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May
24

Deepwater Horizon: Grassley letter to BP

Tax Justice Network

Following our blogs about BP’s damaged oil rig being offshore in more ways than one, we are intrigued to see this letter sent by Senator Grassley to the chair of BP.

It contains the following questions:

  • “The Deepwater Horizon rig is operating under the flag of the Marshall Islands. I would like to understand if this shelters BP from rigorous oversight.”
  • Please explain the benefits/drawbacks of having an oil rig off the coast of the United States flying under the flag of a foreign country. Specifically, how does this affect safety inspections, taxes, and royalty payments?
  • Please provide a list of all BP oil rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico and flying under the flag of a foreign country. Please provide the name of the oil rig, its distance from the United States coast, and the name of the country under which the rig operates.

And these two:

  • Please provide an accounting of all tax breaks and/or subsidies that BP received from the Federal Government for the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The time span of this request covers January 2005 to the present.
  • Please provide an accounting of royalty relief that BP has received for offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The time span of this request covers January2005 to the present.

Transocean, which owns the rig, received a similar letter.

Interesting . . .

(Hat tip: ataxingmatter )

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May
21

Global Witness welcomes new government’s promises of reform on corruption, aid, the environment and civil liberties

Clark Gascoigne

From Global Witness:

The programme for government published today by the UK’s new coalition includes commitments and pledges in several of Global Witness key campaign areas. “Having lobbied hard for change on illegal logging, libel reform, aid transparency and white collar crime during the last parliament, we welcome these promises and anticipate swift and meaningful action on each count,” said Global Witness Director Charmian Gooch.

Libel reform:

The policy statement promises a “review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech”. As a key member of the Libel Reform Campaign, Global Witness has long called for such measures. England’s outdated libel and privacy laws often work to protect the dubious interests of a wealthy minority over those of the public. This campaign secured a major victory at the end of the last parliament, with a review panel convened by Justice Secretary Jack Straw recommending sweeping reforms including measures to counter libel tourism, recognition of the need to better define and protect ‘public interest’ reporting, and a commitment to a ‘single publication rule’.

“We’re pleased that the new government has signalled its commitment to libel reform and we look forward to seeing the detail of their proposals. England’s libel laws have long been a national disgrace. The coalition should implement the sensible recommendations in the expert panel’s report,” said Gooch.

“We also need to see the new government re-table proposals to limit the success fees that libel lawyers can charge, which were blocked at the end of the last parliament. These arrangements are currently exploited by lawyers working on a ‘no-win-no-fee’ basis and act as a disincentive to public interest campaigners who self-censor rather than run the risk of facing ruinous legal costs.”

Illegal logging:

The document also pledges to introduce “measures to make the import or possession of illegal timber a criminal offence.” Importantly, this clarifies the UK position ahead of June’s meeting of the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers at which EU legislation to control illegal timber imports will be discussed. The new government should advocate strongly for improved EU legislation at this meeting.

“Without strong measures in importing countries like the UK, we may lose the fight to end deforestation in developing countries, and ultimately the battle to reverse climate change,” said Dr. Rosalind Reeve of Global Witness. “The new government’s commitment to criminalise import and possession of illegal timber shows much-needed leadership on this issue in the EU.”

Illegal logging is one of the major drivers behind the destruction of tropical forests, and a globally significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Up to 20% of all such emissions are estimated to come from deforestation and forest degradation and illegal logging costs developing countries an estimated US$15 billion per annum.

“To be effective, new legislation on illegal timber must make UK companies responsible for proving that they are not buying and selling illegally harvested timber and wood products.  We need swift and decisive action now”, said Dr Reeve. “The UK is one of six countries that has committed up to US$3.5 billion to help developing countries reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. This money will be wasted if we fail to clean up international markets.”

White Collar Crime:

The new government has stated its commitment to tackling white collar crime. This is a positive step in the fight to end global corruption. The measures needed include firm action against British financial institutions that hold money for corrupt officials from the developing world.

