Developing world’s secret offshore wealth ‘double external debt’ Tax Justice Network research shows an estimated $7.3tn-$9.3tn of offshore wealth is held by developing world residents – double their countries’ $4tn external debt

Capital flight graphic

An estimated $7.3tn-$9.3tn of secret offshore wealth is held by residents of developing world countries – double their $4tn external debt, according to research by the Tax Justice Network (TJN).

The study shifts attention from capital flight flows to capital wealth stocks – taking account of investment earnings which are retained and could grow to be far larger than the original capital flight.

The map above shows the 20 countries with largest estimated offshore capital stocks. Roll over the circles to get the figures

Report author James Henry said: “Since the 1970s … it appears that private elites in developing world countries have been able to accumulate at least $7.3tn-9.3tn of offshore wealth, even while many of their public sectors were borrowing themselves into bankruptcy, enduring agonising structural adjustment and low growth, and holding fire sales for public assets.”

TJN estimates capital flight from Nigeria has totalled $233.9bn in the four decades since 1970. Once investment income is included, this stock of secret wealth could be as large as $306.2bn, the report says – nearly 40 times the country’s total external debt of $7.9bn.

Hover over the bars to see the size of external debt (orange) compared with capital flight (blue) and capital wealth (red)

TJN used data from the World Bank, IMF, central banks and governments, and supplemented these with models of money flows and offshore private banking to produce what they say is “among the most rigorous and comprehensive” estimates of unrecorded capital flows and accumulated offshore wealth.

Data summary


About ottwf

The capitalistic and imperialistic system and its systematic aims: profit and power over others, still dominates our world and not the aims of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 1948 agreed! After the world-economic-crisis after 1929 and the following World-War the world hat decided with agreeing the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to create a new world order; conflicts should be solved with peaceful means, not nations and their power, but the dignity of human beings around the world should be the aim of the policies and the economy, of every state and the community of states. But soon after the end of the war, when the victims and destruction were forgotten, all continued as before, with all risks, we had seen before. The split in rich an poor is getting bigger and bigger. We also overuse our global environment already, even if the big majority of mankind still lives in poverty! We are not victims, this world is men-made and be changed from men and women! It will be possible, if those, who do not want or serve (because of system-pressure) profits first, but want for themselves and everybody a life in human dignity unite and develop in a global base-democratic movement a common vision for our world, and learn, how to make this vision real. We need for it a big empowerment of many, many common men and women and their activities. Our chances are because of new communication technologies, of common languages, of the level of education and the mixture of people from different backgrounds better then ever. The occupy-movement is a good start for such a global movement. We support it and try to contribute to its success! We choose news and make comments and so try to unite people for an Occupy-Think-Tank: Its tasks: creating a news-network, self-education, working on global-reform programs and learning to organize projects for those, who are suffering. Join us, so that we can build teams for these aims for all subjects and countries as a base for the unification. We have Wan(n)Fried(en) in our name, because it means When peace and it is a modification of the name of the town our base is, in Wanfried, a small town in the middle of Germany, where we can use a former factory for our activities. Our telefon: 0049-5655-924981, mobil: 0171-9132149, email:
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