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El nuevo paraíso fiscal es EU

By Alvaro Tomas

Published on La Prensa

February 1st, 2016

The title of this article is not my responsibility. Bloomberg Businessweek, one of the most prestigious financial news agency in the world, published an article by Jesse Drucker, on January 27th of this year, entitled The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States (see:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-27/the-world-s-favorite-new-tax-haven-is-the-united-states).

Here, the author details how the United States has masterfully deceived its European minions with FATCA and the cry of “transparency” with the intention of monopolizing the business of fund management, financial assets and the formation of corporations. This Article is a slap in the face to the members of the private club called OECD and the reason Panama must continue to defend its financial services platform.

Drucker proceeds, with the composure of a surgeon, to describe the positive effect that the United States has created for their financial and legal services platform by requiring fiscal transparency from the whole world with its famous FATCA agreement while at the same time refusing to sign the agreements of transparency the OECD demands from other countries. He quotes an executive named Andrew Penney from the Rothschild & Co. Company who last September gave a conference in San Francisco, California, where he presented examples of what happens when a foreigner opens a bank account in the US and concludes with the following “You can help your customers move their fortunes to the United States tax free and hidden from their governments. Some call it the new Switzerland. ”

Inspired by FATCA, warns Drucker, the OECD has set stricter standards to prevent tax evasion. Since 2014, ninety-seven (97) jurisdictions have signed the OECD’s so called  “Common Reporting Standards” with total opposition only from Vanuatu, Bahrain, Nauru and … the United States. I want to remind you all that Panama, like the Bahamas, agreed to join this year, much to the dismay of the OECD, since as a condition Panama established that it should be bilateral in nature, upon request and only with countries it considers would benefit its interests. In other words the United States, which in the first place started all the fuss about fiscal exchange, gave the finger to Pascal Saint-Amans and his entourage of bureaucrats who live the “grande vie” in Paris without paying a penny in taxes. But it seems that already some Europeans are starting to take notice of the great contradiction. Sven Giegold, member of the German parliament, said: “I have great respect for the Obama administration since without its first initiatives we would not have reached the standards of exchange.” Then he adds, (I presume with a tone of resignation): “On the other hand, it is time for the US to give the Europeans what the Europeans are willing to give the US”. Dear friend Giegold, Europe will receive the automatic tax information, as the Americans would say, when hell freezes over.

Sooner or later, our neighbor Colombia will emerge from its state of ecstasy caused by becoming a member of the  OECD and realize that the funds deposited in Panama by Colombians, will not return to Colombia, but will rather end up in the United States, under US corporations in Delaware, Nevada or Wyoming. On top of that, when the time comes for Colombian authorities to request tax information from them, they will receive the following response from US authorities: that they can not give them the information because they do not know who the corporation’s ultimate beneficiary is or, if someone has a bank account, because they are covered by the right to confidentiality. Colombia will have to submit to the exchange upon request rather than to the automatic exchange to which they strive for and that is required by the rich nations club previously mentioned. By then, Colombia will have forever affected trade and diplomatic relations with Panama.

Foreseen, announced and warned by several local lawyers, Europeans are now beginning to realize the real components and results of the American strategy whose goal has always been to dominate the financial and legal services’ market. Now they must acknowledge that they fell into a trap, a trap that Panama cannot afford to fall into. And to those who think that the Americans are not capable of planning this and economically conspire against other countries with such premeditation, I recommend you read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2005) by John Perkins.

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