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(English) Tax havens at the core of the Greek crisis

By Nicholas Shaxson

November 26th, 2011

Published on Task Force – Financial Integrity & Economic Development

Half a century ago, the global financial architecture was, as a result of lessons learned from the Great Depression, heavily fragmented and flows of capital across borders were quite tightly constrained by capital controls . The quarter century after the Second World War (well, from 1947-8ish) was known as the ” golden age ” of capitalism: an era of broad-based, stable growth, with few financial crises. The rise of tax havens and the interrelated phenomenon of the offshore Euromarkets coincided with the end of the golden age and the disruption of these happy trends. From the 1970s onwards, incomes for ordinary folk have stagnated while those at the top have soared. Tax havens, or secrecy jurisdictions, played a major role in this.

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