Tax Havens: Normalized Grand Theft
Tax havens are a popular topic for bar rants about The Others, those dirty scumbags who came to possess vast sums of money through means, networks, tools and methods an everyday earthling does not have access to. It is generally assumed the funds are a result of some money laundering/public corruption/criminal operation (as they often are), or of a “perfectly legal and legitimate” tax avoidance scheme. By law, only tax evasion is illegal, while the rest are legal methods of “cashing in” individual benefits, i.e., tax deductions for dependables. The public seemingly responds to revelations by authorities, journalists, and others about the millions in national currencies that have sunk into exotic offshore locations with the resigned realisation that everything will remain the same. This is true, but it also obfuscates the real consequences of tax havens: the millions of euros that never reach a country’s budget and are often a result of transnational crime. After the Panama Papers shook the global markets in 2016, some states fought back by installing registers of beneficial owners. Yet, they can hardly do anything about the flourishing offshore financial industry. To do so would go against the grain of the national economies of giants like the USA, where some states are “onshore” havens. Meanwhile the global public is complicit in this normalisation because, honestly, it is complicated to think about taxes and tax havens, right? Let this panel of investigative artists talking to an investigative journalist make it easier for you. RYBN.ORG will take you on an intimate ride aboard The Great Offshore, guiding you gently through offshore finance in infamous locations, like Malta, to help you identify with The Others. Then the Demystification Committee will show you how you can even become one of Them by receiving guidance from their Offshore Investigation Vehicle to set up your own global corporate structure.
Special guests: Maruša Babnik, Žiga Perovič, Sebastijan Peterka, Matej Zwitter