Time to Forget AIG and Nab Offshore Cash
We're fretting about millions in bonuses, while firms hide billions
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 23, 2009 11:40 AM CDT
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island is shown. The Caymans host a number of subsidiaries of major US firms.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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(Newser) – Everyone’s aflutter about the AIG bonuses—but there’s a much more lucrative way to take Wall Street to task than obsessing over $165 million, writes Joe Conason in Salon. The government should instead focus on the billions that financial firms are putting in offshore tax havens. Corporate tax evasion was estimated to cost the US $100 billion 2 years ago—and that number could be low.

Some $12 trillion in untaxed assets is thought to be stashed worldwide. Almost all of the top 100 US firms keep subsidiaries in tax havens, the government says. If the US and its allies crack down on the many such countries around the world, Conason says, we stand to take hundreds of billions globally—money that could help countries pull themselves out of the economic mess.