According to James S. Henry
there is $15 trillion to $20 trillion in private wealth sitting offshore in bank accounts, brokerage accounts and hedge fund portfolios, completely untaxed.
Nearly half of it is owned by 91,000 people–0.001% of the world’s population.
The majority of offshore wealth is managed by 50 banks. As of September 2009 these banks accounted for $10.8 trillion of offshore assets–72% of the industry’s total. The busiest 10 of them manage 40%.
In other words the real tax haven problem is not tiny islands on the periphery of the system. The real problem is a global industry of pirate banking, made possible by the best lawyers, accountants and lobbyists money can buy. When you hear “tax haven,” you shouldn’t think of the Cayman Islands. Instead, picture institutions like JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Credit Suisse, Citigroup […]. They are based not in picturesque principalities or remote tropical paradises but in New York City, London, Amsterdam, Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt and Paris.