The article discusses the increased polarisation of beliefs surrounding international financial centres (IFCs) in the wake of the banking crash and economic crisis. On one side are advocates of free-market ideologies, exemplified by groups like the USA’s Centre for Freedom and Prosperity (CFP), which promotes tax competition and fiscal sovereignty. On the other side are bodies such as the Tax Justice Network (TJN), which advocates for transparency in international finance and opposes tax havens.
The article explores how this ideological divide has entered the realm of financial service regulation, especially in areas like the fight against money laundering and tax evasion. It emphasises the changing perception of tax structures and financial institutions post-crisis and suggests that IFCs should consider evolving to regain trust and reputation by focusing on quality of service, encouraging beneficial sectors, promoting corporate social responsibility, and improving public understanding of tax matters.
Read the article: The Tide
(Article first published in IFC Economic Report, 2012.)
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