Canadian Offshore Haven Data Dump

Archived From: Finance
  • Page :
  • 1
  • Text Only
Voting History
rated:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/04/03/offshore-data-leak...

30 years of Canadian trusts have been published
CBC said: "I find it absolutely fascinating to get a look at this data dump. I think this is the very first time where people like myself, and maybe even government officials, have had access to this information." The files contain information on over 120,000 offshore entities ó including shell corporations and legal structures known as trusts ó involving people in over 170 countries. The leak amounts to 260 gigabytes of data, or 162 times larger than the U.S. State Department cables published by WikiLeaks in 2010.

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Ok, fair enough.

tolamapS (Apr. 07, 2013 @ 12:30a) |

I was never a prosecutor. My experience came through the Federal Public Defenders Office. To be effective as defense c... (more)

nsdp (Apr. 07, 2013 @ 1:33p) |

And thank God for that.

BradisBrad (Apr. 07, 2013 @ 2:11p) |

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

Sounds like some IT guy just mailed an entire company's email archive to a reporter. Some proverbial poo is going to hit the fan.

"What started out as being just one drink ended up being 3 double bourbons and hello?! Can I just get drunk?! Haha."

Al3xK said:   Sounds like some IT guy just mailed an entire company's email archive to a reporter. Some proverbial poo is going to hit the fan.
He probably didn't even purge the records of prominent politicians. Talk about inconsiderate!


Well you better believe if this is true I'm now going to be clearing out my schedule and pouring over these documents for a few days.

But this is just downright wrong. If the personal financial information, emails, contact information, etc. of average Americans were leaked and published by the news media and people acted like it was fine, the pitchforks would be out tomorrow. But since they're wealthy then who cares right?

Sometimes things show you about scary the future could be in some ways. F@ck you ICIJ!

1%ers caught red handed.

The Economist blew the whistle on this two months ago. DShibb how are your furniture making skills? Remember the no harm no foul rule. Confess before they start to look for you. Then all you owe are civil penalties.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

dshibb said:   Well you better believe if this is true I'm now going to be clearing out my schedule and pouring over these documents for a few days.

But this is just downright wrong. If the personal financial information, emails, contact information, etc. of average Americans were leaked and published by the news media and people acted like it was fine, the pitchforks would be out tomorrow. But since they're wealthy then who cares right?

Sometimes things show you about scary the future could be in some ways. F@ck you ICIJ!


What are you hoping to get from careful study of these documents? I might not be correct, but I always thought you had to have several + millions to take advantage of this type of stuff.

dshibb said:   Well you better believe if this is true I'm now going to be clearing out my schedule and pouring over these documents for a few days.

But this is just downright wrong. If the personal financial information, emails, contact information, etc. of average Americans were leaked and published by the news media and people acted like it was fine, the pitchforks would be out tomorrow. But since they're wealthy then who cares right?

Sometimes things show you about scary the future could be in some ways. F@ck you ICIJ!


Why is it wrong?

First, being wealthy is fine. However, avoiding taxes while being wealthy is not fine. Furthermore, having illegally accumulated wealth is also not OK.

Sounds like most of the accounts and transactions exposed are shady in some shape or form. IMO this serves a dual purpose: (1) uncovers information for tax authorities and other arms of law, (2) creates incentives for people not to hide their money.

Just imagine how much capital is wasted by moving money from one place to another, by paying fees to "advisors" and such. If all that money were put into more productive use, maybe it would benefit everyone.

https://twitter.com/ICIJorg
ICIJ ‏@ICIJorg We're still cleaning and sorting the #offshoreleaks data + deciding if a public release is possible. Announcement soon!

Al3xK said:   Sounds like some IT guy just mailed an entire company's email archive to a reporter. Some proverbial poo is going to hit the fan.

"What started out as being just one drink ended up being 3 double bourbons and hello?! Can I just get drunk?! Haha."

This is my favorite IT screw-up story that spawned a thousand divorce attornies.

nsdp said:   The Economist blew the whistle on this two months ago. DShibb how are your furniture making skills? Remember the no harm no foul rule. Confess before they start to look for you. Then all you owe are civil penalties.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.


I think you misunderstood my comment.

