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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  • George Carter

    It’s been incredible how the media have gone full retard on this without having a clue what they’re talking about. The rabid lefties will never change their tune and in their distorted view this will be mana from heaven. Most middle thinking New Zealanders will look at the hoopla and just see the left chasing it’s own tail and remember that image when the next election comes around. Another brilliantly taken own goal by the left!

  • Justme

    I would dispute that there is a problem with modern media. They are doing their job perfectly.
    The big problem is our perception of them. Us readers who are at least 40+ years old were brought up in a time where movies showed journalists who were out there getting the story, no matter what. They could hold more liqueur than a Panamax oil tanker, and could out smoke Beijing, Manchester, and Birmingham combined.

    Today’s journalist only needs to know how to copy/paste. And the word “proof”, whether it be accuracy or alcohol content has been deleted.

    • Mark156

      Nail on head

    • Bud

      I once asked a freelance reporter why the news was so utterly worthless. She said it was because there were so few actual reporters. She said almost all of the news came from press releases. That is, the political parties, special interest groups, and corporations wrote up what they thought was of interest and released it to the media who in turn published it.

  • Rupert

    This is the entire problem with this whole Panama Papers ‘scandal’ We don’t have access to any of the raw information, we have no idea what is being kept back, we don’t have any information about the subjectivity of released information.

    If they were as open as they expect the holders of trust accounts to be, then we might actually have some accurate and complete reporting going on.

  • Wayne Hodge

    Read http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-27/the-world-s-favorite-new-tax-haven-is-the-united-states this article notes how USA is one of the world’s major tax havens and has lax disclosure. Article notes as well that many use so called havens for asset protection, ie safe haven, not tax evasion. NZ media as usual totally fail at any analysis or understanding.

    • Ruahine

      Most of the MSM printo’s are not very clever. That is why they are ‘journalist’s.

      Just churn out something that someone tells you.

      • Wayne Hodge

        Usually a Green or Labour press release. Given that most journalists are uni graduates, this calls into question the quality of university teaching in NZ>

  • Keeping Stock

    It’s not like the Media Party, and their mates in Labour and the Greens, would ever let the facts get in the way of a good KDS story.

  • Diehard

    Labour need to stop focusing on Key completely and sort themselves out. John Key will go when he is good and ready and nothing the opposition can do will change that. All they can do is position themselves to take advantage once he does, but they are too stupid to play the long game.

  • Quinton Hogg

    Analysis, you want anlysis?
    This is New Zealand. The media doesn’t do that here.

    • Wayne Hodge

      In fact apart from obsess about themselves and their self importance, they do very little.

  • earthyundertones

    I commented with a link to all the published info about a week ago (https://panamapapers.icij.org/graphs/ ) which shows a very small number of trusts that are even linked to New Zealand. The next question is the much lorded figure of “60,000” documents that reference New Zealand. I have been unable to find an origin for this figure beyond it being stated regularly in our own media. It isn’t detailed in the material published so far so I can only think that it has been made up or it is part of some additional info that is yet to be made available (but then again, what is the origin?)

  • XCIA

    This is another instance of he who shouts the loudest has the most to hide. We all know the media party have been blagging the tax department, so what yet better way to take the heat off themselves to beat up on the PM.

  • Bud

    As further evidence that the media is more concerned with shaping events than reporting on them, consider how much time they spend talking about themselves. The number of news stories about the news is staggering, and people who read the news are treated as major celebrities and touted as the ultimate authorities on pretty much everything. These are the very first jobs I would replace with robots, because the requirements are so very low: read and speak english…

  • Eddie

    Thank you for the facts and for doing what our journalists won’t. It is a real problem that the majority if the population aren’t exposed to facts, however biased the presenter. I just hope the poll results show that most Kiwis can see through slogans and opinions that can’t be backed up. If only the next generation were taught to think critically rather than being taught critical theory!