“Corruption and state looting – facilitated by UK banks – entrench poverty, hinder development and undermine the UK’s aid to poor countries. The coalition must also ensure that the UK’s Overseas Territories take action against those who provide financial secrecy services such as front companies and bank accounts to corrupt officials,” said Global Witness campaigner Anthea Lawson.

Aid Transparency:

Finally, the policy statement makes sweeping commitments to improving transparency in the UK’s international aid donations. Such measures are important, but will not be sufficient to prevent corruption and achieve development goals.

“In countries where government institutions have been captured by corrupt rulers, transparency on the part of external donors does little to prevent the looting of these countries’ own revenues by recipient governments. Measures to support improved governance will be necessary to ensure that British taxpayers’ generosity achieves the good ends for which it is intended, and that recipient countries can ultimately move towards less dependence on aid,” said Eleanor Nichol, Global Witness campaigner.

/ Ends

Contact: Oliver Courtney +44 7815 731 889 ocourtney@globalwitness.org

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May
21

Friday’s Daily News Round-Up

Clark Gascoigne

Senate approves sweeping Wall Street reform bill
Reuters, May 21, 2010

Focus on This: Merkley-Levin Did Not Get a Vote
Huffington Post, May 21, 2010

Senate Passes Financial Regulatory Bill — With Whisteblower Bounty
Main Justice, May 21, 2010

Jobs Bill Funded by Higher Buyout Tax Faces Friction on Deficit
Bloomberg, May 21, 2010

U.K. Plan to Merge SFO, FSA, OFT May Create ‘UFO’ (Update2)
Bloomberg, May 21, 2010

Tax evasion becomes extreme sport in Greece
Reuters Blog, May 21, 2010

Swiss Lawmakers Keep UBS Deal Alive
The New York Times, May 21, 2010

Mauritius: Round-Trips and Hot Money
AllAfrica.com, May 21, 2010

Switzerland to share data on black money if…
PTI, May 21, 2010

Seeking Clues, Paris Examines Security After Art Theft
The New York Times, May 21, 2010

`Immediate’ US aid in drug war slow to help Mexico
Associated Press, May 21, 2010

Justice official to compare notes with Italians on organized crime
Washington Post, May 21, 2010

Kenya: Mystery of Sh164 Billion Smuggled into Country
Daily Nation (Kenya), May 20, 2010

San Francisco FCPA Team to Focus on Silicon Valley
Main Justice, May 21, 2010

Jonathan Blames Financial Crisis On Corruption
Daily Champion (Nigeria), May 21, 2010

How to Clean Up Bulgaria
Time Magazine, May 31, 2010

Czechs tire of sleaze, embrace new parties
Reuters, May 21, 2010

Op-Ed: Breaking the Cycle
International Herald Tribune, May 21, 2010

Fifa investigating Lord Triesman’s allegations of bribery against Spain and Russia
Daily Telegraph, May 21, 2010

Incoming ICC corruption czar vows crackdown
AFP, May 20, 2010

Youth should awaken and work for a corruption free govt: Abdul Kalam
PTI, May 21, 2010

Minister confirms government’s lack of will to fight corruption – PL
Times of Malta, May 21, 2010

Put this in your pipe and smoke it
San Francisco Chronicle Blog, May 21, 2010

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May
20

Goldman Sachs backs Angolan oil deal despite corruption risks

Clark Gascoigne

Global Witness:

The investment bank Goldman Sachs is backing an oil deal in Angola by U.S. firm Cobalt International Energy, despite a risk that local partners in the deal could expose Cobalt to prosecution for corruption in the United States, Global Witness revealed today.

