A 2016 guide that was an eye-opener for me was Brooke Harrington’s Capital Without Borders: Wealth Managers and the One Percent. A sociologist, she had skilled as a non-public shopper wealth supervisor and labored amongst/for the worldwide elite – the Extremely Excessive Internet Value People (UHNWIs). The wealthy actually are totally different…. and amongst her placing findings was their deep-seated perception they’ve that the cash is theirs, or their household’s, and governments actually haven’t any official proper to take any of it away from them in taxes.
Spiderweb Capitalism: How Global Elites Exploit Frontier Markets by Kimberly Kay Hoang is a type of companion or follow-up quantity. She can be a sociologist, however on this case performed educational analysis as a transparent outsider. Her focus can be totally different: her curiosity is within the ploys the UHNWIs and their delegated Excessive Internet Value People (skilled attorneys and PRs and many others who act for them, making fairly huge quantities of cash themselves however bearing some authorized threat) devise to distance themselves from “enjoying within the grey” – that’s on the borders of legality or past – in rising markets Vietnam and Myanmar. These ploys usually contain advanced constructions with holding corporations within the Caymans, Samoa, British Virgin Islands and many others, a number of Particular Function Automobiles to make investments, skilled advisers in Hong Kong or Singapore, and native fixers.
Extra educational (ie. barely clunky) in fashion than the sooner Harrington guide, it’s however an enchanting learn, reflecting 5 years of interviewing the totally different classes of individuals concerned in these world cash flows, and following some round on their intensive travels. Once more, avoiding – or evading – tax is a daily theme. The guide paperwork the varied mechanisms concerned, from the on-the-ground bribery (together with makes an attempt at mutually assured destruction deterrence akin to sharing compromising social occasions with bribed officers) to the establishing of financial institution accounts and pitching investments to UHNWIs within the US. The scope of the fieldwork concerned is spectacular.
What to do in regards to the spider’s net of world cash flows? That’s much less clear. Every particular person (whether or not dominant or subordinate spider) is one aspect in a system that in the end traps all. Though an optimistic word I took from the guide is that US laws does appear to be inhibiting among the practices documented. In any case, it’s super-valuable to have htis type of rigorous proof about how the net operates, and the way its inhabitants are motivated and incentivised. This can be a very impressive book.