ChumChurum said:   dshibb said:   Well you better believe if this is true I'm now going to be clearing out my schedule and pouring over these documents for a few days.

But this is just downright wrong. If the personal financial information, emails, contact information, etc. of average Americans were leaked and published by the news media and people acted like it was fine, the pitchforks would be out tomorrow. But since they're wealthy then who cares right?

Sometimes things show you about scary the future could be in some ways. F@ck you ICIJ!


Why is it wrong?

First, being wealthy is fine. However, avoiding taxes while being wealthy is not fine. Furthermore, having illegally accumulated wealth is also not OK.

Sounds like most of the accounts and transactions exposed are shady in some shape or form. IMO this serves a dual purpose: (1) uncovers information for tax authorities and other arms of law, (2) creates incentives for people not to hide their money.

Just imagine how much capital is wasted by moving money from one place to another, by paying fees to "advisors" and such. If all that money were put into more productive use, maybe it would benefit everyone.


Because the journalists have no idea whether or not any of these accounts are reported on peoples tax returns and are **legal**. If someone has a legal offshore account in the Bahama's because it's reported to the IRS every year it's nobody else's f@cking business just like it's nobody else's business what's in all of your accounts.

Most of the people that are not obvious criminals listed in those articles likely aren't breaking any laws. There are numerous reasons why people move money offshore and illegal activity is one of the rarer reasons. Far more common reasons include:
1) Given their quantity of holdings they can either stick to ultra liquid assets or to give their account the same level of flexibility that everybody on here has they can open an offshore corporation to buy larger stakes at a time so that they can stay subject to US capital gains taxes and not have their tax rates increased to US corporate tax rates for wanting the same flexibility as everybody else gets. Basically, if you have $500 million and you want to stick to AAPL and Google you're fine. But if you want to have 10% of you stake in a small cap(something that any of you can easily do) they likely need to have the firm just issue new capital to you or even have you make a tender offer. If for the sake of ease you created a corporation in the US for this depending on the structure you would have moved from capital gains taxes like everybody else to corporate taxes. Better to just open up an offshore corporation and use that like your trading account.
2) The individual doesn't like some element of domestic trust or domestic corporate law. Maybe they don't like provisions that allow future inheritors to try to challenge the way a trust distributes money in the future in US courts under US law. Maybe they want a trust that is more multi-generational(US trusts aren't as good at that). Maybe they feel like it's extremely less likely that a foreign trusts or foreign entity's veil will be pierced vs. having a domestic trust or entity in the event of a lawsuit directed at them, creditors coming after them, etc.
3) They're trying to diversify holdings subject to US jurisdiction in the event they would ever desire to move in the future. Basically, if all of a sudden the US or Canada or whatever became an unfriendly place for them to be their risk is reduced of their money being held up on their way out if it's already out of the country. For example, Canada are bigger a$$holes about a wealthy individual or corporation relocating out of the country and so a smart strategy for those that are thinking that might be a possibility in the future is to just slowly relocate assets out of the country well ahead of any future move.
4) The list of reasons is quite endless. And of course that list also includes legal ways to reduce taxes for people and companies, but even that isn't quite the panacea most people think it is. For people the legal methods are usually just taking an asset subject to ordinary income taxes if held in the US and through certain types of maneuver's converting it into something that is taxed at capital gains rates. They could avoid the whole issue buy just buying municipals(which aren't even cap gains--they're tax free income), but using offshore allows them more flexibility. People in the US are taxed on their worldwide income and capital gains so I'm quite sure there are few if any ways to get income completely tax free in a foreign jurisdiction legally. For countries that don't tax worldwide individual income than it shouldn't be a surprise that people are getting lower tax rates doing something like this, but that isn't true for the US. For companies in US the ability is easier than for individuals because their worldwide income isn't taxed(and shouldn't be) and can move their corporate taxable income to near zero, but their problem is that whenever they actually are going to need that money they have to repatriate it and pay the taxes then so if investment is nothing more than putting money away for future consumption than they really haven't done much, they've just deferred it.

These journalists should have transferred these documents to tax authorities around the world for those tax authorities to cross reference these peoples tax records with the accounts, and only if they didn't match pursue criminal or civil prosecution. They should never release these records to the public and never have provided names in their articles. But the point is that for people that report their foreign accounts on their tax return it's legal and nobody else's f%cking business what they have or how these peoples assets are structured.