Goldman Sachs is a major shareholder in Cobalt and two of its executives sit on Cobalt’s board. Agreements with the Angolan state oil company, Sonangol, give Cobalt shares in two Angolan oil exploration blocks and assign it two local partners, Alper Oil Limitada and Nazaki Oil and Gáz S.A [1]

Alper and Nazaki are obscure companies with no visible industry track record. This is a serious concern as Angola is a poor country afflicted by severe corruption: many observers believe that small and little-known companies are used as fronts by top Angolan officials to enrich themselves privately.[2]

Cobalt has gone ahead with the deal, which was executed at the end of February, even though it warned in its own U.S. regulatory filings: “We have not worked with either of these companies in the past, and, therefore, our familiarity with these companies is limited. Violations of the FCPA [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act] may result in severe criminal or civil sanctions, and we may be subject to other liabilities, which could negatively affect our business, operating results and financial condition.”[3]

“It seems extraordinary that Goldman Sachs would back this kind of deal in Angola, a notoriously corrupt country, at a time when the bank’s own business ethics in the United States are under heavy fire,” said Diarmid O’Sullivan of Global Witness. Last month, Goldman Sachs was charged with fraud by U.S. authorities in relation to its dealings with mortgage-backed securities in the United States.[4] The Wall Street bank has denied any wrongdoing.

Cobalt will operate the two blocks, meaning it will be in charge of drilling for oil, with Sonangol, Nazaki Oil and Gáz and Alper Oil as its minority partners. Sonangol declined to explain to Global Witness why it chose these two companies. Alper Oil’s website provides little detailed information about its activities, not even a contact phone number. Nazaki Oil and Gáz does not have a website.

Nazaki Oil and Gáz is covering its own costs but Alper Oil’s upfront costs are being paid by Cobalt, which aims to recoup them out of future revenues. So Alper Oil could make huge profits if oil is found, without investing any capital upfront or taking any risks, and loses nothing if no oil is found.

Transparent management of the oil sector is crucial to the economic future of Angola, a country so poor that the average life expectancy is a mere 46.5 years.[5] But Sonangol’s actions raise serious concerns about whether it is acting in the public interest or the interests of the ruling elite.

In March 2010, Global Witness revealed that Sonangol nominated a son-in-law of President dos Santos of Angola to the board of a key investment vehicle. In August 2009 we revealed that a private company, pre-qualified by Sonangol to bid for oil rights, had shareholders with the same names as top officials, including Sonangol’s chairman.[6] Sonangol declined to comment on these cases.

Cobalt replied to written questions from Global Witness on its own behalf and that of its shareholders, including Goldman Sachs. Cobalt’s letter said: “Please be assured that we have devoted considerable resources towards mitigating the specific risks identified in the statements that you have included in your letter”. Cobalt’s letter also said that the company had retained two law firms for the “specific purpose” of addressing these risks and continued to work closely with them.

However Cobalt declined to answer specific questions about the deal, including a request to identify the ultimate beneficial owners of Alper Oil and Nazaki Oil and Gáz, on the grounds that this would “involve selective disclosure of non-public company information and, in some cases, to do so would also be a breach of the confidentiality provisions of agreements by which [Cobalt] are bound.”[7]

So it is not clear whether or not Cobalt and its investors know who the ultimate beneficial owners of these companies are. “In the highly corrupt and predatory environment of Angola, the public is being asked to take it on trust that deals with opaque partners are ethical. After the sharp practices of the credit crunch and the fraud charges levelled against Goldman Sachs in the United States, this is a tall order,” said O’Sullivan of Global Witness.

He added: “There is an urgent need for the United States and other major jurisdictions to impose tougher regulations on overseas oil investment. The Energy Security through Transparency Act, currently under consideration in the US Senate, would help satisfy this need.”

