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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April 10, 2013 - Is "Offshore Leaks" the Tipping Point? by Teig Lawrence

For the better part of the past decade, the offshore world has been like an dormant volcano waiting for a massive eruption.   In the past few years, there have been smaller eruptions like the UBS case, but never an event with sufficient force to scare away all of those who reside in the danger zone.  

Conventional wisdom says that those with greater resources are more likely to fortify their positions before retreating from danger.  That being said, “Offshore Leaks” has seemingly hit some of the biggest of the bigs.   

Is the “Offshore Leaks” announcement by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists the eruption that will make everyone take notice and run for cover?  Only time will tell.    

One thing is certain, the tax havens are fighting a losing battle.   It is not just the global enforcement initiatives,  it is the reality of data generation.   

The age of data generation has made the world, as we know it, fundamentally different from years past.   New data is literally being generated with every keystroke.  It is safe to assume that almost every email, text, fax, telephone number dialed, cell phone activation, airline reservation, internet surf session, credit card purchase, and, banking transaction is being recorded and stored in some fashion.

There are digital footprints everywhere.  Even when they have seemingly been erased, digital footprints often continue to exist in cyber space, on hard drives, or, servers.  The data is the hot lava that will likely burn even the most fortified positions.  

As insightful as George Orwell was, I doubt that he could have ever imagined the world in 2013.  


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