This is an article I wrote for the Tax Justice Network. It looks at why market power (or, put more crudely, monopolies) is a bigger problem for Europe than most people think; where the connections are between monopolies and tax havens, and why Europe needs to build an antimonopoly movement to rival what’s going on in the United States — and which builds on the successes of bodies like the Tax Justice Network.
Updated: Oct 30, 2019
The IMF’s September 2019 issue of Finance & Development is about dark money, money laundering, and all that stuff. It features an article of mine, about how to tackle tax havens. Now The Guardian has an article looking at the City of London’s role as a global centre for tax haven activity, with a similar but shorter set of recommendation.
The core premise goes the heart of the Finance Curse: shrink the City of London (in smart ways): this will not only curb the tax haven racket – but it will increase Britain’s prosperity. The classic win-win.
The IMF article goes far beyond the UK. Here’s (maybe) the most arresting sentence:
We are now at the start of the most significant period of change to the international corporate tax system in a century
For the avoidance of doubt, the IMF editors let me say what the hell I wanted to say. So I’m quite proud of my latest.
With a whole lot of new US material that isn’t in the UK edition, spread across several chapters, plus a full new chapter on the financialisation (sorry, financialization) of hogs in Iowa, which has turned out to be a classic, extraordinary, finance-curse story.
The cover text is here. It’s due out in early November.
There will also be Japanese, Finnish and Taiwanese editions.
With, hopefully, more to come.
And it’s going to be made into a film. Early days, though.
Updated: this new Scottish analysis complements the blog nicely.
I’ve just co-written a submission to a UK parliamentary inquiry on Britain’s regional economic imbanances. The submission looks at at how financialisation is contributing to the staggeringly large divide between wealthy parts of London (and associated areas,) and the rest.
The widely-believed story is that London is the financial-centre engine of the British economy, showering jobs and tax revenues on the entire country. In the words of Boris Johnson, then Mayor of London, now Prime Minister,
“A pound spent in Croydon is of far more value to the country than a pound spent in Strathclyde. You will generate jobs in Strathclyde far more effectively if you invest in parts of London.”
(Seriously, he said that.)
(An article I wrote, cross-posted with the Tax Justice Network.)
The Finance Curse is a concept first developed by the Tax Justice Network. It is a relatively simple idea — and also an original and powerful multi-level critique of the modern global economy.
The core message is “too much finance can make a country poorer,” and this article explains why this is so, by framing the issue in simple terms. (It complements this page showing over 20 academic studies supporting the proposition that “too much finance can make you poorer.”)
All this has geographical, racial, gender, and disability-based implications, as laid out here.Continue reading