  • Lance Ralph

    NZ media want to be in among the thick of it.
    NZ media hacks want to be where the action is, they also want to denigrate and malign the government of the day, blue governments a good deal more than pink governments.
    When a global issue arises they look for, or invent, a NZ connection.
    What is delightful about living in NZ is that not a lot happens here. Our society, excepting media, is by and large straightforward and open. That some aspects of NZ politics are so unsophisticated is in my opinion a bit laughable (e.g.1 Labour leader seemingly not understanding what a tax return is. e.g. 2 Helen Clark copping it for signing the back of some artists work for charity) but it is probably a good thing.
    This too will pass and some new media spasm awaits around the corner.

    • earthyundertones

      I may never make a comment again. This perfectly sums up the NZ Media and their struggle to be relevant in a place where nothing much happens and when it does they don’t really understand. Since my real gripe is usually with the media, I will just cut and paste what you have written above in future. Cheers

      • Lance Ralph

        Thank you. I do like your ‘when something happens the media don’t really understand’ comment. True and depressing.

      • IKIDUNOT

        NZ msm are so narrow minded and self-serving, completely absorbed by a sense of self-importance. Thank heaven for the ‘interweb’

  • R&BAvenger

    “…refuse to buy their crappy papers, or read their crappy sites.” The best advice for the country as ba whole. The so-called 4th estate is a failure.

  • Gaynor

    Has rat face Hager been interviewed on this?

  • CheesyEarWax

    Why is the media so obsessed with JK, including Max and Stephanie Key? To me he’s just an ordinary Kiwi bloke doing a very important job. He is not richest person in NZ, he doesn’t have a polarised personality like Trump or Bob Jones, he is not the most charismatic compare to Cameron or Obama. Whilst successful, his business acumen is nothing like Richard Branson, Graeme Hart or Trump. His family background is as ordinary as you can get, and prior to becoming PM he didn’t have much of a political profile.

    Maybe its his ordinariness that so many NZers can relate him whilst the Media Party cannot.

    • Charlie

      Its called “Tall poppy syndrome” always perpetuated by losers who are not capable of doing as well as he has.

    • benniedawg

      Labour and its union driven lurch to the left see him as the evil ‘Boss”. Remember the shed meetings of the past. ‘Stand strong comrades we will bring this capitalist dog to his knees and break the company’. Nothing more than unionist action but applied to politics. Problem for them is that most of NZ has moved on from unionism. Tax reforms announced for small businesses today should further alienate these rabid mouth breathers. Got to hand it to Key he is a smart politician. The feral media and labour are running round frothing at the mouth whereas the 1million plus benefiting business owners will be working out how to best adapt to the new less punishing taxation. Never giving a thought to andy other than ‘that plonker again’.

    • SlightlyStrange

      Your description of him is so true.
      He’s the nice guy you knew at school who did well for himself. The guy who could be your neighbour. He’s wealthy, but not excessively so (in fact, didn’t he barely make the last rich list?). If he wasn’t PM, he would be a complete non-entity.

  • Herb

    Great post. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

    Why is the left/media party so unbalanced on this issue? Could it be that tricky Nicky, his thief/hacker mate and his back room team-mates from Dirty Politics days are at it again?

    Some will be piling on because they are desperate leftists looking to pin their miserable failures on JK. Others may be piling on because Nicky has information that can embarrass them and is holding them by the short and curlies – and so they are doing as instructed.

    This has all of the all the hall marks of their last failed attempt to steal the government. Oh for some sunlight!

  • Aucky

    Labour & the Greens are always going on about the profiteering Aussie banks and their monopoly in NZ. What about their mates in the profiteering Aussie owned print media and their total monopoly of newspapers at every level from the major dailies, provincial dailies and community news. It is tragic that we have no locally owned print media.

  • Doc45

    This is far to complex for Hager. There are only a small handful of people understand how tax havens work in detail. The innuendo and suggestions about Key with zero evidence are among the most despicable writing I have ever seen by any journos..

    • Gaynor

      For the first time in months I had a look at The Daily Blog…I so wish I hadn’t it is sickening.Full of lies , slander and hate …and that is before I got to the comments.I wish John key’s lawyers would have a look. Never again (shudder)

  • This has all of the all the hall marks of their last failed attempt to steal the government. Oh for some sunlight! http://www.babyandnames.com

    • Nige.

      [Mod] No self promotion without prior approval please.

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