F. BRINLEY BRUTON – Thanks to lax international tax rules the world’s super rich have siphoned at least $21 trillion — more than 50 percent larger than the entire U.S. economy — into secretive tax-free havens, according to a study by UK campaign group Tax Justice Network. According to the study, the world’s top 50 private banks managed more than $12.3 trillion in 2010 in off-shore financial assets, up from $7.5 trillion five years earlier.
LES LEOPOLD – Day in and day out we are told that if the government doesn’t tighten its belt, we’re all headed for debtor’s prison. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are under attack. State budgets are in disarray. Teachers and firemen are getting canned. Public services are slashed. This is the new America and we’d better get used to it, the pundits proclaim. You would think we were a poor country.