The June 28 Taxcast is out with a focus on the Big Four accounting firms. Richard Brooks is the author of Bean Counters: The triumph of the accountants and how they broke capitalism (order here in the UK and here in the US) which documents accountants’ involvement in some of the world’s worst financial scandals, not least of which is the promotion of tax havens. The new segment also features U.S. investigative journalist James Henry and Tax Justice Network Chair John Christensen. Additional stories include fraud at the Trump Foundation and why infamous US tax haven Delaware is supporting a financial transparency bill.
You can find the podcast and further reading here. Enjoy!
“when it comes to financial secrecy and tax dodging, the so-called big four accountancy firms are key players.”
These are actually 2 different themes – both of which are evil and both of which have been aided by the major accounting firms. Scandals like Enron and Worldcom involve management ripping off shareholders. Tax dodging – which at times involves transfer pricing abuse – rips off national treasuries and hence the general public.
Of course the Big 4 can make a lot of money doing both. The report in the Worldcom bankruptcy case exposed a yuuuuge transfer pricing manipulation play based on some of the most absurd transfer pricing analysis I have ever read. And I have read so many absurd defenses of transfer pricing manipulation.
This podcast is killing me. First – it is run by a couple of Brits. I’ve listened to a few of the World Cup matches. The Brit announcers make the beautiful game as boring as watching golf. Now the Mexican announcers are so much better.
But my real problem is that the topics covered are Trump’s tax dodges and sales tax evasion in the digital world. Nothing to do with shifting income to tax havens.
Maybe the book is better!
Sorry about the Brits; they were far ahead of the U.S. in developing civil society anti-tax haven organizations, so that’s where most of the infrastructure is.
BTW, do you understand golf as well as you understand soccer? I used to think soccer was horribly boring until I spent a semester in Brussels. Of the 35 TV channels I got in my apartment, at any given time about seven would have soccer games on. So I finally came to understand it a little and no longer found it so boring.
I hope to take a peak at the book soon.