On that now infamous day of April 20, 2010, BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig was flying the flag of the Marshall Islands in our Gulf of Mexico, so that the rig’s owner Transocean could dodge its US tax bill.
Already in 1999 the company had moved its headquarters from Houston to the Cayman Islands to ditch the tax man. In 2008 Transocean, having merged with Global Sante Fe, settled into Zug, Switzerland. While the company now employs 1,300 people in Houston and only a dozen in Zug, the tax haven moves have saved the company some $1.8 billion since 1999.
Global Sante Fe was the company which Iraq had accused of drilling horizontally into its huge Rumallah oil field in 1990 from Kuwaiti territory, an act which precipitated Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait and culminated in the Gulf War.
According to the New York Times, BP was also receiving a $225,000/day federal tax break for leasing the Deepwater rig from Transocean- a 70% write off. According to government reports, Big Oil receives $4 billion in such tax breaks annually, while having spent $340 million on lobbyists since 2008 to buy the votes of pathetic Congressmen. But what else is new?
Enron paid no federal income tax in four of the five years from 1996-2000, then was eligible for a $382 million tax refund under the Bush tax plan. Just before 911, the Enron glitterati having pawned off all their shares onto unsuspecting widows and orphans and state pension funds, Ken Lay’s (biggest contributor to Bush the Lesser’s political career) company went bust.
The company- aided and abetted by the biggest Wall Street banks through the LJM2 partnership, had 692 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands and hundreds more in the equally drug money-infested and British Crown-controlled Turks & Caicos. Enron declared its profits in tax haven jurisdictions and its losses in the US, a common practice of multinational corporations.
An October 2000 study conducted by Citizens for Tax Justice showed that 24% of Fortune 500 companies paid no federal income taxes for 1998. A 2010 study by the same group showed Exxon Mobil and Bank of America among corporations who paid no federal taxes in 2009. GE got a tax rebate from Uncle Sam.
To his credit President Obama has gone after Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS), forcing them to identify tax evaders who have accounts with them. A broader net now needs casting over the entire global system of offshore tax havens, which one cannot help but notice is organized from the City of London.
The London-controlled Eurodollar market is a convenient vehicle for recycling the huge slush fund of petrodollars from mostly Middle Eastern countries generated by the Four Horsemen. A Eurodollar is simply any convertible currency existing in a country other than its country of origin. A key feature of the Eurodollar market is its lack of regulation and secrecy.
Major offshore banking centers such as the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Turks & Caicos, Antigua, the Isle of Jersey, the Isle of Man, Dubai and Liberia all fell under British Crown control. The House of Windsor warrants every Freemason lodge in the world, employing the secrecy which the “craft” affords in conducting Black Nobility endeavors such as drug trafficking.
The strength of the British pound, unjustified on purely economic grounds, is tied to the multi-trillion petrodollar slush fund which London attracts, in tandem with the ocean of cash attracted by the string of British Protectorate off-shore banking centers which facilitate the Eurodollar trade and markets for narcotics, diamonds, gold, platinum, plutonium and arms.
Congress should pass a simple law barring companies and their wealthy shareholders from using these tax havens if they wish to continue doing business in the US. If you want to do business here, deposit your money here, declare the profits you earned here and pay the taxes you owe on those oft-subsidized profits.
The US is far and away the biggest marketplace on the planet, so the right-wing notion that this would somehow “scare away investors” is laughable. Those who refuse to abide by this law can surrender their passports as they board the deportation planes to Iraq and Afghanistan. Bring your own automatic weapons boys.
Dean Henderson is the author of four books: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Das Kartell der Federal Reserve & Stickin’ it to the Matrix. You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hook column @ www.deanhenderson.wordpress.com