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05 January 2013

Consider a banana...

From Simon Says, the blog of this atheist's favourite theologian:
Tax havens profoundly affect the way that we live ... They have contributed to a huge transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich, both globally and within the richest countries ... ... ... Tax Havens have a huge impact on the developing world.
...and...
To see how Tax Havens work, consider a banana.  Every banana in your fruit-bowl has taken two simultaneous paths to be there.  One is the path of the actual banana. ... At the same time the banana takes a more circuitous route, but only on an accountant's piece of paper.
This is from a review of Nicholas Shaxson's Treasure islands : tax havens and the men who stole the world – a book (aptly described as “exceedingly readable - more like a thriller than a work of economics”) which I, too, thoroughly recommend. I wish I had written as good a review myself; but I didn't, and being pragmatic I'll just refer you straight over to the man who has.

  • Shaxson, N., Treasure islands : tax havens and the men who stole the world. 2011, London: Bodley Head. 9781847921109 [or] 2012, London: Vintage. 9780099541721

2 comments:

Gayle said...

Geez, I wish people would stop writing books I'd like to read till I've caught up! I've just ordered two more while still attempting to fit in the finish of "Team of Rivals".

Geoff said...

Consider Scottish Beef.
Cattle are sent from Cornwall - on a desperate journey for them - to Scotland. Resident there for ten days the meat can then be called Scottish and sold in a supermarket in Cornwall or anywhere else as Scottish Beef.
On their journey, the hauliers, auctioneers and various piddling ( ooops, middle men ) make much monies out of this dishonest and cruel trade.