P.S. I'll pour over documents, articles, etc. that come out as this unfold's because given my chosen career any smart person would see if they can find any great *legal* nugget's of information out of these things now that their public. You might find some interesting legal trick's that could be put to use for a client at some time in the future.

ChumChurum said:   However, avoiding taxes while being wealthy is not fine.

That is BS. Avoiding taxes is fine, regardless of your wealth. Is it only acceptable for the poor to avoid taxes? I believe you are talking about tax EVASION, which is illegal.

ChumChurum said:   Just imagine how much capital is wasted by moving money from one place to another, by paying fees to "advisors" and such

If it is wasted, then why are people moving their own capital in this manner? The answer is because they are saving a lot of money by doing so. If this is outside the law, then it should be addressed.

ChumChurum said:   If all that money were put into more productive use, maybe it would benefit everyone.

So paying taxes is more productive? No, my socialist friend!
Generally speaking, government programs are horibly inefficient, and are easily abused and defrauded (as the article shows). There are exceptions to this, in some cases; however, the most productive way to spend is usually via the private sector, where there is a profit motive to do things quickly, efficiently, and correctly.

I dare anybody else to post all of their financial information right on the forum. If you aren't willing to do that then you have no business saying that it's alright what ICIJ is doing right here.

You have a former prosecutor on here that apparently sees nothing wrong with the idea of people having no financial privacy. That's scary!

And this notion that as soon as you become wealthy enough your financial privacy rights are gone and that everybody should know everything you're doing is absolute bull$hit.

The only people that should be made aware of your activities is the tax authorities you are subject to(which if you live in the United States or are a US citizen is the IRS). Nobody else deserves to see what it is that you are doing.

Right or wrong, the documents are out there and are going to provide some great entertainment when they bust some of these people. I'm wondering if they're going to really put the documents out there just for public consumption or if they're going to release them over a long period of time to maximize their publicity from this. Or if they're going to wait until future elections to release some of the bigger political names.

I actually would argue for the contrary, that people living on the welfare of the country (not just the US) should have their financial info public - from taxes to income to itemized receipts, etc - that are accessible to anyone. If they really are in need of help, they should not be afraid of anything, unless they are playing the cash system and claiming to be poor.

MilleniumBuc said:   I actually would argue for the contrary, that people living on the welfare of the country (not just the US) should have their financial info public - from taxes to income to itemized receipts, etc - that are accessible to anyone. If they really are in need of help, they should not be afraid of anything, unless they are playing the cash system and claiming to be poor.

I think that's a very bad idea, but you could more easily argue for them than anybody else since it is the public footing the bill.

The very most I could potentially agree with is a public directory for those that are on benefits with no other information, but even that I'm hesitant to endorse.

MilleniumBuc said:   I actually would argue for the contrary, that people living on the welfare of the country (not just the US) should have their financial info public - from taxes to income to itemized receipts, etc - that are accessible to anyone. If they really are in need of help, they should not be afraid of anything, unless they are playing the cash system and claiming to be poor.

Right, the last thing we need is Billy Bob upgrading from a miserable life in a single wide to a miserable life in a double wide illegally. We should put all effort and resources at getting that extra $5,000 back and throw him in jail ASAP!! *sarcasm*

The poor want the rich's finances made public because they're jealous of how much money they have and how great their lives are; and the rich want the poor's finances made public because they're even more jealous that these people get to live shitty lives with no money or cool things without having to do any work. Unfortunately, I'm just stuck in the middle enjoying the entertainment of it all.

cbdo2007 said:   the rich want the poor's finances made public because they're even more jealous that these people get to live shitty lives with no money or cool things without having to do any work.

I don't think jealously has anything to do with that. I don't know of one even reasonably well of person who is jealous of someone receiving government benefits. Instead they wonder if all of the money they're paying into the system to 'help' these people is actually helping and instead wonder if maybe the money is causing dependency and causing people to live substantially worse lives than had the support not been there or substantially altered in structure.

ChumChurum said:   First, being wealthy is fine. However, avoiding taxes while being wealthy is not fine.

