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Gabriel Zucman, a leading economist at the University of California, Berkeley, estimates that the world’s richest elite hides about $8.7 trillion in offshore accounts to protect themselves from the burden of annual taxation. Other estimates put the value as high as his $36 trillion. The exact amount remains a mystery, but it’s clear that the wealthy work hard to hide their personal information, but at what cost?
Despite journalistic efforts to expose the wealth hoarded in international tax havens, it is not illegal to protect one’s assets and identity behind international safeguards. In fact, it’s common for businesses and elites to protect their finances and personal lives through multiple identities and accounts. But ethically, this practice could cost billions of dollars in tax revenue each year, which could be used to fund public services and rebuild the economy.
For wealthy people, protecting their personal information behind layers of international accounts and identities is not an ethical issue. Instead, it’s a question of what legitimate things they should protect, and whether it’s morally right to expose their private lives to the public. Looking to his Privacy World to protect.
Origins of offshoring and international identity protection
The concept of protecting an individual’s life with an offshore account or secondary identity can be traced back to the Cold War, which was marked by rampant political unrest and instability in many parts of the world.
By the 1970s, the world had begun to recover from the devastation of World War II, transforming the global economy and creating new opportunities to accumulate wealth. At the same time, however, the world was still riddled with Cold War tensions. In this regard, many wealthy individuals and families have seen the benefits of keeping their assets safe from hostile governments in offshore accounts.
Offshoring practices have become more popular and more sophisticated as the global economy has become more interconnected. Previously, individuals could only set up bank accounts and trusts in foreign countries using their real names.
Today, however, the process is much more complicated and the wealthy feel obligated to hide their true identities. Given that the Pandora and Panama documents sought to expose the elites protecting their finances and the constant risk of data breaches, many believed that multiple people behind various nationalities relies on consultancies such as Privacy World to create new identities for With a new passport and account.
Legality and ethics in question
While the ethics of helping wealthy elites keep their assets in offshore accounts may be debatable, the legality of the issue is not. It is legal to store in your account and use foreign identities to protect your privacy. Of course there are some exceptions.
For example, in the United States it is illegal to use a foreign bank account to hide assets from the IRS unless the offshore account is listed on your tax return. The law is being increasingly tightly enforced by her IRS, and the U.S. government has made good efforts to crack down on offshore bank accounts that go unreported by citizens and taxpayers. However, many wealthy Americans continue to store their assets offshore. This is estimated to cost the world about $200 billion in tax revenue each year due to lost capital gains, inheritance taxes and more. But again, this is still legal.
So let’s talk about the ethics in question instead. Naturally, the Pandora Papers and Panama Papers were meant to cast a shadow over the companies and individuals who hid their private property. And as the global wealth gap continues to widen, many are wondering whether it’s right to keep such vast wealth out of sight.
But from a Western perspective, it’s easy to forget that this practice was created to protect assets from hostile entities. , in the midst of politically sanctioned extortion and exploitation. HNWIs, especially those in non-democratic countries, are currently most at risk of having their assets and personal livelihoods compromised.
This is where Privacy World, a global consulting firm and privacy think tank, seeks to help. Its mission is grounded in the belief that everyone has a right to privacy and has no qualms about receiving money to protect the identities of the wealthy elite.
The world of privacy never frowns
Since the company was first founded, Privacy World has been a vocal and proud advocate for protecting the interests of wealthy individuals, especially those who want their personal financial and personal information to be protected. This has given many to the company’s practices, such as its willingness to help elites secure secondary citizenship, layer identities behind multiple international passports, and apply for diplomatic passports/appointments. I am skeptical.
Others have noted that the company appears to be encroaching on loopholes and gaps in existing international law. It means not frowning or giving in to ethical issues. By working with an international network of legal and privacy experts, the company supports their efforts and ensures that all solutions stay within relevant laws.
Money or ethics, which one is right?
There is no black or white in life. The many shades of gray often make it difficult to see what is right and what is wrong, and the question of whether it is moral to help the wealthy elite protect their assets and identities. The same is true for . Of course, there are clear arguments on both sides of the coin.
From an ethical standpoint, one could argue that it is wrong to help the wealthy elite protect their assets when millions of people around the world are starving. From a legal standpoint, there is clearly nothing wrong with this practice. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide what they believe is right.
Privacy World’s answer is obvious. Everyone has the right to protect their personal information, whether it is financial assets or simply their identity. And if wealthy individuals are willing to pay for such services, it is entirely within the company’s rights to provide such solutions.