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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

#Luxleaks: The Reality of Tax ‘Competition’

Aside from lurid revelations about individual companies and the big four accounting firms, the leaks of multinationals’ tax deals with Luxembourg confirm­—and expose to a wider audience­—the true nature of the tax ‘competition’ that prevents the emergence of effective international rules.

Joining the Club: The United States Signs Up for Reciprocal Tax Cooperation

In a breakthrough which escaped almost everybody’s attention, a group of countries have agreed to share information with each other about their residents’ tax and financial information. The exchange will be automatic, electronic and multilateral, and includes countries which are responsible for more than 90% of global financial services exports. Agreement from the US is a major step, or will be if it is ratified and implemented; and the remaining step is to ensure developing countries are fully included.

African Regional Integration and the Fight Against Illicit Financial Flows

The African Development Bank estimates that illicit financial flows have drained in excess of a trillion dollars from Africa since 1980. These flows undermine the tax base, damage political institutions and exacerbate inequality. With major momentum behind global counter-measures, there are clear opportunities for progress at the regional level – including through stronger information exchange and cooperation, tax base harmonization and innovative uses of trade data.

Reflecting Back, Looking Forward: Illicit Flows and Inequality

This Q&A was originally posted at Democracy in Africa.

1. Tell us a bit about your work with the Center for Global Development

CGD is a ‘think and do tank’ established in Washington, DC in 2001, doing rigorous research with the aim of producing policy proposals to improve the development impact of (or reduce the damage done by) rich countries. I work for CGD Europe, based in London, as a research fellow leading on illicit financial flows, and continuing to dabble in inequality.

Davos Secrets: Swiss Trade Opacity and Illicit Flows from Developing Countries

This week the World Economic Forum holds its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. As the great and good gather to chart the direction of the global economy, there will be much talk of development, of transparency, and of the importance of trade. In light of our new research showing that Switzerland’s recent emergence as a global commodity trading hub might hide large illicit capital flows, participants may want to raise some questions with their hosts.