Global Transnationals increase ‘illicit financial flows’ into tax havens

18th April 2019 / Global
Global Transnationals increase 'illicit financial flows' into tax havens

By TruePublica: We have written many times about the level of power wielded by transnational corporations and the damage they do along the way. Leaving aside the ecological and environmental damage, these corporations are now shielding $2 trillion in tax havens a year more than the huge sums we knew of before. They are pillaging the world out of nothing other than gluttony and selfishness.


Corporations have increased their wealth against that of entire countries in the last few years. According to figures released by Global Justice Now back in 2016, they found that 69 of the world’s top economic entities are corporations rather than countries in 2015. They also discovered that the world’s top 10 corporations – a list that includes Walmart, Shell and Apple – have a combined revenue of more than the 180 ‘poorest’ countries combined in the list which include Ireland, Indonesia, Israel, Colombia, Greece, South Africa, Iraq and Vietnam.

Their figures at the time, also reported that when looking at the top 200 economic entities, 153 of them were corporations.


Just last week, the Tax Justice Network released their updated report on the same subject. That report makes some comparisons and shows data from 1993 suggesting that a third of world trade happened inside multinationals. What is surprising is that given the scale of operations of these transnationals, it appears from a first look that that number has not changed since then. Another report from the World Bank confirms this one-third number and so does another from the OECD.

And yet, strangely, all these reports also show constant year-on-year growth. This growth over 25 years, by all accounts, seems to consistently represent one-third of global trade, whilst they out-perform their competition.

What these reports fail to demonstrate is the ever-increasing amount of illicit trade and off-shoring of revenues that is now going on as standard practice. They do this with an army of accountants equipped with tax dodging devices and the facilitators of the tax havens.

Tax Justice Network breaks down these numbers and comes to the conclusion that as much as 41 per cent of global trade is through transnationals. It is, therefore, safe to say, as TJN says that an extraordinary sum of money is now classed as ‘illicit financial flows’ – which is going straight into the accounts of tax havens. The sum of money we are talking here is nearly $2 trillion a year.

To put that in context, it is estimated that to end world hunger a sum of $30 billion would be needed each year. So there’s 66 years worth of ending that hunger illegally stashed money in just one year of tax dodging sitting comfortably in the sun-kissed beaches of places like Panama, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands et al doing nothing at all.


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