/ Ends

Global Witness, a member organization of the Task Force, investigates and campaigns to end natural resource-related conflict and corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses. See www.globalwitness.org

For further information on this briefing, please contact:

Diarmid O’Sullivan on +44 207 492 5863 or +44 7872 620 955

Graham Lee on +44 207 492 5862 or +44 7790 965 397

Notes

1. Cobalt International Energy. 10-K filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission for 2009. Page 5. 424B1 Prospectus. Page 106. Both accessed at www.sec.gov

2. Global Witness confidential interviews with foreign and domestic observers of the Angolan oil industry. See also United States Department of State, Angola human rights report for 2009, Section 4. Official Corruption and Government Transparency. Accessed at www.state.gov

3. Cobalt International Energy. 10-K filing for 2009. Page 51.

4. Securities and Exchange Commission. SEC Charges Goldman Sachs With Fraud in Structuring and Marketing of CDO Tied to Subprime Mortgages. Press release. 16th April 2010. Accessed at www.sec.gov

5. United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Report 2009. Country Fact Sheet Angola. Accessed at www.undp.org

6. Global Witness. Link between Angolan president’s son-in-law and state oil company raises questions about transparency. 15th March 2010. Private oil firm’s shareholders have same names as top government officials. 4th August 2009. Accessible at www.globalwitness.org

7. Letter to Global Witness from Cobalt International Energy. 18th May 2010.

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May
20

Thursday’s News Round-up

Clark Gascoigne

WRAPUP 8-Sweeping Wall Street reform bill advances in Senate
Reuters, May 20, 2010

EU attacks ‘discriminatory’ US tax moves
Financial Times, May 20, 2010

LETTER: Tax havens no game for poor countries
The Guardian, May 20, 2010

Singapore Bling
The Wall Street Journal, May 21, 2010

Greeks dodge taxes on 50 bln euros in annual income: bank
AFP, May 20, 2010

U.K. FSA to Lose Enforcement Power to Crime Agency (Update1)
Bloomberg News, May 20, 2010

Can North Korea Be Safe for Business?
Time Magazine, May 20, 2010

Miami Beach Developers Urged Witness Lies, U.S. Says (Update2)
Bloomberg News, May 19, 2010

Swiss face U.S. backlash if parliament snubs UBS deal
Reuters, May 20, 2010

US, India Reach Transfer Pricing Agreement
Tax-News.com, May 20, 2010

FinCEN:Integrate Anti-Money Laundering Programs With Prevention
Dow Jones, May 20, 2010

Botswana forms Financial Intelligence Agency
Sunday Standard, May 20, 2010

China punishes officials over graft
Al Jazeera, May 20, 2010

Liberia’s feisty president: Another round for Africa’s Iron Lady
The Economist, May 20, 2010

Ex-NJ lawmaker is convicted in corruption probe
The Associated Press, May 19, 2010

FIFA official: Bribery claims probably not true
The Associated Press, May 20, 2010

Kandahar Corruption Poses Challenge For U.S.
NPR, May 20, 2010

Indonesia probes massive forest corruption: official
AFP, May 20, 2010

Indonesia finance chief change may stall reforms
The Associated Press, May 20, 2010

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May
20

Revenue Transparency: because God doesn’t like secrets

Tax Justice Network

The Huffington Post is carrying an interesting editorial by Peg Chamberlain, President of the National Council of Churches of Christ, an ecumenical consortium of Christian denominations in the United States.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus states that those who do what is right do so in the light, while wrong-doers shroud their deeds in secrecy and darkness.
. . .
That is why so many in the faith community are strongly supporting an amendment to the financial reform bill that would require greater transparency for these companies.

TJN is open to all faiths, and to all non-believers, and all fence-sitters, we are firmly aligned with the thinking outlined above.

The Energy Security Through Transparency (ESTT) Amendment to the U.S. Financial Service Reform Bill, sponsored by Senators Cardin, Lugar, Schumer and Wicker, would require extraction companies to report what they pay to foreign governments. The bill would make the U.S. an implementing country for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges would disclose in their regular SEC filings their extractive payments to foreign governments for oil, gas and mining which builds on the EITI requirement that all extractive companies operating in an EITI implementing country must report their payments to the government.

“Why is this important? Because oil, gas, and mining revenues are critically important economic sectors in about 60 developing and transitioning countries. Paradoxically, these “resource-rich” countries are also home to more than two-thirds of the world’s poorest people and have been home to horrific acts of violence committed by those seeking to exploit those resources. Corruption and greed born of secrecy has led to the exploitation and oppression of thousands of people.”

