The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Cyprus Small Part of World of Tax Havens


JAMES S. HENRY, jhenry at
Available for a limited number of interviews with major media, Henry is lead researcher for the report "The Price of Offshore Revisited" from the Tax Justice Network. Last year they estimated that total wealth in tax havens was between $21 trillion and $35 trillion dollars. He said today: "Cyprus is in crisis because its banks heavily invested in Greek bonds and Greek bondholders took a hair cut. It's not because Cyprus is worse than other tax havens as many seem to be claiming. We found that it's the 20th least transparent tax haven. So today is a good day for bankers in Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and the UK. Cyprus is in effect a victim of the 'finance curse' in that its economy was so dependent on the financial sector.

"There are several aspects to the Russian story that haven't been fleshed out, including the Russian Gazprom eyeing energy reserves off of Cyprus. Another major aspect of the story that's been largely overlooked is that whatever happens to the financial sector in Cyprus, it's still a large corporate haven; they only have a 10 percent corporate tax rate. This tax haven model of 'development' needs to be seriously questioned. Tax havens are a major source of economic inequality and global poverty. They prevent local governments from effectively taxing wealthy individuals and corporations.

"In terms of the bigger picture, Cyprus is small; the issue is the state of the economy in Italy, Greece, etc."

Henry is a regular contributor to The Real News, see his latest interview: "Cyprus Crisis Reveals Shadowy World of Tax and Money Laundering Haven." He has also written for Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and other publications.

Henry was also just featured in "The Tax Free Tour" -- a new in-depth look at global tax havens from Dutch Public TV that, among other things, answers the question: How does Apple only pay 1.9 percent on its overseas profits when the U.S. corporate tax rate is 35 percent? Also, see -- an online game about global tax dodging. Henry is former chief economist at the international consultancy firm McKinsey & Co.

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.