Thu Apr 4th, 2013 at 04:52:52 AM EST
This is interesting.
Leaks reveal secrets of the rich who hide cash offshore
Millions of internal records have leaked from Britain's offshore financial industry, exposing for the first time the identities of thousands of holders of anonymous wealth from around the world, from presidents to plutocrats, the daughter of a notorious dictator and a British millionaire accused of concealing assets from his ex-wife.
The leak of 2m emails and other documents, mainly from the offshore haven of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), has the potential to cause a seismic shock worldwide to the booming offshore trade, with a former chief economist at McKinsey estimating that wealthy individuals may have as much as $32tn (£21tn) stashed in overseas havens.
To put that in perspective, the annual US Budget is 3.8 trillion dollars. The US economy was estimated to be 15.8 trillion dollars in 2012.
An amount of money larger than the entire economy of the United States of America is secretly stashed in an overseas tax haven.
How much could such hoards as this be actually participating in the real economy in any way, and how much is it a giant dragon's hoard, of use to no one? How much of that hoard is even real, and how much of it is the nominal value of speculative or fraudulent financial products?
Could such a hoard be confiscated by a government? What sort of economic oddity would that be, a government in possession of a financial pile many times greater than the size of the world's largest economy?
I wonder what would happen if that money simply disappeared? Erased from the books? Gone forever?
It boggles the mind.