he pointed out HFC Bank, a subsidiary of HSBC, was illegally imposing a 16 percent surcharge on customers who had defaulted on hire purchase credit payments and sub-prime loans.

In 2017 he won his battle against HSBC, who were forced to pay back more than £4 million to thousands of customers.

Then in 2019 another 18,500 victims were identified. HSBC has so far agreed to pay out £30 million and Mr Wilson believes the total will eventually reach £200 million.

In March 2019 Adrian Hill, the former CEO of HFC Bank, drowned himself at his luxury home in Oxfordshire.

An inquest into his death heard had been suffering from stress was was convinced he was going to be sent to prison as a result of the FCA investigation into HFC.

Mr Wilson pointed out the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell had said in Parliament on Wednesday, 8 January, Mr Bailey’s record at the FCA should have been taken into account before he was appointed.

Mr McDonnell said Mr Bailey had been "asleep at the wheel during his period of office at the FCA.”

The Chancellor, Sajid Javid, insisted Mr Bailey was "an outstanding candidate, the standout candidate for being the next Governor of the Bank of England."

'UK Most Corrupt Country in the World'

In 2016 Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, who has spent most of his career investigating the mafia, claimed Britain was the most corrupt country in the world.

Saviano told an audience at the Hay-on-Wye Book Festival: “If I asked you what is the most corrupt place on Earth you might tell me well it’s Afghanistan, maybe Greece, Nigeria, the South of Italy and I will tell you it’s the UK. It’s not the bureaucracy, it’s not the police, it’s not the politics but what is corrupt is the financial capital. 90 percent of the owners of capital in London have their headquarters offshore.”

Mr Wilson said: “I would agree with that. He is talking about the City of London. It is the money laundering capital of the world.”

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/business/202001161078000377-world-economy-would-...

 

 

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the freeport solution...

While the UK and EU are negotiating a bilateral trade agreement, the Johnson government has started laying the groundwork for Britain's independent economic development by pushing ahead with a "freeport" plan. European academics have weighed up the pros and cons of the UK's new strategy.

On Monday, the UK government kicked off a 10-week consultation on the establishment of up to 10 free port zones in the country to boost growth and seize on the opportunities Brexit has presented. It is expected that the location of the new zones will be announced at the end of this year to make them operable in 2021.

According to the government website, the 2020 free ports model offers a vast number of benefits, including:

·         "goods brought into a freeport do not attract tariffs until they leave the freeport and enter the domestic market";

·         "no duty is payable if they are re-exported";

·         "when raw materials are imported and processed into a final good, duties are only paid on the final good";

·         "innovative environments to trial new technologies".

Additionally, the "freeport zone" does not necessarily have to be located in a port. However, the idea of Singapore-style free ports – formulated by Boris Johnson during his November 2019 campaign – has come under heavy criticism from the European Union, which suggested that the endeavour could be "potentially vulnerable to money laundering or terrorism financing".

Freeports Untie Hands of Employers, May Become Havens for Fraud

According to Charles Woolfson, professor emeritus of Labour Studies at the Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society at Sweden's Linköping University, by implementing the Freeport project Johnson is seeking "to realise full ‘regulatory divergence’ from EU controls – the glittering prize of Brexit".

"These free ports will be situated mainly in declining and ‘left-behind’ parts of the UK such as Teeside," the academic elaborates. "Such zones are not specifically precluded by EU regulations, although it is true to say that they are regarded by the [European] Commission as potential havens for counterfeiting goods and money laundering."

He notes that there are currently over 80 free ports in the EU, the majority of which are located in the newer member states of Eastern Europe. In January 2020, the European Commission introduced new regulations governing freeports obligating national authorities to take measures to identify and report suspicious activities at the freeport zones, citing a "high incidence of corruption, tax evasion, and criminal activity".

 

 

Read more:

 

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/state-of-the-union/thats-classif...