Sure it is. Avoidance does not equal evasion. Avoidance is using a coupon - evasion is shoplifting.

Apparently those giving cestmoi red don't know what the definition of tax avoidance is.

You take a mortgage deduction while filing your taxes and that is tax avoidance. You fail to report income you received that year and it's tax evasion. The first is obviously legal the second as illegal.

So those that are giving him red are saying more about themselves and then they are about cestmoi123's post.

This seems just like putting your money in SWISS bank...

dshibb said:   MilleniumBuc said:   I actually would argue for the contrary, that people living on the welfare of the country (not just the US) should have their financial info public - from taxes to income to itemized receipts, etc - that are accessible to anyone. If they really are in need of help, they should not be afraid of anything, unless they are playing the cash system and claiming to be poor.

I think that's a very bad idea, but you could more easily argue for them than anybody else since it is the public footing the bill.

The very most I could potentially agree with is a public directory for those that are on benefits with no other information, but even that I'm hesitant to endorse.


I think that's a great idea. The salaries of most Federal workers are public.

Why not the names of the welfare recipients?

There could be some arguments either way. E.g., people who are on welfare don't want to be further shamed by putting their names out there.

Well, you could counter-argue that it is their choice. Either leave in poverty, get out of poverty, or don't worry about your name being there while being in poverty.

Actually, this leak just confirms the following. No matter how hard you try to hide your money (not in a bad way), they will find it.

Second lesson: don't trust with some company in the second floor of the strip mall with all your financial information. As far as I am concerned, the world is an adversarial place, so if you don't protect your information and assets, someone will take them. Examples: (1) this leak, (2) Cyprus bank crisis.

Let's say someone hacks into a major bank, and gets all the account info (Name, Address, Part of Account Number, and Balance). I could see this happen someone in the future. Banks get hacked all the time, but mostly their credit card databases are affected, because they provide the most value to thiefs.

Does anyone have any legitimate references to studies that calculate if money sitting in offshore heavens is more productive, than, let's say other capital funds.

I would think that if you are hiding money, because it is either: (1) from illegal sources, e.g., weapons, prostitution, drugs, etc, or (2) it is legal money, but untaxed, or (3) it is from legal sources, but you are hiding it from someone not representing the authorities, then that money is less productively used than freely circulating capital.

I don't know how I feel about wealthy people enriching tax professionals to continuously come up with better (legal) tax shelters.

It would be better that taxation was equalize in a way that no one had to play games (like dshibb is saying). I.e., if something is legal in some way for (1) a less affluent person to do in the US, and (2) for a more wealthy person to do by jumping through hoops, then it should be made legal for the wealthy person to do in the US without jumping through hoops.

And lastly, why on earth would someone want to buy 10% of some small cap? Feel free to make an offer to take the company private, or buy it out entirely, but why buy 10% of a small company?

dshibb said:   I dare anybody else to post all of their financial information right on the forum. If you aren't willing to do that then you have no business saying that it's alright what ICIJ is doing right here.


Why play a game of truth or dare.
Is what ICIJ doing legal? Then it is alright to me.
If it is illegal, then sue the bastards.
I would say that the responsibility to protect that information is on the custodials of the data. Get upset with the custodials of the data (the intermediaries, the banks, the law offices, whoever).

But why would anyone voluntarily put their personal info in the open? That's just darn stupid.
I can see why some people might think that what ICIJ is doing is OK, but won't volunteer their info.

dshibb, I think you are so energized about this topic because to some extent this is an industry that funds your income. Which is OK.
Somebody who is less affluent and is not employed / does not do business with private wealth management is less likely to agree with you.

nsdp said:   The Economist blew the whistle on this two months ago. DShibb how are your furniture making skills? Remember the no harm no foul rule. Confess before they start to look for you. Then all you owe are civil penalties.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.


Do you think dshibb has offshore accounts that are in those records?

tolamapS said:   dshibb said:   MilleniumBuc said:   I actually would argue for the contrary, that people living on the welfare of the country (not just the US) should have their financial info public - from taxes to income to itemized receipts, etc - that are accessible to anyone. If they really are in need of help, they should not be afraid of anything, unless they are playing the cash system and claiming to be poor.

I think that's a very bad idea, but you could more easily argue for them than anybody else since it is the public footing the bill.

