Some perspective that the Media party and Labour seem to have missed on the Panama Papers

The Media party and Labour are making much of New Zealand’s status in the Panama Papers.

Our media, with the exception of that little rat-faced dick Nicky Hager, don’t seem to have any specific knowledge or indeed access to the documents. Other overseas organisation do, like The Atlantic.

Here is a chart from their site showing the top ten most popular tax havens named in the Panama Papers.

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As you can see New Zealand isn’t even listed in the top ten and, frankly, with the numbers shown by the UK and Hong Kong there is actually nothing to worry about. Who in their right mind would describe the UK as a tax haven, and for that matter Hong Kong?

The Panama Papers offer a somewhat skewed, if unusually vivid, view of the global system of tax avoidance. Consider, for instance, the 10 most popular tax havens that appear in Mossack Fonseca’s files. One out of every two companies that the law firm established for its clients was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.

But this geographic distribution doesn’t align with the results of the 2015 Financial Secrecy Index, a ranking produced by the Tax Justice Network, an advocacy group opposed to tax havens. The index relies on “a qualitative measure (a secrecy score, based on 15 secrecy indicators),” drawing on a given jurisdiction’s laws, regulations, ratified treaties, and so on, combined with “a quantitative measure (the global weighting to give a sense of how large the offshore financial centre is).” These form an aggregate “financial secrecy” value for more than 90 countries and territories. The goal is to plot on a spectrum, from more to less secretive, “secrecy jurisdictions,” a term the organization uses interchangeably with tax havens.

Critics—including jurisdictions listed in the ranking—argue that the Tax Justice Network’s approach is subjective and insufficiently rigorous, and some have questioned specific aspects of the FSI’s methodology. Christian Humborg, formerly of Transparency International, has noted that the weighting the Tax Justice Network employs tends to shoot large financial centers like the U.S. and Germany to the top of the list, even when their “secrecy scores” aren’t particularly high. “If there are reliable estimates of the size of illicit financial flows into a country, this might be an alternative number to consider,” Humborg suggests.

And, like the Tax Justice Network, the loftily named International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is also a highly subjective and biased organisation that counts Nicky Hager amongst its members.

Even when you look at the top 15 most secret jurisdictions by the FSI index New Zealand doesn’t even rate.

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And when you look across the world we are ranked as not very secret at all…in other words there is plenty of disclosure.

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Our FSI ranking is 46 and our ranking is 54th in the world, and remember that ranking comes from people who really, really hate tax havens.

According to real data, even from biased organisations, New Zealand barely rates a mention as a jurisdiction of concern.

So, you have to ask yourself, why is the opposition, in particular the Labour party and their pals in the Media party, making such a big fuss about it all? The answer is pretty simple: this simply plays into their hands and strategy of the past nine years of attacking John Key as a rich prick, who works for rich pricks and was a sneaky Jewish former banker….oh and Merrill Lynch…don’t forget them.

But the next question is why the Media party can’t put things in perspective and why do they not research these topics properly? It doesn’t take long and it didn’t take me long to find out. The only possible answer is they too want to be involved in the political process instead of reporting on it. That is why I call them the Media party. But the real difference is that these players in the game are unelected and we can’t not vote for them to get rid of them, other than refuse to buy their crappy papers or read their crappy sites.

The politicking from Labour and the Media party is becoming tiresome. Worse, is it isn’t even effective for them as a strategy to rid themselves of John Key.

 

– The Atlantic, Tax Justice Network

 


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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