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May
20

Eva Joly Responds to Tax Superhero Award, Renews Commitment to Fight Illicit Financial Flows

Clark Gascoigne

Eva Joly made the following statement in accepting Christian Aid’s 2010 Tax Superhero of the Year Award today:

Christian Aid announces the winner of the 2010 Tax Superhero of the Year award in the City of London on Wednesday.

‘I would like to thank Christian Aid as well as all the people who took part in the vote for this award. It is a great honour. I am very happy if my work can contribute to making the public aware of the damages of tax dodging on developing countries.

‘ Illicit financial flows from developing countries represents today roughly 10 times more than development aid. This vast sum is of absolute necessity for developing countries to face the current crises as well as to fulfil the basic needs of their citizens.

‘I am convinced that, if a binding mechanism is put in place, forcing Multinational Corporations to declare the profit they make and the taxes they pay in every developing country, Millennium Development Goals can be easily financed by developing countries’ themselves.

‘This award is a strong encouragement for me to keep on fighting against illicit financial flows and for more justice. Together with NGOs, in particular Christian Aid, I promise I will continue my work on this major topic.’

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May
20

Eva Joly Wins Christian Aid’s Tax Superhero of the Year Award!

Clark Gascoigne

From Christian Aid:

WINNER OF TAX SUPERHERO AWARD ANNOUNCED

Eva Joly chairs the European Parliament’s Committee on Development

Christian Aid today announced the winner of its Tax Superhero of the Year award, which recognises outstanding individual work on the potential of tax to change the world.

Eva Joly, an activist, European politician and former judge, has beaten other nominees including the comedians Ricky Gervais and Graham Norton and is the winner of this year’s Award.

Norwegian-born Joly was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2009 for the Europe Ecologie list and represents Ile de France. She also chairs the Parliament’s Committee on Development. Her work has shifted the terms of the international debate about the vital importance of tax revenues to developing countries.

As a judge in France, Ms Joly famously investigated a half-billion Euro corruption scandal involving the state-owned oil company Elf-Acquitane, and received death threats as a result. Thirty people were eventually convicted in connection with the affair.

‘Eva Joly has a proud record of championing the vital role that tax revenues play in both rich and poor countries – and also of successfully fighting corruption,’ said Helen Collinson, Christian Aid’s Campaign Manager, Economic Justice. ‘She is an outstanding ambassador for tax justice and good governance.’

Christian Aid will officially announce Ms Joly’s award outside the Royal Exchange building in the City of London during its Alternative Tax Awards 2010 ceremony, from 9.30am on Thursday, 20th May. The date coincides with accountants’ own awards bash at London’s Park Lane Hilton.

In addition to Ms Joly, Christian Aid also received nominations for comedians Ricky Gervais and Graham Norton, for tax justice campaigners John Christensen, Richard Murphy and Alvin Mosioma and for investigative reporter Denis Roberts. Other nominees were the singers Billy Bragg and Katie Melua, the novelist Rhidian Brook and the Christian Aid board member Phil Hodkinson. Another nomination was for the organisation Blood:Water Mission, which works on HIV/AIDS and water.

Christian Aid launched its Alternative Tax Awards in 2009, to highlight its campaign about the vital importance of tax for developing countries. The organisation estimates that they currently lose around $160 billion a year as a result of tax dodging by unscrupulous companies trading internationally. This is a vast sum, equal to roughly one-and-a-half times the amount of money that they receive in development aid each year.

‘The money urgently needed to pay for education, medical care, sanitation and other public services which we in the UK take for granted,’ said Helen Collinson.

Christian Aid is campaigning for the introduction of a new accounting standard, country-by-country reporting, which would require multinational companies to publish the profits they make and the taxes they pay in every country in which they operate. It is also working towards the automatic, multilateral exchange of tax information between countries, to help governments more effectively counter tax dodging. In addition, the organisation supports the strengthening of poor countries’ collection of tax domestically, to help strengthen their governments’ accountability to their citizens.