The very most I could potentially agree with is a public directory for those that are on benefits with no other information, but even that I'm hesitant to endorse.


I think that's a great idea. The salaries of most Federal workers are public.

Why not the names of the welfare recipients?

There could be some arguments either way. E.g., people who are on welfare don't want to be further shamed by putting their names out there.

Well, you could counter-argue that it is their choice. Either leave in poverty, get out of poverty, or don't worry about your name being there while being in poverty.

Actually, this leak just confirms the following. No matter how hard you try to hide your money (not in a bad way), they will find it.

Second lesson: don't trust with some company in the second floor of the strip mall with all your financial information. As far as I am concerned, the world is an adversarial place, so if you don't protect your information and assets, someone will take them. Examples: (1) this leak, (2) Cyprus bank crisis.

Let's say someone hacks into a major bank, and gets all the account info (Name, Address, Part of Account Number, and Balance). I could see this happen someone in the future. Banks get hacked all the time, but mostly their credit card databases are affected, because they provide the most value to thiefs.


A) I realize that the 'slippery slope' is often labeled as a fallacy, but in this instance I think it would really numb the US population to the idea that your financial information is everybody else's business.
B) Even if you utilized it a short period of time your financial information at that time would likely stay public forever. That would basically mean that a huge portion of the public would have a lot of financial information public at all times. It would only be a small change from that standpoint to start demanding more from non welfare recipients.
C) In some ways even though it's illegal people who play both sides of the game with welfare might actually be doing something that is the long term interests of the public purse(same argument for a negative income tax as a replacement for welfare benefits). Basically, if they are working in a cash business while also receiving welfare than A) They are contributing economic activity to the United States which benefits everybody and B) They are keeping up on work that will make it easier to remove them from the welfare rolls in the future as their financial situation improves. Now I'm not actually saying this is a great thing at all. Obviously I think most people including myself would prefer people who are making a decent livable income through the informal economy not receive welfare benefits, but in a lot of ways it's better than them collecting welfare payments and not working at all. Strange moral hazard that our welfare system creates doesn't it?
D) While I can understand an argument for people knowing who is or isn't receiving welfare payments I doubt it's a good idea to basically handover that level of information to fraudsters and crooks who will know exactly who are the dumbest and easiest to take advantage of based on their financial decisions.

tolamapS said:   dshibb said:   I dare anybody else to post all of their financial information right on the forum. If you aren't willing to do that then you have no business saying that it's alright what ICIJ is doing right here.


Why play a game of truth or dare.
Is what ICIJ doing legal? Then it is alright to me.
If it is illegal, then sue the bastards.
I would say that the responsibility to protect that information is on the custodials of the data. Get upset with the custodials of the data (the intermediaries, the banks, the law offices, whoever).

But why would anyone voluntarily put their personal info in the open? That's just darn stupid.
I can see why some people might think that what ICIJ is doing is OK, but won't volunteer their info.

dshibb, I think you are so energized about this topic because to some extent this is an industry that funds your income. Which is OK.
Somebody who is less affluent and is not employed / does not do business with private wealth management is less likely to agree with you.


Bold: That is completely not true.
A) This specific sub-industry does not 'fund my income'. I receive zero from it.
B) Harder enforcement of it would put more assets on shore conceivably benefiting me
C) I frequently take positions contrary to business interests because it's the right thing to do.
1) A low estate tax exemption is great for business, but I've also seen what it can do to people, businesses, and economic activity so I oppose the estate tax(although am quite content with the recent agreement).
2) Higher marginal tax rates benefit an advisor who a lot of his value comes from tax arbitrage. Does that mean that I support higher marginal tax rates? Hell no! It's bad for the economy, bad for businesses, and bad for everybody.


So know more of this could really only conceivably benefit me, but it's just absolutely wrong! There is zero reason why the public needs to know the financial details of anybody that is not doing anything illegal.

tolamapS said:   
Do you think dshibb has offshore accounts that are in those records?


Don't have any offshore account.

