Avast, ye dogs! So you live on a small rock with no resources and a pretty hard life. Ships loaded with treasure go past all the time, hardly protected by anything other than a navy which you can spot over the horizon. What do you do? For big hunks of the Caribbean and many other parts of the world, the answer for many was to turn to piracy, or at least turn a blind eye to it. Rich nations could afford to give a little bit to the cause and, as long as the gunships were far away, life was pretty easy.
Those were the good old days.
Some tiny nations that used to be havens for pirates have found a new, more lucrative way of making a living out of nuthin’. Rather than prey on the wealthy, they help hide their wealth – not under the “X” on a treasure map, but in a real bank operated far from prying eyes (and taxing ledgers). An estimated $32 trillion (as of 2010) is hidden away in the tiny nations on the fringes of civilization. It’s an issue which is becoming as hot as the Caribbean sun in most of the developed world, especially the UK. But what can be done about it?