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Brazil Pushes to End Tax Haven Secrecy
June 4th, 2012
Brazil’s Parliament is considering measures to eliminate tax havens. These havens are problematic for Brazil and other nations because they reduce tax revenues, hurting spending budgets. Brazil has 33 conventions and one agreement signed with countries for curtailing tax abuse. However, among them all, there are no provisions that require exchanges in financial information from the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands, or the Bahamas, among others. For those three jurisdictions alone, Brazil has a total estimated US $61.2 Billion of direct investment. Opaque systems such as this allow for large scale tax evasion. Brazil needs...
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Of Lions and Taxes: Why Brazil Needs More Trust, Not More Agents
May 23rd, 2012
In Brazil, there is an agency known as “the Lion,” whose agents fly around the country in black helicopters, conducting operations such as the “Black Panther” and “Delta.” They aren’t looking for drugs. Or gangs. They’re tax agents. The Lion, dubbed for its official emblem and its ferocious hunt of tax dodgers, uses nearly any tactic conceivable in its pursuit. With a force of about 12,000 agents, the agency monitors tax receipts of millionaires, hunts for smugglers, sizes up mansions from the air, and scrutinizes tax returns. Gary Becker would be proud. Brazil’s approach follows from the classic “economics of crime”...
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A Promising Moment
September 21st, 2011
Today, at the United Nations in New York City, President Obama inaugurated the Open Government Partnership (OGP) with Brazil, the co-chair. The OGP is a global effort to improve governance worldwide through transparency and accountability—two principals that many members of this Task Force have argued for persuasively for many years. To become a member of OGP, countries must adopt an Open Government Declaration, deliver a country action plan, and commit to independent reporting. As of today, eight countries have joined the OGP: Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, and—the relentless crusader for anticorruption and better...
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With Clown Noses and an Iron Lady Brazil Tackles Corruption
September 9th, 2011
On September 7th, 1822 Prince Pedro, the Portuguese Prince of Brazil who represented the monarchy in the Brazilian colony, received a letter. It was from the Princess Maria Leopoldina, his wife, and it advised him to give the county its independence after nearly two years of rebellion. Prince Pedro heeded his wife’s advice . Later that day, standing on the shores of theIpirangaRiver in Sao Paolo, Pedro declared Brazil’s independence, ending 322 years of colonial rule. According to legend (and artistic recreations of the event) a very refined looking Pedro, dressed in a military suit, brandishing a...
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