Wouldn't matter. After the Patriot Act, all the IRS and DOJ need is a National Security letter to your bank. It is just as easy as getting your cell phone records and emails. FinCEN gives them the ability to do it in real time. Thanks to Bush, Cheney, and Gonzales, none of us has financial privacy any more. How do you think that the Dutch caught Romney on the misclassification of the payment to him by Bain Capital for his carried interest as dividend income. Note I said Bain Capital misclassified the payment not Mr. Romney. He paid his taxes right away. Unless you set it up over 10 years ago and never communicate by wire or phone with the bank, they can find anything you have. Especially if you use your smart phone.

nsdp said:   Wouldn't matter. After the Patriot Act, all the IRS and DOJ need is a National Security letter to your bank. It is just as easy as getting your cell phone records and emails. FinCEN gives them the ability to do it in real time. Thanks to Bush, Cheney, and Gonzales, none of us has financial privacy any more. How do you think that the Dutch caught Romney on the misclassification of the payment to him by Bain Capital for his carried interest as dividend income. Note I said Bain Capital misclassified the payment not Mr. Romney. He paid his taxes right away. Unless you set it up over 10 years ago and never communicate by wire or phone with the bank, they can find anything you have. Especially if you use your smart phone.

You don't have a right to financial privacy from your own taxing authority. No tax system in the world could function under that.

But you should have a right financial privacy from the public at large knowing everything about your finances.

The fact that you are a former prosecutor that can't grasp this distinction is a bit sad.

http://www.sovereignman.com/finance/leaked-offshore-data-shows-who-the-real-criminals-are-11584/

Moving a portion of your assets abroad isnít criminal. Itís not crazy. If properly disclosed, itís one of the sanest things you can do to protect yourself against the real criminals [central bankers and politicians].

dshibb said:   tolamapS said:   dshibb said:   MilleniumBuc said:   I actually would argue for the contrary, that people living on the welfare of the country (not just the US) should have their financial info public - from taxes to income to itemized receipts, etc - that are accessible to anyone. If they really are in need of help, they should not be afraid of anything, unless they are playing the cash system and claiming to be poor.

I think that's a very bad idea, but you could more easily argue for them than anybody else since it is the public footing the bill.

The very most I could potentially agree with is a public directory for those that are on benefits with no other information, but even that I'm hesitant to endorse.


I think that's a great idea. The salaries of most Federal workers are public.

Why not the names of the welfare recipients?

There could be some arguments either way. E.g., people who are on welfare don't want to be further shamed by putting their names out there.

Well, you could counter-argue that it is their choice. Either leave in poverty, get out of poverty, or don't worry about your name being there while being in poverty.

Actually, this leak just confirms the following. No matter how hard you try to hide your money (not in a bad way), they will find it.

Second lesson: don't trust with some company in the second floor of the strip mall with all your financial information. As far as I am concerned, the world is an adversarial place, so if you don't protect your information and assets, someone will take them. Examples: (1) this leak, (2) Cyprus bank crisis.

Let's say someone hacks into a major bank, and gets all the account info (Name, Address, Part of Account Number, and Balance). I could see this happen someone in the future. Banks get hacked all the time, but mostly their credit card databases are affected, because they provide the most value to thiefs.


A) I realize that the 'slippery slope' is often labeled as a fallacy, but in this instance I think it would really numb the US population to the idea that your financial information is everybody else's business.
B) Even if you utilized it a short period of time your financial information at that time would likely stay public forever. That would basically mean that a huge portion of the public would have a lot of financial information public at all times. It would only be a small change from that standpoint to start demanding more from non welfare recipients.
C) In some ways even though it's illegal people who play both sides of the game with welfare might actually be doing something that is the long term interests of the public purse(same argument for a negative income tax as a replacement for welfare benefits). Basically, if they are working in a cash business while also receiving welfare than A) They are contributing economic activity to the United States which benefits everybody and B) They are keeping up on work that will make it easier to remove them from the welfare rolls in the future as their financial situation improves. Now I'm not actually saying this is a great thing at all. Obviously I think most people including myself would prefer people who are making a decent livable income through the informal economy not receive welfare benefits, but in a lot of ways it's better than them collecting welfare payments and not working at all. Strange moral hazard that our welfare system creates doesn't it?
D) While I can understand an argument for people knowing who is or isn't receiving welfare payments I doubt it's a good idea to basically handover that level of information to fraudsters and crooks who will know exactly who are the dumbest and easiest to take advantage of based on their financial decisions.