 

See also:

http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/35627

the vultures are hungry...

by Cynthia Chung — Strategic Culture Foundation

The over 1000 point plunge of the stock market on Feb 27th and broader ruptures of the financial system last week have been yet another wake up call for those who have been contented so far to “live in the moment” of fast money.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, which is considered the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, many have not been able to go back to sleep after such a lucid nightmare. Some have chosen the path of stocking up on cans of beans, distilling their urine into water and binge watching survivalists such as Bear Grylls hoping to absorb his skills through television osmosis.

The 2008 crisis put in the spotlight the psychopathic level of greed, vice, apathy and short-sightedness from those who wanted to play into the City of London and Wall Street casino houses. Get rich quick and don’t care who you screw in the process, after all, at the end of the day you’re either a winner or a loser.

Since the general public tends to consist of decent people, there is a widespread difficulty in comprehending how entire economies of countries have been hijacked by these piranhas. That we have hit such a level of crime that even people’s hard earned pensions, education, health-care, housing etc. are all being gambled away… LEGALLY.

Looking upon investment bankers today, one is reminded of those sad addicts in the casino who are ruined and lose everything, except the difference is, they are given the option to sell their neighbour’s family into slavery to pay off their debt.

It is no secret that much of the “finance” that goes through the City of London and Wall Street is dirty and yet despite this recognition, there appears to be an inability to address it and that at this point we are told that if we tried to address it by breaking up and regulating the “Too Big to Fail” banks, then the whole economy would come tumbling down.

That is, the world is so evidently run by criminal activity that at this point we have become dependent on its dirty money to keep afloat the world economy.

Faced with the onrushing collapse of the financial system, the greatest Ivy League trained minds of the world have run into a dead end: the bailouts into the banking system that began this past September have prevented a chain reaction meltdown for a few months, but as the liquidity runs out so too will the ideas on where the money justifying bank bailouts will come from.

With these dead ends, we have seen the lightbulb go off in the minds of a large strata of economists who have been making the case in recent years that valuable revenue can yet be generated from one more untapped stream: the decriminalisation and legalisation of vice.

Hell, the major banks have already been doing this covertly as a matter of practice for generations… so why not just come out of the closet and make it official? This is where the money is at. This is where the job market is at. So let us not “bite the hand that feeds us”!

But is this truly the case? Is there really no qualitative difference how the money is generated and how it is spent as long as there is an adequate money flow?

Well it is never a good sign when beside the richest you can also find the poorest just a stone’s throw away. And right beside the largest financial center in the world, the City of London, there lies the poorest borough in all of London: Tower Hamlets with a 39% poverty rate and an average family income amounting to less than £ 13, 000/year.

A City within a City

“Hell is a city much like London”

– Percy Bysshe Shelley

Although Wall Street has contributed greatly to this sad situation, this banking hub of America is best understood as the spawn of the City of London.

The City of London is over 800 years old, it is arguably older than England herself, and for over 400 years it has been the financial center of the world.

During the medieval period the City of London, otherwise known as the Square Mile or simply the City, was divided into 25 ancient wards headed each by an alderman. This continues today. In addition, there existed the ominously titled City of London Corporation, or simply the Corporation, which is the municipal governing body of the City. This also still continues today.

Though the Corporation’s origins cannot be specifically dated, since there was never a “surviving” charter found establishing its “legal” basis, it has kept its functions to this day based on the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta is a charter of rights agreed to by King John in 1215, which states that “the City of London shall have/enjoy its ancient liberties”. In other words, the legal function of the Corporation has never been questioned, reviewed, re-evaluated EVER but rather it has been left to legally function as in accordance with their “ancient liberties”, which is a very grey description of function if you ask me. In other words, they are free to do as they deem fit.

And it gets worst. The Corporation is not actually under the jurisdiction of the British government. That is, the British government presently does not have the authority to undermine how the Corporation of the City chooses to govern the largest financial center in the world. The City has a separate voting system that allows for, well, corporations to vote in how their separate “government” should run. It also has its own private police force and system of private courts.