###

For more information, pictures, videos or interview requests, please contact Rachel Baird on 0207 523 2446 or 07545 501 749 or rbaird@christian-aid.org

Christian Aid works in some of the world’s poorest communities in around 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve.

Poverty is an outrage against humanity. It robs people of dignity, freedom and hope, of power over their own lives. Christian Aid has a vision – an end to poverty – and we believe that vision can become a reality. We urge you to join us.

Christian Aid is a member of the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development.

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May
19

Wednesday’s Top News Stories

Clark Gascoigne

The Wall Street ICEcapade
The American Interest, May 18, 2010

Swiss business dismisses EU membership
Swissinfo.ch, May 19, 2010

Cantons urge parliament to approve UBS deal
World Radio Switzerland, May 19, 2010

Swiss Government: Rejection Of UBS Pact Would Reignite US-Swiss Spat
Dow Jones Newswires, May 19, 2010

Swiss banks’ mantra of ‘go east’ carries risks
MarketWatch, May 18, 2010

EU Moves to Tighten Control of Hedge Funds
The Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2010

Company at Center of Manas Fuel Probe May Have Ties to Afghan Entities
EurasiaNet.org, May 19, 2010

EMC Founder Egan Cheated IRS While Envoy, Judge Says (Update1)
Bloomberg News, May 19, 2010

Italy Investigates 7,000 HSBC Account Holders for Tax Evasion
Bloomberg News, May 19, 2010

Rp 3.6 billion alleged tax fraud emerges
The Jakarta Post, May 19, 2010

Denmark’s Hansen fined $1.1M for tax evasion
The Associated Press, May 19, 2010

China And HK Examine Transfer Pricing
Tax-News.com, May 19, 2010

Nigerian police probe Siemens bribery scandal link
Reuters, May 19, 2010

Indonesian Graft-Busting Credentials Tested by Lucky Fish Bribe
Bloomberg News, May 19, 2010

Indonesia awaits new finance minister
The Associated Press, May 19, 2010

Fraud Rose in Europe as Budgets Fell, Ernst & Young Survey Says
Bloomberg News, May 19, 2010

Ex-NJ lawmaker is convicted in corruption probe
The Associated Press, May 19, 2010

Illiteracy, corruption hamper Afghan police: NATO
Reuters, May 19, 2010

Nigerian President Sets Priorities for His Administration
VOA News, May 19, 2010

Mo. auto dealer pleads guilty to aiding al-Qaida
Associated Press, May 19, 2010

Ecuador Expects To Leave Money Laundering List In June -Official
Dow Jones Newswires, May 19, 2010

Man or Myth? American Drug Lord ‘La Barbie’ Fascinates and Terrorizes
ABC News, May 19, 2010

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May
19

Levin-Merkley Amendment Would Shed Light on an Opaque Financial System, Says GFI

Clark Gascoigne
Offshore Clearinghouse is Systemic Product of a Lack of Transparency;
Senate Leadership Decision to Prevent Vote on Amendment is Troubling

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) speaks at the 2009 annual conference of the Task force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON, DC (GFI) – The fate of a crucial element of financial reform efforts, an amendment proposed to the Financial Stability Reform Act by Senators Carl Levin ((D-MI) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is in limbo ahead of a cloture vote scheduled to take place on the Senate floor later today.   The proposed amendment—which will reportedly be prevented from receiving a vote on the Senate floor—will ban banks from proprietary trading, and its omission from the financial reform bill would set back critical efforts to increase transparency in offshore financial markets, said Global Financial Integrity today.

An article published last night in the American Interest by investigative journalist, Lucy Komisar, outlines some of the crucial elements of the amendment, the problem of proprietary trading, and highlights one glaring example of how bankers game the system to evade taxes with the case of ICE Trust.

“Clearinghouses such as ICE Trust U.S. move large sums of money around the world,” writes Komisar.  “ICE Trust is located in the Cayman Islands.  Yet none of the owners of ICE Trust Holding Co. are based in the Caymans.”

