e-Con e-News

Thinking Out of Pandora’s Box: Tax Hideouts & Fiscal Colonialism

Summary

Ruling classes worldwide can rob their own countries but only if they keep their loot in approved US and English hideouts. This is what the US and English media warned the world this week.

Before you study the economics, study the economists!

e-Con e-News 3-9 October 2021

Ruling classes worldwide can rob their own countries but only if they keep their loot in approved US and English hideouts. This is what the US and English media warned the world this week. The best capitalist hideouts for loot are in the US, England & Europe. Only those who do not toe their imperialist line will be shamed by their media outlets. Meanwhile, the BBC also hides their profits in a Netherlands hideout, just like Unilever does – this ee examines how Unilever set up a tax hideout in Curacao, named after a whaling company they set up with Nazi Germany (see ee Focus).

     This week’s revelations about ‘corruption’, as usual in the ‘Third World’ only, serve up gossip and innuendo to divert from the real criminal activity (legal under capitalist law). Grandpass Anglo-Dutch Unilever does not have the same cachet as Gonawala Sunil or Makandure Madush, and Mattakuliya Ceylon Tobacco Co (owned by London’s British American Tobacco) does not evoke the same media-fashioned revulsion, yet they ferret away far more massive ill-gotten gains and do not pay taxes in Sri Lanka. They get away with this by bribing public (especially top treasury) officials and politicians (& other artists!). How they do it is the zillion-rupee question. The World Bank’s Transparency International, ‘global’ though it be, will not tell, nor will the revenue or police department.

     Unilever and CTC cause massive injury to the country, by polluting our waterways and soils with their expensively imported chemicals, causing cancer, magnifying our health costs. Their refusal to pay taxes denies funding to education, health, etc. As the most powerful multinationals operating in the country, they have a variety of financial manoeuvres (transfer pricing, IPR royalties, advertising etc.) through which they rob the country. This daily mundane robbery is enabled through the import-export plantation charade, which our economists love! But the worst crime is the prevention of capital investment in modern (machine-making) industry! In fact, the imperialist countries changed the definition of foreign direct investment to include pure financial activity, not investment in production! No wonder our economists love FDI!

• So this is the real reason for the Pandora pusvedilla: To position onshore financial hideouts to attract flight capital escaping certain Asian and African countries, and to blunt the comparative advantage offshore service providers enjoy! This is also a direct result of US policy publicly announced by the US President in June to use spy & media agencies for such work (see ee Focus)

The BBC, one of the sponsors of the Pandora Papers, also uses tax hideouts. Google will not open the weblink that gives further details about the BBC’s hideout. ee had to use the ‘cached’ feature, to open the site. It says: The BBC has a shell company, BBC Worldwide Holdings BV registered in the Netherlands with tax avoidance specialists Intertrust. The Bloomberg entry on BBC Worldwide Holdings BV – says it’s a mailbox company! (Random Notes)

Instant popstar Yohani, promoted by India’s Reliance Company-made superstar Amithab Bachan, is sent to Bollywood India (where she gets hit in the eye) and the Indian Foreign Secretary comes here to gaze at the Dalada Maligava, to assay Trincomalee port, to Jaffna where he lays down Tamil Eelam’s political priorities, and to the Mahaveli’s source in the hills, where ‘unrest’ erupts on the plantations, with workers assaulting estate managers. Then India’s intelligence agency arrests an LTTE operative, who they themselves trained, with assorted gun and non-pharma drugs (tho not fish-poaching trawlers). The Indian Army chief arrives, just as Japanese warships and German War Officials leave. Only astrologers can make sense of such fortuitous confluences! There’s more:

• East of us: NATO is escalating war on China’s western borders. ‘Can the Myanmar Opposition Really Create… a Formidable Army?’ …and possibly win victories against, Myanmar’s military’, asks Rockfeller-funded US Council of Foreign Relations this week.

• West of us: the US is financing terrorism against Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. The US military’s AFRICOM has 11 bases in the Horn of Africa, over 1/3rd of the permanent and semi-permanent US bases across Africa. They completed annual war games known as Cutlass Express, with England and India along East Africa’s coastal regions and the Western Indian Ocean,

• Just above our heads to the far north, the head of England’s Intelligence Committee was in Kabul this week to launch the new ‘Great Game’, along with top US officials, while regional governments from Pakistan to China to Iran attempted to prevent US and English sponsored terrorism in Central Asia. While south of us, under the guise of curtailing ‘illegal’ migration, etc., white-settler Australia is prowling our seas.

ee news sections note the preponderance of chatter about the US and English government’s Pandora Papers. Yet few mention that one of the Sri Lankans repeatedly named was also a group director at the Maharaja Corporation, a close friend of its recently deceased owner, and a VP of American Express. Other news chatter continued the chemical import lobby’s ravings, again led by Maharaja’s media, and the daily whine by economists about submitting to the IMF, and ending weak import restrictions. Meanwhile the IMF is demanding Pakistan impose more income taxes and privatize its power sector.

• In the wake of the UN nestling more openly in the arms of capitalist banks and MNCs, as was evident at the recent World Food Summit, the US-controlled World Trade Organization (WTO)’s 12th ministerial conference will be held in Geneva from 30 November to 3 December. Yet there’s no publicity about the WTO and WB still refusing to allow vaccine production in our countries. Instead the news reports the World Bank is worried that the SL government’s focus on preventing further Covid-19 spread could dampen economic recovery!

     Despite the devastation caused by 40 years of undermining national health and education that peaked with the deaths, nay, murder, wrought by Covid, the policies and institutional bases of the ‘free trade’ laissez-faire project remain entirely intact.

• Speaking of plantations, our dearly beloved economists love to chatter about the dynamism of the private sector, yet there has been every little increase in productivity on the plantations for almost 200 years. And workers keep stirring latex, and plucking tea and coconuts, by hand.

The English left us the most impoverished peasantry in Asia in 1948, yet our dearly beloved economists love the English import-export plantation economy. And now when we face challenges worse than what the English faced in WW2, we have economists like the Wijeya Group’s WA Wijewardena criticizing attempts to control capital flight. However, he says it was alright when our English ‘friends’ did so: “Exchange control was introduced to old Ceylon during WW2 by the English rulers to prevent the country’s foreign-exchange resources from falling into the hands of the enemies, namely, the Germans and the Japanese.’ (ft.lk/columns/Repatriation-and-surrender-requirements-Has-the-blame-game-infected-Central-Bank/4-723831). But now the English, Germans and Japanese are all on the same side as WAW, so give it to them!

• A Sri Lankan worker was killed on the Belarus-Lithuania border this week. ee recalls hearing, since May about 2,000 migrants from ‘Iraqi Kurdistan’ and West/Central Africa had been directed into Lithuania, with an ‘irregular militant group’ in Lithuania pushing them back at gunpoint (tass.com/world/1315527). Yet, German employers seems to love us. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) feels there are too many barriers to immigration in South Asia. Japan too seems sad they deported two SL workers illegally. While India claims to have arrested SL workers going to Canada. Who is really behind illegal labor trafficking here? It is a big business, and rife with sexual abuse, we’re told. Those countries’ industrial lobbies are demanding our workers to wash the backsides of their elderly, and work in dangerous toxic occupations, for less pay than their own workers, until they can get robots to do it.

Under the guise of proclaiming itself as a beacon of the free press, the US media hides thousands of police killings. The media’s job is to create fake issues and divert. See ee Quotes, ee Security, Unreported

Continued on eesrilanka.wordpress.com

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