Sunday, March 8, 2009

Did Any of the Bailout Money Go Offshore?

“Most of America's largest publicly traded corporations -- including several that are receiving billions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers to finance their recovery -- have set up offshore operations that could help them avoid paying U.S. taxes on their profits, a government study released yesterday found.” [1]

We are seeing billions, or should that be trillions, of taxpayers’ dollars handed over to banks and other financial institutions? The mantra of the monied elites has always been this: “Let the marketplace decide.” But now that the “free enterprisers” of the financial marketplace are wallowing in taxpayers’ dollars surely there has be open accountability where that money is going? But it appears that is not so.

“In a testy exchange at a hearing before the Senate Budget Committee, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who usually votes with the Democrats, said he found it ‘unacceptable’ that the central bank risked taxpayer money without detailing where the funds went….

“‘My question to you is, will you tell the American people to whom you lent $2.2 trillion of their dollars?’ …

“When Sanders pressed on whether Bernanke would name the firms that borrowed from the Fed, the central bank chairman replied, ‘No,’…” [2]

A CBS news article of Feb 23, 2009 said this about offshore banks and tax havens:
“… guess who's turned up in a new government report about tax havens?

“Eleven giant recipients of your bailout tax dollars - American Express, AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, General Motors, GMAC, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. Together they've collected more than $227 billion. Even as they benefit from tax money, they operate hundreds of subsidiaries in places widely known for helping people evade taxes.” [3]

The peoples’ tax dollars are being handed over to these huge financial conglomerates. Meanwhile, the ordinary person is losing their jobs and many have lost their homes. Many small businesses have had to shut down. (no bailouts for them?). Surely there is something wrong when financial conglomerates with numerous subsidiaries offshore are getting taxpayers’ dollars? Which begs the questions: Should these offshore banking and tax havens be allowed? And should the taxpayers’ be allowed to know how much money is in these offshore banking and tax havens? And is any of the bailout money which comes from taxpayers dollars being sent offshore?

Stephen J. Gray
March 7, 2009.





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