The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Canadian Broadcasting Corp., "Uber Premiums, Tax Avoidance: Illegal Or A Crime Against Mankind?

"This secret world has finally been revealed," said lawyer and international tax expert Art Cockfield, a professor at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont. 
"I find it absolutely fascinating to get a look at this data dump. I think this is the very first time where people like myself, and maybe even government officials, have had access to this information."
The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp.) last week reported on a massive data leak of 100,000 mega or uber wealthy people who practice sheltering of income as effectively as we practice eating and drinking water to sustain life. Such secret investment "opportunities" have for decades existed as myth, rumor, gossip, and envy. They have existed and flourished while most of us became 'second-nature' accustomed to their opulent existence.

A 2005 article about "Uber Premium" based on a phrase from Tyler Brûlé provides an intriguing and horrific screed about opulence that rarely reaches the inquisitive eyes of Americans.   The article is simply fascinating. Sample verbiage...
So what is it?
UBER PREMIUM is all about status-craving consumers hunting down the next wave in uber-exclusive goods, services and experiences that are truly out of reach for 99.9% of the MASS CLASS. Not an easy feat, given that the rapid proliferation of MASSCLUSIVITY (exclusivity for the masses) has, over the last few years, commoditized all but the most luxurious products on this earth.  
A quick recap: luxury is about status (consuming the best or the most is one of the few surefire ways to establish one's status in a mature consumer society), and it's about fat margins (as consumers are willing to pay just about anything for two things: sex and status). 
• The financial wealth of the world has moved from USD 28.5 trillion in 2003 to USD 30.8 trillion in 2004, representing an 8.2% increase. The total number of HNWIs (high-net-worth individuals, who each hold at last 1 USD million in financial assets) increased 7.3%, from 7.7 million individuals in 2003 to 8.3 million in 2004.
• Meanwhile, the number of Ultra-HNWIs (those with more than USD 30 million in financial assets) increased by 8.9% in 2005, to 77,500 (source: World Wealth Report 2005, Merrill Lynch & Cap Gemini).
• The number of billionaires in the world grew from 587 in 2004 to a record 691 people from 45 countries this year. The combined net worth of the absurdly rich rose 16 percent to USD 2.2 trillion (source: Luxury Institute).
• And last but not least: an estimated 236,000 Chinese became millionaires by the end of 2004, while in India, 61,000 now individuals have assets exceeding USD 1 million (source: Cap Gemini).
I am going to post an image that some find busy. It is, however, a telling depiction of how the wealthy spend Vs. the spending of those who have less or literally have nothing.  The graphic is two phased (actually two charts) and focused on consumerism and cannot be physically separated.  If you focus on the top graphic and how people in various income brackets spend, it is obvious the wealthy spend heavily of regeneration of wealth. 

The 'Uber Premium' article was published seven years ago. Do you think the continuum has lessened in severity?  Do you think the uber wealthy have modified their ways such they show concern for the woefully less privileged?  During the 2012 election campaigns "notable" conservative uber wealthy, provided irrefutable evidence that not only do they care nothing of the plight of the under-privileged, they showed that are willing to spend copious sums of their wealth to facilitate a growing oligarchy. If Mitt Romney elected president the nation would have accepted a major nail in the crucifix of a growing oligarchy.

I personally do not believe there are millions who actually resent the wealth garnered, harbored and proliferated by few around the globe. Being wealthy is a state of being very much as existential as being impoverished.  Of course, the opposite ends of the wealth continuum carries great differences in the quality of life for its respective denizens. But, deep-down there is no ground-swell of 'let them eat cake' inducement to revolt against the worlds most financially powerful.

We saw and experienced firsthand the downside of efforts to hide financial opulence as Mitt Romney successful deflected any efforts to review multi-year financial data as he ran for president in 2012.

Ann Romney, "...all you people need to know..."  (49 seconds)

In the case of the Romney defiance of common standards associated with financial disclosure went relatively lightly reported by the media.  It was reported, but reported with less impact until Mitt pulled his Boca Raton 47% 'move' on $10,00 per plate uber wealthy supporters.   Mrs. Romney's remarks rung home in a resounding manner. "You people!"  Ann Romney's comments to Ms. Roberts, while spoken well ahead of her husband's Boca Raton solicitation, focused an ugly light on how the uber wealthy separate from the world's populations.  She spoke directly to a member of media, but her comments reached anyone who questioned her and her husband's financial data. Data that would surely place the Romney's among an International upper crust who use shelters and shadow companies to hide wealth, thus avoiding taxes.

Romney Vanity Fair...

Opulent privilege...

The CBC reports on a massive leak that appears to have limited fissures in the United States.  A fact that leads to the unavoidable conclusion there is much more data out there regarding the sheltering of income. For sake of clarity, the sheltering of income (earned, invested or illegal) is a specific strategy with a positive outcome for the investors (perpetrators) on tax avoidance. The CBC report includes mention of drug dealers. Thus, we will not state sheltering as a primary tax avoidance for all "investors."

In case you did not hit the first link in this screed, we are posting a couple of very informative graphic. 

CBC  News: How They Do It; Canada's Offshore Account Holders; Why CBC Is Not Reporting the Names  

Now how does a "committed liberal" end this piece? The journalistic tendencies (very much unfulfilled) in me finds a great deal of information about what amounts to a "secret international society."  Yet, another embodiment of my liberalism takes me to people who have nothing (food, clean drinking water and clothing) while the "Uber Premiums" literally defecate on gold plated toilets. While  the CBC 'data dump' does not appear to have major fissures into the United States, even the most feeble of minds has to know the US "Uber Premiums" have their networks. They have their secret networks while paying favorable taxes rates on income they cannot shelter or place in a shell holding companies.  And, we have a deficit that could use a little help.

We close.....

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