Ten years after the last financial crisis, the reform of the financial system remains incomplete and in many ways is regressing. Finance has gained influence, rising inequality is a concern, and uncertainty persists about economies’ vulnerability to another global crisis. Looking back on the past ten years and forward to the next ten, new ideas are needed to help redress the world financial system’s imbalances of power.
The global tax system has been a crucial cog in this financial system machine. Tax competition between countries has led to a harmful race to the bottom, and has allowed 10% of global gross domestic product (GDP) to be held in tax havens. The offshore secrecy system has created the very opacity that undermines corporate and financial regulation.
Reform of the global tax system is urgently needed to enhance stability and improve domestic resource mobilization and transparency to ensure the needs of the 99% can be met. A more just global tax system that contributes to reducing inequality, strengthening human rights and boosting the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would be an important step in this direction.
To mark this moment and call attention to the need for action, the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung co-hosted a forum on Tuesday, September 4 with eminent economists, UN experts and civil-society representatives in attendance.