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Offshore Paperback – 13 Jun 2006

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (13 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312425589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312425586
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,229,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"Cogent, graceful, and persuasive."--"Los Angeles Times Book Review"
"Brittain-Catlin shows real narrative skill."--"San Francisco Chronicle"
"Fabulously researched . . . His expose of shady corporate-accounting techniques is so spot-on it will probably make readers furious. . . . A clear primer for anyone interested in how offshore banking works. . . . Ample advice that we need tax reform now."--"Time Out New York"
"A glimpse inside the secretive world of offshore banking [that] ought to raise hackles among those who wonder why the world belongs to the wealthy."--"Kirkus Reviews"

"Cogent, graceful, and persuasive."--Kai Maristed, "Los Angeles Times Book Review"
"Brittain-Catlin shows real narrative skill."--"San Francisco Chronicle "
"Fabulously researched . . . His expose of shady corporate-accounting techniques is so spot-on it will probably make readers furious. . . . A clear primer for anyone interested in how offshore banking works. . . . Ample advice that we need tax reform now."--John Freeman, "Time Out New York "
"A glimpse inside the secretive world of offshore banking [that] ought to raise hackles among those who wonder why the world belongs to the wealthy."--"Kirkus Reviews"

Cogent, graceful, and persuasive. "Kai Maristed, Los Angeles Times Book Review"

Brittain-Catlin shows real narrative skill. "San Francisco Chronicle"

Fabulously researched . . . His expose of shady corporate-accounting techniques is so spot-on it will probably make readers furious. . . . A clear primer for anyone interested in how offshore banking works. . . . Ample advice that we need tax reform now. "John Freeman, Time Out New York"

A glimpse inside the secretive world of offshore banking [that] ought to raise hackles among those who wonder why the world belongs to the wealthy. "Kirkus Reviews""

About the Author

William Brittain-Catlin has worked as a BBC producer and as an investigator for the corporate investigations firm Kroll Associates. He lives in London.

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Format: Paperback
You could summarize the factual information provided by this book in a few pages - the rest of the book consists of the author's ruminations about the subject, which I found uninteresting and irrelevant.
The writing style is very wordy. I'll give you an example from the book:
"The task of transfer pricing is to alter prices within the corporation as a global whole to where they will be most beneficial in terms of tax. At that maximal point, a price is set. This practice is designed to break any actual correspondence between costs, income, and production in any particular location."
Sentences like that, vague and insubstantial, fill the whole book.
Another example. Chapter 3 is dedicated to the Enron story, but the offshore-related content consists of just about half a page. The rest is just a summary of what happened at Enron, which dozens of other books already have covered in more detail. This lack of focus made this book a frustrating read for me.
In summary, there is some interesting information about offshore tax havens in this book, but most of it is filler content with no informational value.
A much better book on offshore tax havens and corporate tax dodging is The Great Tax Robbery: How Britain Became A Tax Haven For Fat Cats And Big Business.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good attempt to gain an insight into the offshore economy 23 Feb. 2017
By Dmitry Kostyuchenko - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The phenomenon of offshore financial centers and tax havens is explored here generally by the case of the Cayman Islands. The most part of the book is written in the genre of investigative journalism, so this reading would be more interesting to general public as opposed to academic researchers.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 8 Oct. 2015
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Subject, Frustratingly Boring Presentation 7 Feb. 2009
By dschwabe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Several years ago I saw Mr. Brittain-Catlin on Charlie Rose and was intrigued enough with the interview to buy his book.

I have to assume that he has presented a factual depiction of how offshore banking works, the extent of it use, and its ramification in the the global economy.

However, his presentation was so wordy, scattered, and often times boring that I found it sheer drudgery to read. I cannot believe it was edited very carefully.

One well written part of the book is his description of how Enron used offshore accounts to hide its losses. Very informative.

It's a shame this book isn't better written and edited. Offshore banking is a compelling subject.
16 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Offshore: The Dark Side of The Global Economy 7 Sept. 2005
By Ariane M. St Claire - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the most poorly written books I have ever read. It seems to be a compilation of news clips, some history, with pages and pages of endless, obstruse, mind-numbing attempts to tie corporations, offshore banking centers and governments into some sort of socialogical, philosophical analysis. Totally boring, informationally just about useless, wordy, diffuse, and a true waste of money and time....even a one star rating is too much....if you want to learn about offshore...don't try it here.....
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tax Haven History 26 Nov. 2008
By J.L. Populist - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Offshore" focuses on Cayman and it's major role in offshore finances.
Mr. Brittain-Catlin does a good job of explaining how corporations are viewed on the island in relation to individual citizens. Transfer Pricing is also defined. The biggest lure to Cayman for businesses was to evade taxes in their home country.

The author also examines Delaware as another popular base for multinational holding companies and subsidiaries.

Their was a memorable quote from Willaim Greider on the subject of the S&L bailout of the past- "The government's regulatory system was perversely diverted to a different purpose-'socializing' the losses accumulating by freewheeling bankers and developers by making every taxpayer pay for them." The same scenario as the Wall Street bailout of this year, bailout financial institutions with working peoples' taxes.
The saving of LTCM is a similar story that the author brought up.

One gem from the author was found on page 172 while discussing acclaimed "economic growth".
"That economic growth had been brought about by letting corporations out of their obligation to pay taxes on their earnings. That growth was, in effect, their taxes, simply retained as profits and parked offshore."

This book had some meaningful information as a result of research done by the author.
What detracts from an otherwise very good book is the author's foray into mytholgy and related characters. It grew old for me personally.
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