Financial secrecy, society and vested interests
Posted by Fredsvenn den november 12, 2012
Financial secrecy has covered up enormous profits from trade in non-renewable natural resources, like oil and minerals. For over 50 years, petroleum revenues have been concealed to benefit corrupt elites and the firms involved. Financial secrecy has blurred the path of funds, making it difficult for the general public to detect whether they are channeled to reinvestment for domestic development or exported to secrecy jurisdictions. For resoruces-rich developing countries in need of capital for development, this is dramatic. Even developed countries are hurt by the negative efffects of secrecy in a wide range of areas.
While societies have been fighting financial secrecy, global financial integration has developedfast; much faster than the ability of nations to comprehend and act upon the implications for national laws, economics, accounting ethics, and society. Furthermore, new and complex ethical challenges have arisen because of information asymmetry and secrecy.
The purpose of the conference, Financial secrecy, society and vested interests, is to facilitate and accelerate an international and interdisciplinary approach in order to discuss important questions such as:
• What are the negative impacts of secrecy and information asymmetry on the global economy and for sustainable development?
• Why are efforts to deal with secrecy and anonymity met with resistance?
• What reforms are reasonable and achievable?
The conference highlights these challenges, offering an arena for discussion amongst leading experts, academics, policy makers and civil society representatives from both North and South.