The Corporation is not just limited to functioning within the City. The City Remembrancer, which sounds more like a warped version of the ghost of Christmas past, has the role of acting as a channel of communication between the Corporation and the Sovereign (the Queen), the Royal Household and Parliament. The Remembrancer thus acts as a “reminder”, some would even say “enforcer”, of the will of the Corporation. This position has been held by Paul Double since 2003, it is not clear who bestows this non-elected position.

Mr. Double has the right to act as an official lobbyist in the House of Commons, and sits to the right of the Speaker’s chair, with the purpose of scrutinising and influencing any legislation he deems affects the interests of the Corporation. He also appears to have the right to review any piece of legislation as it is being drafted and can even comment on it affecting its final outcome. He is the only non-elected person allowed into the House of Commons.

According to the official City of London website, the reason why the City has a separate voting system is because:

“The City is the only area in the country in which the number of workers significantly outnumbers the residents and therefore, to be truly representative of its population, offers a vote to City organisations so they can have their say on the way the City is run.” 

However, the workers have absolutely no say. The City’s organisations they work for have a certain size vote based on the number of workers they employ, but they do not consult these workers, and many of them are not even aware that such elections take place. 

If you feel like you have just walked through Alice’s Looking Glass, you’re not alone, but what appears to be an absurd level of madness is what has been running the largest financial center in the world since the 1600s, under the machinations of the British Empire.

Therefore the question is, if the City of London has kept its “ancient liberties” and has upheld its global financial power, is the British Empire truly gone? 

Offshore Banking: Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand?

Contrary to popular naïve belief, the empire on which the sun never sets (some say “because God wouldn’t trust them in the dark”) never went away.

After WWII, colonisation was meant to be done away with, and many thought, so too with the British Empire. Countries were reclaiming their sovereignty, governments were being set up by the people, the system of looting and pillaging had come to an end.

It is a nice story, but could not be further from the truth.

In the 1950s, to “adapt” to the changing global financial climate, the City of London set up what are called “secrecy jurisdictions”. These were to operate within the last remnants of Britain’s small territories/colonies. Of Britain’s 14 oversea territories, 7 are bona fide tax havens or “secrecy jurisdictions”. A separate international financial market was also created to facilitate the flow of this offshore money, the Eurodollar market. Since this market has its banks outside of the UK and U.S., they are not under the jurisdiction of either country.

By 1997, nearly 90% of all international loans were made through this market.

What is often misunderstood is that the City of London’s offshore finances are not contained in a system of banking secrecy but rather of trusts. The difference being that a trust ultimately plays with the concept of ownership. The idea is that you hand over your assets to a trustee and at that point, legally those assets are no longer yours anymore and you are not responsible for accounting for them. Your connection to said assets is completely hidden.

In addition, within Britain’s offshore jurisdictions, there is no qualification required for who can become a trustee: anyone can set up a trust and anyone can become a trustee. There is also no registry of trusts in these territories. Thus, the only ones who know about this arrangement are the trustee and the settler.

John Christensen, an investigative economist, estimates that this capital that legally belongs to nobody could amount to as high as $50 trillion within these British territories. Not only is this not being taxed, but a significant portion of it has been stolen from sectors of the real economy.

So how does this affect “formerly” colonised countries?

There lies the rub for most developing nations. According to John Christensen, the combined external debts of Sub-Saharan African countries was $177 billion in 2008. However, the wealth that these countries’ elites moved offshore, between 1970-2008, is estimated at $944 billion, 5X their foreign debt. This is not only dirty money, this is also STOLEN money from the resources and productivity of these economies. Thus, as Christensen states, “Far from being a net debtor to the world, Sub-Saharan Africa is a net creditor” to offshore finance.

Put in this context, the so-called “backwardness” of Africa is not due to its incapability to produce, but rather that it has been experiencing uninterrupted looting since these regions were first colonised.

These African countries then need to borrow money, which is happily given to them at high interest rates, and accrues a level of debt that could never be repaid. These countries are thus looted twice over, leaving no money left to invest in their future, let alone to put food on the table.

