havens caused the erosion of the United States tax base as more companies and
individuals sought to take advantage of the opportunity and loopholes for flight capital.4
According to United Nations figures, which were recently published5, about (8) eight
trillion dollars is invested in offshore accounts worldwide. Oxfam, the British based
interest group, says 6that tax havens have attracted an estimated $6 trillion dollars in
assets with approximately $4 trillion of it representing the wealth and savings of the
worlds most affluent. In perspective, the total holdings of the worlds rich and well to do
are believed to be in excess of $25 trillion.7 However, several factors have contributed to
the failure of earlier attempts to stifle the growth of such centers.
The 1998 OECD Report represents the most considerable challenge to the validity of
offshore centers as viable, legal and internationally reputable centers of financial
excellence. Despite this challenge it is highly questionable whether the report will be
successful in limiting the effects of all of the major offshore financial centers.
Switzerland in its condemnatory statement on the report exclaims: “financial and
investment decisions depend on a multiplicity of economic, political and social factors.”
4 The 250 page “Gordon Report” is out of print but a copy cane be found in Appendix A of Langer, Marshall J., Practical International Tax Planning (PLI, 3rd edition,1985-1999) Jack Blum “Criminal Money Laundering and Illegal Flight Capital” Brookings Press Briefing, Washington, D.C. Sept. 29, 1999. Oxfam, Tax Havens: Releasing the Hidden Billions for Poverty Eradication.” William Hall, “Worlds Wealthy Press for Service,” Financial Times, July 7, 2000 5 6 7