Written by Mikaprok; Originally appeared in Russian in his blog
A study in landscape design for exotic places on Earth.
Let’s try to bring some context to the never ending discussion of offshores.
The amount of leaks concerning offshores may very well surpass the amount of legal information. More than 13 million of documents have fallen into the public’s hands, and the media try their best to find some recognizable names out of vast expanses of text, trying to match them with known information.
It’s time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s by laying some fundamental truths out.
Let’s start with the big question.
Who keeps the money in the offshores? Doesn’t matter whether the offshores are British, American, Asian or Middle Eastern.
If we want to keep it simple then the answer is everyone who has money. One way or the other they keep them in offshores.
Since the 1920s, Switzerland has existed in its own international banking dimension. The European cream of the crop all kept their money there.
In the early 80s, 16 territories around the world join Switzerland, from Bahamas to Hong-kong.
Since then, the amount of companies circumventing the state tax laws has been increasing 200-300% per year.
In 2016, an unprecedented study was conducted thanks to the efforts of Bank for International Settlements. This study showed that the amount of money kept in offshores equals to 10% of the world’s GDP. 10% was the lowest estimate.
For example, Russia had offshored a sum equivalent to 50% of its GDP, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates did so with 60-70% of their GDP. The UK and the EU had offshored approximately 15% of its GDP (the actual number is much higher).
0.01% of the richest families of the UK, France and Spain have offshored from 30 to 40% of their respective GDPs.
In Russia, this number reaches 85%. In China, 95%.
The US’s is estimated to be 60-70%, as Delaware does not disclose its information to international organizations.
So, if you take a look at all of the offshore data, and not only at random snippets, you’ll see the very best houses of our small planet there. The worst houses will be there too.
If we apply these numbers to this map, provided by the Tax Justice Network, this is what we get:
Overall there are $21 trillion in offshores, $9.8 trillion of which are assigned to people with wealth over $30 million.
That, strictly speaking, does not seem fair.
Overall the world’s cash tends to pass from the EU and the Americas to Southeast Asia, which can be observed here: