Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich
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Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich

Edited by Iain Hay and Jonathan V. Beaverstock

Fewer than 100 people own and control more wealth than 50 per cent of the world’s population. The Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich is a unique examination of both the lives and lifestyles of the super-rich, as well as the processes that underpin super-wealth generation and its unequal distribution. Drawing on a multiplicity of international examples, leading experts from across the social sciences offer a landmark multidisciplinary contribution to emerging analyses of the global super-rich and their astonishing wealth. The book’s 22 accessible and coherently organised chapters cover a range of captivating topics from biographies of illicit super-wealth, to tax footprint reduction, to the environmental consequences of super-rich lives and their conspicuous consumption.
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Chapter 20: Super-rich capitalism: managing and preserving private wealth management in the offshore world

Jonathan V. Beaverstock and Sarah Hall


In the post-2008 era of managing the political economy of austerity, offshore financial centres (OFCs) have once again come under the spotlight, but this time scrutiny has been from both the academy and national governments, mainly in OECD countries, who are critically examining their ‘secrecy’ and role as ‘tax havens’ (see Hampton and Christensen, 2002; Maurer, 2008; Palan et al., 2010; Sikka and Willmott, 2010; Shaxson, 2012). Importantly, national governments are not only putting organizations that use OFCs as ‘corporate taxation havens’ under the microscope (see The Guardian, 2013), but they are also exposing the secrecy, opaqueness and non-compliance in personal taxation that have shrouded the OFCs’ nexus of private banking and private wealth management. From the late 2000s, the USA and UK especially, have put the issue of ‘super-rich’ personal tax minimalism high on the political agenda as their respective revenue agencies, the Internal Revenue Service and Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, seek to collect personal income tax from their citizens who have investments in private banks or other wealth management institutions. The introduction of the USA’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in 2010, which mandated banks to share the personal taxation information on their US citizens, has paved the way for other OECD countries to seek global data sharing on banking secrecy (The Financial Times, 2014a).

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