Offshore havens are what make this sort of activity “legal” and rampant.

And it doesn’t stop there. Worldwide, it is estimated that developing countries lose $1 trillion every year in capital flight and tax evasion. Most of this wealth goes back into the UK and U.S. through these offshore havens, and allows their currencies to stay strong whilst developing nations’ currencies are kept weak.

However, developing nations are not the only ones to have suffered from this system of looting. The very economies of the UK and U.S. have also been gutted. In the 1960s and onward, the UK and U.S., to compensate for the increase in money flow out of their countries decided that it was a good idea to open their domestic markets to the trillions of dollars passing through its offshore havens.

However, such banks are not interested in putting their money into industry and manufacturing, they put their money into real estate speculation, financial speculation and foreign currency trade. And thus the financialization of British and American economies resulted, and the real jobs coming from the real economy decreased or disappeared.

Although many economists try to claim differently, the desperation has boiled over and movements like the yellow vests are reflections of the true consequences of these economic policies.

We have reached a point now where every western first world country is struggling with a much higher unemployment rate and a lower standard of living than 40 years ago. Along with increased poverty has followed increased drug use, increased suicide and increased crime.

A Stable Economy based on Freedom or Slavery?

According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) report in 2017, the UK has by far the highest rate of drug overdose in all of Europe at 31% followed by Germany at 15%. That is, the UK consists of 1/3 drug overdoses that occur in all of Europe.

The average family income in the UK is presently £28, 400. The poverty rate within the UK is ~20%.

The average family income of what was once the epicentre of world industrialisation, Detroit, has an average family income of $26, 249. The poverty rate of Detroit is ~34.5%.

What is the solution?

Reverse Margaret Thatcher’s 1986 Big Bang deregulation of the banking system that destroyed the separation of commercial banking, investment banking, trusts and insurance for starters. A similar restoration of Glass-Steagall in the USA should follow suit, not only to break up the “Too Big to Fail” banking system but to restore the authority of nation states over private finance once more. IF these emergency measures were done before the markets collapse (and they will collapse), then the industrial-infrastructure revival throughout trans-Atlantic nations can still occur.

Let us end here by hearkening to the words of Clement Attlee, UK Prime Minister from 1945-1951:

“Over and over again we have seen that there is another power than that which has its seat at Westminster. The City of London, a convenient term for a collection of financial interests, is able to assert itself against the government of the country. Those who control money can pursue a policy at home and abroad contrary to that which is being decided by the people.”

 

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https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/03/08/sugar-and-spice-and-ev...

 

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See also: http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/35884

the bad oil...

...

 

So how did 200 vessels - many formerly owned by European companies - end up in Alang last year?


Oliver Holland is a lawyer at Leigh Day, a law firm which specialises in human rights cases.


He says the answer is companies known as cash buyers who act as middle-men between ship owners and shipbreakers.


“The cash buyer is simply an intermediary, and is there, we believe, to try and avoid liability. To put something between [the seller] and the beach,” said Mr Holland. 


He says this is a common system which is used across the South Asian ship recycling industry. Ship owners sell their vessels to cash buyers, who sell them on to scrapyards.


“The cash buyer changes the name [and] the ... registered owner, which is usually a postbox company in the Caribbean or whatever other tax haven,” he explained.


“They are literally just there as a sort of a loophole to get around any regulation ... or legal liability.”

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/extra/ao726ind7u/shipbreaking

kept out of the treaty on the kingdom’s withdrawal...

The City of London - an independent microstate inside the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - has been kept out of the Treaty on the Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, thereby losing the right to transact in euros.

In one month, transactions in the City fell by more than half, profiting the Amsterdam, Paris and New York stock exchanges.

Negotiations between London and Brussels are ongoing, but it is already clear that the European Union has found a particularly effective way of putting pressure on its partner.

 

 

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https://www.voltairenet.org/article212204.html

 

 

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the way money works in the UK...

