I’m going to use this blog as a proxy for my random musings and thoughts. I’m calling it Tired of Doctors because, quite frankly, I’m tired of doctors, I mean really, who enjoys going to the doctor?
I’m currently reading Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens by Nicholas Shaxson. The prologue begins in Gabon and tells the tale of how interconnected “Western” interests are to African nations, and in particular, corrupt African leaders. I’ve only made it through a few chapters so far, but I must say the book is quite eye-opening. The amount of money that passes through offshore financial centers is staggering.
I started reading this book as I’ve been following the stories about the stolen assets from the recently fallen North African leaders such as Ben Ali, Mubarak, and Gaddafi (anyone who can tell me how to properly spell his name would be much appreciated). The amounts of money that have been allegedly misappropriated by these leaders and their families is staggering. For Tunisia’s Ben Ali, it is estimated that his family wealth is over 12 billion US Dollars. For Mubarak, it is estimated that his family wealth is over 70 billion US Dollars. Gaddafi’s wealth is unknown, but I’ve seen reports that as much as 30 billion US Dollars was frozen in the United States alone. For comparison, the entire capital base of the African Development Bank is less than the combined wealth of these three leaders.
I’m curious to see where Shaxson goes with this book, part of me wonders if it will lead to any meaningful reform or whether it will serve as a blueprint for those who have wanted to shelter money but don’t know where to begin.
I’ll post more updates about the book as I continue to read.