UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

March 4, 2009

CONGRESS MOVES TO CRACK DOWN ON OFFSHORE TAX HAVENS

Reuters - The Obama administration endorsed legislation to crack down on offshore tax havens, raising the stakes in a mounting dispute between the United States and bank-secrecy nations such as Switzerland. The endorsement of bills in the Senate and the House of Representatives came from U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at a congressional hearing. . .

Tax havens are estimated to deprive the U.S. government of more than $100 billion a year, say advocates of the bills introduced by Michigan Senator Carl Levin and Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett, with the backing of other Democrats. . .

Doggett said at the Ways and Means Committee hearing that many other countries allow Americans to hide their wealth. He asked the administration to "look closely at those that are coming and asking for a government bailout, like Morgan Stanley, which has 158 subsidiaries in the Caymans, Citigroup with 90, and Bank of America with 59, to explain why it's equitable for them to be able to avoid taxes at the same time they're asking for so much tax money."

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