Vintage £8.99 (332pp) £8.54 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Treasure Islands, By Nicholas Shaxson
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Friday 03 February 2012
This engrossing book about the offshore banking racket, with its eye-opening scrutiny of tax havens and the suited scoundrels who profit from them, will make you think again about the murkier side of the City.
For all his close and shocking attention to the Gabons and Luxembourgs, Caymans and Zurichs, Shaxson leaves us in no doubt that the City forms the belly of this corrupt and crooked beast. Not only do our leaders allow it to act as the best-connected of all the 60-odd "secrecy jurisdictions". It helps to fund and protect many others.
This first-rate forensic work ends with a plea that the closed City "must be abolished and submerged into a... fully democratic London". Which mayoral candidate, now or in the future, will dare sign up to that?
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk