Task Force Blog

Thursday’s Daily News Digest

What will they think of next?

Norfund buy the Code of Conduct

Governments are just not set up to invest in strategic thinking

Investments for development: derailed to tax havens

Tuesday’s Daily News Digest

Honorable Dr. Rafael Espada, Vice President of Guatemala, to Address Participants of Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development Conference

Report: Investments for Development: Derailed to Tax Havens

Asserting the right to tax corporations – like Wolseley

Resources from the 2010 Annual Task Force Conference

Task Force: beneficial ownership

Watch the Conference Live from Bergen!

Is Thomas Piketty Right About Tax Havens?

September 2, 2014

If you have had much contact with the disciple of economics in the last year, you’ve heard of the book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, written by French economist Thomas Piketty. And Capital concerns two subjects that are very near and dear to us at the Financial Transparency Coalition: inequality and taxes.

Piketty’s book is all the rage among economists and policy wonks. Perhaps for good reason. In a unique exploration of a new dataset, Piketty parses through literally centuries of tax data to discern long-term trends in inequality and wealth. His conclusions are broad and many, but one of his main findings is this: wealth inequality was high before World War I, it fell after and for much of the century, and it has been on the rise again since the 1980s.

That income inequality is already extreme (and getting worse) should come as no surprise to readers of this blog. We’ve heard that the richest one percent of Americans earn about a fifth of the nation’s income. Central to Piketty’s thesis, inequality is even starker in terms of wealth, rather than income. By contrast to the top earners who make one-fifth of the nation’s income, the wealthiest one percent of Americans hold about one-third of the nation’s wealth.

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