I see your general points, and their merits.

If you want to find poor people en masse, just go to the poor neighborhoods. You can go to Acxiom, Equifax, or whatever, and purchase the exact type of data you want: names, addresses, etc, that fall into certain demographics. This is not public, but for all practical purposes, it is public.

Also, why doesn't concern (D) apply to all Federal employees?

And why do you think that welfare recipients are the dumbest and the easiest to take advantage of? The group you describe in the earlier category (those who have some reported income, and some unreported) are probably far smarter in aggregate, than say, the next income group.

dshibb said:   tolamapS said:   dshibb said:   I dare anybody else to post all of their financial information right on the forum. If you aren't willing to do that then you have no business saying that it's alright what ICIJ is doing right here.


Why play a game of truth or dare.
Is what ICIJ doing legal? Then it is alright to me.
If it is illegal, then sue the bastards.
I would say that the responsibility to protect that information is on the custodials of the data. Get upset with the custodials of the data (the intermediaries, the banks, the law offices, whoever).

But why would anyone voluntarily put their personal info in the open? That's just darn stupid.
I can see why some people might think that what ICIJ is doing is OK, but won't volunteer their info.

dshibb, I think you are so energized about this topic because to some extent this is an industry that funds your income. Which is OK.
Somebody who is less affluent and is not employed / does not do business with private wealth management is less likely to agree with you.


Bold: That is completely not true.
A) This specific sub-industry does not 'fund my income'. I receive zero from it.
B) Harder enforcement of it would put more assets on shore conceivably benefiting me
C) I frequently take positions contrary to business interests because it's the right thing to do.
1) A low estate tax exemption is great for business, but I've also seen what it can do to people, businesses, and economic activity so I oppose the estate tax(although am quite content with the recent agreement).
2) Higher marginal tax rates benefit an advisor who a lot of his value comes from tax arbitrage. Does that mean that I support higher marginal tax rates? Hell no! It's bad for the economy, bad for businesses, and bad for everybody.


So know more of this could really only conceivably benefit me, but it's just absolutely wrong! There is zero reason why the public needs to know the financial details of anybody that is not doing anything illegal.


Ok, fair enough.

dshibb said:   nsdp said:   Wouldn't matter. After the Patriot Act, all the IRS and DOJ need is a National Security letter to your bank. It is just as easy as getting your cell phone records and emails. FinCEN gives them the ability to do it in real time. Thanks to Bush, Cheney, and Gonzales, none of us has financial privacy any more. How do you think that the Dutch caught Romney on the misclassification of the payment to him by Bain Capital for his carried interest as dividend income. Note I said Bain Capital misclassified the payment not Mr. Romney. He paid his taxes right away. Unless you set it up over 10 years ago and never communicate by wire or phone with the bank, they can find anything you have. Especially if you use your smart phone.

You don't have a right to financial privacy from your own taxing authority. No tax system in the world could function under that.

But you should have a right financial privacy from the public at large knowing everything about your finances.

The fact that you are a former prosecutor that can't grasp this distinction is a bit sad.


I was never a prosecutor. My experience came through the Federal Public Defenders Office. To be effective as defense counsel you must know the law just as well as or better than the Assistant US Attorney for the government. I did do fraud audits for RTC/FDIC and NCUA. I also did examinations of Enron's California electric trading records for the US Trustee. But that was never in the position of prosecuting attorney.

As to financial privacy, we essentially have none. Credit reports are readily available legally or otherwise and were the first real invasion of privacy. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, Gramm Leach Bliley, Patriot Act, Sarbanes Oxley and Dodd Frank finished off whatever privacy there was. Property tax records are public as are real property records. Incorporations, partnerships and DBA's are all available if you know where to look. Shareholder lists are all public record even if the corporation is not publicly traded. Any time you do a loan you must disclose all to the financial institution. Do you really think they are secure? Having done bankruptcy work and chased concealed assets, I can tell you confidently that there are no assets other than the mason jar in your back yard or your mattress stuffings that are not available somewhere to the public. There are just too many disclosures and tracks you have to leave if someone is focused on you. This is no longer the 1960's.

nsdp said:   This is no longer the 1960's.

And thank God for that.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014