Ms. Komisar’s article outlines how an entity such as ICE Trust U.S. is a “blocking company” whose owners benefit from the fact that the IRS and other U.S. financial regulators have differing views of responsibility and jurisdiction when it comes to monitoring and regulating offshore markets.  Ms. Komisar quotes Adam Rosenzweig of Washington University Law School as saying:

“The SEC and the Federal Reserve are treating ICE Trust U.S. as the place the action is going on.  The tax law looks at ICE Trust U.S. and says all the action is happening at the holding company level in the Caymans.  They are exploiting the benefit of being in the United States for regulatory purposes and being a foreign entity in the Caymans for tax purposes.”

According to Ms. Komisar’s piece, without the Levin-Merkley amendment banning proprietary trading, entities like ICE Trust will continue to help American banks conduct credit default swap trades while dodging millions of dollars in taxes.

The cloture vote is scheduled for this afternoon.  Roll Call reports that Senator Levin has expressed reservations about voting for cloture without the proposed amendment.  The rest of the Senate should take note.

To read the full article by Lucy Komisar, visit www.the-American-Interest.com or click here…

###

Global Financial Integrity (GFI) promotes national and multilateral policies, safeguards, and agreements aimed at curtailing the cross-border flow of illegal money.  In putting forward solutions, facilitating strategic partnerships, and conducting groundbreaking research, GFI is leading the way in efforts to curtail illicit financial flows and enhance global development and security.

For additional information please visit www.gfip.org.

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May
18

Tuesday’s Top News Stories

Clark Gascoigne

Transparency in Financial Reform: Because God Doesn’t Like Secrets
The Huffington Post, May 18, 2010

Greek minister sacked over husband’s taxes
Financial Times, May 18, 2010

UBS may face US suits if parliament kills deal: Swiss minister
Reuters, May 16, 2010

EU Lawmakers Ok Rules For Hedge Funds,Private Equity
The Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2010

The AIFM directive: Another European mess
The Economist, May 18, 2010

Opinion: Tories are foolish to line up Northern Ireland as a tax haven
The Guardian, May 18, 2010

India, US end row over taxing captive units
The Economic Times, May 18, 2010

Seedy underworld of human trafficking
BBC News, May 18, 2010

Corruption, Mismanagement Strangle Vital Kenyan Watershed
New York Times, May 18, 2010

FIFA wants ‘bribery’ probe report before World Cup
The Associated Press, May 18, 2010

Police want Lieberman charged for obstructing corruption probe
Haaretz, May 18, 2010

Ambassador denies bribery in Africa independences
The Angola Press Agency, May 18, 2010

Panama looking to exit OECD gray list
Newsroom Panama, May 17, 2010

Gibraltar bank appeals against 1.7 million euro fine by Spain alleging money laundering
Panorama (Gibraltar), May 18, 2010

Legislators approve laws on trade and environment
The Taipei Times, May 19, 2010

AG King asks U.S. Senate to help Mexico fight border violence, human trafficking
The New Mexico Independent, May 18, 2010

‘FM looking into IPL tax evasion, money laundering’
Press Trust of India, May 18, 2010

House Panel to Quiz Top Banker Over Tax Cases
The Jakarta Globe, May 18, 2010

Alleged new tax fraud case worth Rp 3.6 trillion uncovered
The Jakarta Post, May 18, 2010

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May
18

Task Force seeking PhD economist to direct new data program

Christine Clough

The Task Force is currently accepting applications for Program Director of our new Economic Transparency Initiative (ETI).  Qualified candidates will have a PhD in macro economics, fluency in English and a second language (preferably French), and strong written and verbal communication skills.  Our goal for ETI is to significantly increase the amount and types of data available to the public related to illicit financial flows, so that we can better understand the nature and volume of the problem and then apply this knowledge towards amelioration efforts.

A full description of the position and qualifications is available in the jobs section of the Task Force website.  Applications are due by June 4 at 11:59 ET.

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