Until the financial crisis of 2008, tax havens were seen as exotic places, Caribbean islands or Alpine financial fortresses patronized by celebrities, gangsters and wealthy aristocrats.
Since then six issues have become clear, which make us reflect:
a) the phenomenon is much bigger and more central to the global economy than anyone could imagine;
b) the laundering of money from global drug trafficking is favoured – a business equal to the value of global oil trade, which rescued many of the big global banks from bankruptcy in the 2008 financial crisis;
c) the funding of terrorism is developed – a “low cost” war with a very high strategic effect;
d) it distorts the international financial mechanism by changing the data and costs of operations, thus making them unpredictable;
e) the amount of money available in tax havens makes mass corruption possible, which is now endemic in both developing and developed countries;
f) the biggest tax havens are not where we thought they were.