This is an abridged version of the presentation delivered at ‘Dark Havens: Confronting Hidden Money Power’, a conference held in Berlin on 5–6 April 2019
The corrupt need a safe place to hide their illicit gains. No one wants to simply keep money under their mattress at home.
That’s when tax havens become an important part of the dirty money puzzle. The great majority of grand corruption schemes feature offshore, anonymous shell companies to hide the identity of those who benefit from dirty money. These are remarkably easy to set up. So easy that a recent study by Global Financial Integrity shows that in all 50 US states it is easier to set up a company than get a library card.