Research carried out by Mr. James Henry, former Chief economist at the
consultancy McKinsey indicates US$21 trillion was held in offshore accounts
by rich individuals and companies at the end of 2010. Mr. Henry believes
this to be a conservative figure with as much as US$32 trillion in financial
assets being help in offshore tax havens. To put the numbers in to
perspective, the reported amount in offshore bank accounts adds up to more
than the combined GDP¹s of the USA and Japan. Mr. Henry estimates that over
the last 40 years or so, the richest citizens around the world had accumulated between $US 7.9 to US$9.3 trillion of ³unrecorded offshore wealth², leaving a ³huge black hole in the world economy². The BBC website has more about Mr. Henry’s findings.
To be honest, the figures are staggering and there may not be a way to prove
their accuracy. However, two aspects to note are:
i) Tax authorities around the world are active in fighting illegal use of
ii) There are legitimate uses for setting up an international bank account
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