Financial Secrecy Index
An estimated US$21 to $32 trillion of private financial wealth is located, untaxed or lightly taxed, in secrecy jurisdictions around the world. Secrecy jurisdictions - a term we often use as an alternative to the more widely used term tax havens - use secrecy to attract illicit and illegitimate or abusive financial flows. "Competition" between jurisdictions to provide secrecy facilities has become a central feature of global financial markets, particularly since the era of financial globalisation really took off in the 1980s. The secrecy world creates a criminogenic hothouse for multiple evils including fraud, tax cheating, escape from financial regulations, embezzlement, insider dealing, bribery, money laundering, and plenty more. In identifying the most important providers of international financial secrecy, the Financial Secrecy Index reveals that traditional stereotypes of tax havens are misconceived. The implications for global power politics are clearly enormous, and help explain why for so many years international efforts to crack down on tax havens and financial secrecy were so ineffective, it is the recipients of these gigantic inflows that set the rules of the game. The sweeping reforms that were made in recent years and have led to a global curbing of financial secrecy were considered to be impossible to achieve when the first Financial Secrecy Index was published a decade ago.