 

The Tax Watch charity has revealed that the number of criminal prosecutions for benefits related crimes dwarfs the number of prosecutions for tax crimes by an incredible 23 to 1.  

This stunning report lays bare the putrid priorities and noxious double-standards which pollute British society.

Over the last eleven years there have been 85,745 criminal prosecutions for benefits related fraud but only 3,665 prosecutions for tax fraud, yet the amount of revenue denied to the Treasury by tax cheating is at least nine times greater than benefits fraud. In financial year 2018/19 the HMRC, the government body responsible for tax collection, admitted a tax collection gap of £20 billion but the report itself makes clear that reporting and calculation methods makes this figure an absolute minimum amount with the real figure nearer to £44 billion and some other reputable research suggesting annual amounts lost to the treasury via combined tax evasion (illegal) and tax avoidance (immoral) amounting to £122 billion 

That amount represents almost the annual NHS budget stolen from the public purse each year by tax dodgers but the British government targets and prioritises benefit fraud over tax fraud despite the sums lost to benefit fraud adding up to less than 1% of the total benefits budget, under £2 billion once recovery actions are factored in.

At least £20 billion is lost from tax dodging compared to under £2 billion lost from benefit fraud but the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), responsible for the benefits bill, employs three and half times more staff on compliance than the HMRC.

Many More Employed to Target Benefit Fraud Than Tax Dodging

These adjusted figures for comparison purposes make the disparity in numbers pursuing tax cheats compared to benefit fraud even worse than reported in Parliament a year ago when an SNP MP demanded the Tories explain why more time and resources is spent on predominantly poorer benefit fraudsters than predominantly wealthy tax cheats after he highlighted the number of staff employed to chase tax dodging had fallen from 1,046 to 961 while the number employed to pursue mis-claimed benefits was 1,400:

“These alarming figures demonstrate that the Tory Government appear to be either complacent or just not interested in tackling the tax gap or in chasing the rich and corporations who avoid paying what they owe the state.

The Government must now explain why there has been a reduction in staff.

Either they are unable to hire staff, which suggests that a major recruitment strategy should be put in place, or they are wilfully reducing numbers to protect avoiders and evaders.

Either way, these numbers are shocking. The Government must now introduce a strategy to hire more staff to combat tax avoidance and evasion” 

The employment of more staff to detect wealthy individual and corporate tax evasion and avoidance and close the scores of loopholes legally, but immorally, deployed by the rich to avoid paying their share to society will not happen. Tax evasion and avoidance is a refined sport for the rich and famous and they are the friends and donors to the Tory party.

Britain Does Not Fight Tax Evasion – Britain Accommodates Tax Evasion

The use of offshore accounts in tax free countries and regions and the application of dubious accounting practices to ensure all multinational company losses are recorded in tax collecting areas but all profits are registered in tax free zones is widely known and understood. Read the Public Accounts Committee Report from 2015 when they lambasted the number of HMRC prosecutions for offshore tax evasion as “woefully inadequate”:

"HMRC must do more to ensure all due tax is paid. The public purse is missing out and taxpayers expect and deserve better.

We are deeply disappointed at the low number of prosecutions by HMRC for tax evasion. We believe it is important for HMRC to send a clear message to those who seek to evade tax that the penalties will be severe and public. It's also important that the majority who play by the rules, paying their tax on time and in full, see that those who don't will face the consequences.

Tax avoidance also remains a serious concern. Too many avoidance schemes run rings around the taxman, operating legally but gaining advantages never intended by Parliament. If tax law is to be improved then HMRC must as a priority provide Parliamentwith comprehensive details of avoidance” 

The truth is the rich elites and Establishment lackeys who run British society don’t want to clamp down hard on the millionaires and billionaires who dodge their taxes lest they upset them and lose endorsements, donations and newspaper support. The billionaire owned press and media is owned by a tiny number of rich men who arrange their affairs to avoid paying taxes in the UK:

“When it comes to national newspapers, three-quarters of circulation is controlled by four families. Viscount Rothermere, owner of the Mail and Metro, is leader of the pack with 35.5 per cent of print circulation, supplemented by website traffic in the UK of 38 million visits per month, according to Comscore. Rupert Murdoch is second with 25 per cent of print, plus 54 million website visitors a month to the Sun and Times. Evgeny Lebedev is third, with 8 per cent of print (the London Evening Standard) and website visitors of 25 million per  month. In fourth position is Frederick Barclay of the Telegraph with 5 per cent of print, and 25 million website visits per month...

