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The time when tax havens consisted of exotic islands where a few gangsters or corrupt dictators hid their fortunes is long gone. Tax havens have become sanctuaries for an array of multinational firms and their subsidiaries or corporate parents. They form part of the background to most of the financial crises and scandals of the last 20 years. “Madoff Spotlight Turns to Role of Offshore Funds,” ran a New York Times headline on December 30, 2008. It had taken just 19 days after Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion swindle broke into the open on December 11 to draw the link between the swindle and tax havens.1

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