The New York Times collects background information about failures in Russia’s war against Ukraine.
High rates of tax evasion are not necessarily a consequence of high tax rates. In an NBER working paper, Annette Alstadsæter, Niels Johannesen, and Gabriel Zucman provide estimates of countries’ wealth holdings in “tax havens.” Based on BIS statistics the authors find that:
- Wealth on the order of 10% of global GDP is held offshore.
- In Scandinavia, the number is much smaller.
- In continental Europe, it equals roughly 15%.
- In some Gulf and Latin American countries, almost 60%.
- In Russia, the richest citizens hold the majority of their wealth abroad.
From the European Council on Foreign Relations, Mark Galeotti reports about ties between Russian criminal networks and the Kremlin. From the summary:
The Russian state is highly criminalised, and the interpenetration of the criminal ‘underworld’ and the political ‘upperworld’ has led the regime to use criminals from time to time as instruments of its rule.
Russian-based organised crime groups in Europe have been used for a variety of purposes, including as sources of ‘black cash’, to launch cyber attacks, to wield political influence, to traffic people and goods, and even to carry out targeted assassinations on behalf of the Kremlin.
Topics discussed in the report include:
- Support for a “strong leader” as opposed to checks and balances has increased in many countries.
- The share of households with flat or falling market incomes during the 2005-14 period has been around 65% in advanced economies, and 97% in Italy. In the preceding decade, it had been negligible.
- The Eurasia Group’s top ten risks for 2017:
- Independent America
- China overreacts
- A weaker Merkel
- No reform
- Technology and the Middle East
- Central banks get political
- The White House vs. Silicon Valley
- North Korea
- South Africa
- More than 60 percent of Americans want to keep or increase US commitments to NATO.
- “Europe” could save 30% of its defense investments by cooperating more closely.
- “Europe” operates many more weapon systems than the US.
- In 2016, 94%, 73%, and 20% of US-led, Turkish, and Russian airstrikes in Syria targeted Daesh/ISIS.
- China and Russia have strongly increased the number of their cultural institutes abroad.
- Wikileaks has strongly gained support among Republican voters.
- Most attacks on health care infrastructure are deliberate.
Timothy Lee and collaborators provide a map-based account of World War II in Vox. Short texts and 42 maps cover Germany, China and Japan, Central Europe, Finland, France and the UK, Russia, the Pacific, Africa, the Allies’ invasions, the Holocaust, Israel and Korea, among other aspects. An animated map displays the opponents’ varying spheres of influence during the war years.