The story of offshore finance is a familiar one. Individuals or companies want to avoid taxes, fines, lawsuits, or investigations, so they move their wealth to the Cook Islands, or register some part of their business in Switzerland. The millionaire can still live and spend in America, the business can sell Brazilian beef to China, but their cash takes a few detours through tax havens. As the author Nicholas Shaxson puts it, “You take your money elsewhere, to another country, in order to escape the rules and laws of the society in which you operate.”  
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