These are the four men who own the news in the UK and who, as in Baldwin's time, exercise considerable political power without facing an electorate”. 

Britain Tops the Corporate Tax Avoidance Accommodation League

Britain cannot take meaningful action to curb tax evasion and avoidance as it is in fact the biggest facilitator of international tax evasion and avoidance in the world through its network of Overseas Territories (OTs) and Crown Dependencies (CDs) of the United Kingdom where the British Queen is head of state; powers to appoint key government officials rest with the British Crown; laws must be approved in London; and the UK government holds various other powers. Detailed research exposes the fact that four of the top five corporate tax havens on our planet are British jurisdictions

Jail for a Working-Class Lone Parent – A Bauble for a Rich Tax Dodger

Last year a 49-year-old lone mum of two from Hull was sentenced to prison for failing to inform the DWP immediately after a new partner started living with her regularly enough to affect her tax credit entitlement. She informed the local authority of her change in circumstances but not the DWP until she was later advised she should have. Speaking in her defence her solicitor said in court:

“She accepts there is no excuse and she accepts fully her culpability. She at the time was struggling with two young children and holding down a responsible and stressful job. She was in debt” 

The fraudulently claimed sum amounted to £20,000 and Angela Prendergast was sentenced to four months behind bars for her mistake.

In 2005 the owner of the retail consortium Arcadia, Phillip Green, paid himself the largest dividend in British retail history when he withdrew £1.2 billion from the company, more than four times the company’s pre-tax profits that year. It was a dividend payment that defied business practices and shocked trained observers. He avoided paying almost £285 million on that incredible dividend by paying it to his wife Tina who resided in Monaco which is a tax haven. He justified such an arrangement by explaining the company had originally been set up in Tina’s name.

Arcadia has now collapsed with the loss of thousands of jobs and workers have been denied pensions they paid into for years and other employment rights. Some are preparing legal action against Green.

Green was also at the helm when British Home Stores (BHS) collapsed in 2016 and thousands of workers lost jobs and pensions on the altar of business practices which were always shrouded in secrecy but geared to maximise the personal wealth of Green and his family. Professor of Accountancy Prem Sikka has exposed these shady deals that drained the company of liquidity over many years leading to inevitable closure. Offshore accounts were deployed to avoid taxes and a £106 million sale to Mrs Green’s Jersey based company in 2001 led to annual rental payments to her from BHS over 15 years which amounted to £153 million without tax liabilities.

Rancid Britain Rewards Tax Cheats but Criminalises Benefit Fraud

The Greens ripped off the taxpayer to the tune of £285 million minimum which could have paid for thousands of nurses and teachers. They effectively stole from the public purse. They were knighted.

Angela Prendergast was raising two children on her own and keeping down a high-pressure job. She was in debt and struggling to survive. She forgot to inform the DWP of a change in circumstances. Her £20,000 mistake cost her four months in prison.

There is the rotten, stinking, foul British state summed up. Tax evasion and avoidance is a cancer which eats away at public services and denies better provision in schools, hospitals, and elderly care homes. But rather than attack the tax dodgers, the real scroungers in society, the British government targets the poor on benefits instead. It is a sorry situation and the Tax Watch Report exposes the tainted and hypocritical priorities. The day we prioritise tax evasion and avoidance is the day we begin to build a better and fairer society.

 

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202102201082136979-prison-for-benefits-fraud--knighthoods-for-tax-dodgers/

 

 

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lowering the bar...

