By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.


Keynote Address by Senator Carl Levin at the Conference on Increasing Transparency in Global Finance

Senator Carl Levin was speaker at the Conference on Increasing Transparency in Global Finance.

What he stated is worth quoting:

"It is highly encouraging that you are meeting to discuss how illicit money arising from tax scams, corporate misconduct, foreign corruption, and other wrongdoing has hurt economic development, emerging civil societies, and the rule of law."

"Hiding assets offshore is blatantly unfair to the vast majority of taxpayers who comply with their civic obligations and have to shoulder the additional tax burden when others don’t pay what they owe. It deprives government treasuries of money needed to protect our citizens and provide the services that make our nations more secure and prosperous.

"As G-20 leaders signaled a new willingness to take action against uncooperati"ve tax havens, the changes made by Liechtenstein and Switzerland set off a chain reaction in other bank-secrecy nations. Places like Luxembourg, Austria, Andorra, Monaco, and others also pledged for the first time to share tax information and cooperate with international tax enforcement."

"The battle to end offshore tax abuse is far from over."

"While 87 nations have now pledged to adopt the OECD’s model tax information exchange agreement, it is critical that the international community ensure that these pledges are followed by concrete actions – that tax havens not only sign tax sharing agreements but implement them. If words are not followed by deeds, the international community must have a way to respond."

"The G-20 or a smaller subset like the G-7 nations could act as a group to bar their financial institutions from doing business with uncooperative tax haven banks or jurisdictions. Tax haven banks facing that type of united action would have a much harder time turning law enforcement away empty handed. And putting the necessary legal mechanism in place now to stop tax haven abuses in the future would give the international community a powerful new tool to use when the next offshore tax scandal hits."

"We have the means to end offshore tax abuse if we have the political will to act. Offshore tax evasion currently deprives countries of billions of dollars in needed revenues, benefiting the wealthy few who have the resources to hide assets offshore while offloading their tax burden onto the backs of honest taxpayers. When that happens, tax haven abuse undercuts the tenets of fairness and shared sacrifice on which free societies rely."

"Tax evaders reap enormous benefits from civil society -- they enjoy the security our military and law enforcement agencies provide; they invest and prosper thanks to the rule of law and sanctity of contract which our regulators and court system enforce; and they build their economic future on the financial, communications, and transportation infrastructure that taxpayers finance. What we ask in return is that all members of society pay that share of their income that they owe, so that governments can continue to protect fundamental rights and provide basic services. If that social contract breaks down and some refuse to pay their share, the effects on civil society are caustic. Ending offshore tax abuse is about more than money; it is about protecting the principles upon which our economic and political systems are built. "

05:44 Posted in General | Permalink | Comments (2)


Transparency in global finance needs to be addressed in full in Copenhagen. Poorer countries who have been used for their resources need a stake in global renewable energy projects.

Posted by: solarglobalgreen | 09/17/2009

Whilst a serious topic I find myself awaiting with interest the leaking of information that Carl Levin's private wealth is and has been secreted away in Delaware Corporations. It would, like many who have come before, be no great surprise.


As always keep up the good work.

Posted by: Charles O'S | 09/22/2009

The comments are closed.