The Economic Blacklist

The Economic Blacklist

Every year or two, an economic “blacklist” is made public by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or other purportedly credible institutions to “warn” the public as to what jurisdictions are “not in compliance with world economic standards.”

The inference of course is that the organisation in question is recognised as being one that represents all the countries in the world, and that “standards” are set, based upon mutual agreement, to assure that the laws and services of each country are uniform and serve their clientele well. The average person can therefore be forgiven if, upon learning of such a declaration against one or more jurisdictions, he says to himself, “I’m not going to deal with those countries—they’re bad guys.”

However, there are two factors in the above assumption that are glaringly incorrect. The first factor is deceitful and the second is oppressive.

Deceit as to the Authority of Oversight Organisations

The OECD, FCA, and other such organisations are not truly international organisations that provide equal representation of and a fair hearing to all countries. Far from it. They are, instead, self-appointed organisations that are either created to serve the interests of an individual country (such as the FCA) or multiple countries who share a specific agenda (such as the OECD). Rather than working in “cooperation” with other jurisdictions, as their name implies, they typically do the following:

  • Create new, often arbitrary, “international standards” unilaterally. (In doing so, the member countries of the organisation often do not follow their own “international standards” themselves.)
  • Publicly announce that some jurisdictions have been placed on a blacklist (or graylist) of “non-compliant countries.” (This is often done without announcing to the “offending” countries that they are on the new list, let alone why.)
  • When a blacklisted jurisdiction queries the often arbitrary and discriminatory blacklisting, they begin negotiations with the organisation. In most cases, the organisation exacts its pound of flesh, requiring the jurisdiction to submit to some requirement in order to be removed from the list. (This is especially effective if done every two years or so, as it gives the public the impression that the “offending” jurisdictions are continually backsliding and the organisation is doing a good job, riding herd on them.)

Oppression of Competing Jurisdictions

Merely placing a jurisdiction on a blacklist of some sort, succeeds in suggesting that the organisation that is providing the oversight is announcing to the criticised jurisdictions that they are abusing the system and “had better jolly well pull up their socks.” This plays well to the general public, but the message, in almost every case, is a false one.

The real picture is this:

The OECD countries are all countries that tax their populations heavily and have, for decades, recognised that if their citizens have the freedom to move their wealth to a country that taxes them less, the home country will be limited in the amount of legalised theft they can exact upon their citizens. Since they cannot convince their citizens that paying more tax is actually in their best interest, they must either vilify the low-tax jurisdictions (through false accusations of money laundering, fraud, human rights violations, etc.) and/or bully the (invariably smaller and less-powerful) low-tax jurisdictions into compliance with “standards” which, often, they do not comply with themselves.

But in addition to this objective, the OECD intends to go further over time. They are working to create a mindset amongst their own populations that unequal taxation is a social evil—that it is not simply the free choice of independent, competing jurisdictions to decide whether to provide greater freedom to their people than an OECD jurisdiction. In doing so, they hope to equalise taxation worldwide, so that their own people will no longer seek to escape financial oppression in their home countries.

This is tricky, as the OECD member-countries vary dramatically amongst themselves as to their own taxation levels. However, they have no interest in reining each other in. Their collective targets are the low-tax and no-tax jurisdictions that make the OECD members look like robber-barons by comparison.

This is a game that will be playing out for decades, if not longer. In the meantime, the mere knowledge that organisations like the OECD were created not for “Economic Cooperation and Development,” but for oppression, arms the reader with the understanding that any member of the OECD is, by definition, not acting in his interests. If he is seeking an economic friend in this world, he might look more closely to those who are receiving all the criticism.

For more on International Man’s preferred jurisdictions, be sure to check out the veritable treasure trove of intelligence in the Free Guides and Resources section.

Tags: taxes, tax haven,