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John Christensen

John Christensen directs the international secretariat of the Tax Justice Network, which is based at the New Economics Foundation in London. He is one of the authors of Tax Us If You Can: The True Story of a Global Failure.

Pinochet’s Millions

John Christensen, 6 October 2005

Returning to my native island of Jersey in the 1980s after a long absence, I found the island transformed into an offshore finance centre. The combination of deregulation and technological change had opened up new markets. International banks and accountancy firms were queuing up for a slice of the action. The old town houses and merchant stores of Saint Helier were giving way to office blocks and car parks, and the island’s labour market was so overheated that unqualified school-leavers were being paid higher salaries than graduates on mainland Britain. Porsches, Jaguars and BMWs were the favourite cars on an island that measures nine miles by five.

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