 

By Alan Kohler

 

The new global minimum corporate tax rate of 15 per cent announced by the G7 on Saturday is described as “historic” and “seismic”, but it’s also a bit sad.

Each member of the Group of Seven has a company tax rate that’s higher than that, but they have had to compromise on 15 per cent to keep Ireland happy (company tax, 12.5 per cent), and also to get at least something out of the world’s most powerful corporations.

In October the deal goes to the G20 for ratification, and the average company tax rate of those countries, including Australia’s 30 per cent, is 25.72 per cent.

 

So the world’s most powerful countries will have to accept a global minimum corporate tax rate that is an average of 10 per cent below what they normally charge, because Google and Facebook, among others, are powerful, ruthless and very mobile.

If they had to pay more than that, those companies would no doubt cram into the Cayman Islands, where the company tax rate currently stands at a nice round zero, and serve their data bits to the world from there.

Late on Friday night the G7 finance ministers were still haggling about whether to put the words “at least” in front of the number 15 – France wanted to make room for it to be increased in future.

France won, so that’s something.

The deal means that when digital businesses avoid tax by serving the bits of data that Australians view from a tax haven like Ireland, the Australian Taxation Office would get to top up the tax to 15 per cent.

The Australian company tax rate is 30 per cent for those with sales of more $50 million a year, so the best you can say about a tax rate of half that is that it’s a lot better than nothing.

The obvious danger, it seems to me, is that legitimising a tax rate of 15 per cent will allow other companies currently paying Australia’s 30 per cent rate, or America’s 21 per cent, to suddenly feel the pull of the Emerald Isle, or perhaps even the Caymans, so they can be “topped up” to 15 per cent, instead of paying 30 per cent.

Presumably that’s what France was on about by insisting on “at least” being inserted.

 

And there’s still a lot of detail to be ironed out, such as what’s the definition of “the largest and most profitable multinational enterprises”, which Saturday’s communique said were the companies to be caught by the new global minimum tax regime, without saying who they are.

But let’s get to the nitty-gritty: How much cash might this mean for the Australian Treasury?

Well, the Biden administration has estimated that it will bring in $US500 billion in extra tax revenue over a decade, or $US50 billion a year, which roughly accords with Europe’s estimate.

Based on the GDP difference, that means Australia could expect to collect another $3 billion from the multinational tax dodgers, which would represent an increase in total tax revenue of 0.6 per cent and pay for two months of the NDIS.

It’s not to be sneezed at, to be sure, but it won’t mean the rest of us can stop paying GST.

Another change announced in Saturday’s communique could lead to more cash for Australia.

It’s designed to replace the so-called digital taxes that some European countries have been levying on Google and Facebook, but it also seems designed to confuse everyone.

The clause says: “market countries (will be) awarded taxing rights on at least 20 per cent of profit exceeding a 10 per cent margin for the largest and most profitable multinational enterprises”.

If that can be enforced, it could end up being quite lucrative. For example, Google’s 2020 profit was $US15 billion ($20 billion); 20 per cent of that is $4 billion, taxing that at 30 per cent would yield $1.2 billion.

But is that what the clause means? Hard to tell.

Anyway, hell will freeze over before Google coughs up that sort of cash to the ATO.

Next step for the global minimum company tax rate: The G20 meeting in October, where the magnificent seven will try to get a tick from the 20.

The lowest company tax rate among G20 members is Saudi Arabia with, by coincidence, 15 per cent, but presumably the “better than nothing” principle will apply to the other 19 and they’ll all vote “aye”.

The trick then will be to ensure that 15 per cent doesn’t become the standard tax rate, instead of the current 25.72 per cent.

 

When it comes to tax, minimums have a habit of becoming maximums.

 

 

Alan Kohler writes twice a week for The New Daily. He is also editor in chief of Eureka Report and finance presenter on ABC news.

 

Read more:

https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/2021/06/07/minimum-corporate-tax-rate/

 

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