In The Hypocritical Hegemon, Lukas Hakelberg takes a close look at how US domestic politics affects and determines the course of global tax policy. Through an examination of recent international efforts to crack down on offshore tax havens and the role the US has played, Hakelberg uncovers how a seemingly innocuous technical addition to US law has had enormous impact around the world, particularly for individuals and corporations aiming to avoid and evade taxation.
Through bullying and overwhelming political power, the US, writes Hakelberg, has imposed rules on the rest of the world but exempts domestic banks for those reporting requirements. It can do so because no other government wields control over such huge financial and consumer markets, and this power imbalance is at the heart of The Hypocritical Hegemon. The rest of the world, in particular the European Union, despite being frustrated about the redistributive impact of US hypocrisy, fears US retaliation against banks that depend on the American market and thus will likely not challenge US hegemony. In the end, the US now provides tax haven conditions at home, and it is the ordinary taxpayer who bears the brunt of this hypocritical policy. Hakelberg surveys what can be done to offset that burden.
"This book is an excellent piece of work that succinctly presents an original and persuasive account of the major developments in global tax policy.... Hakelberg does a great job of clearly communicating the argument."
J.C. Sharman, University of Cambridge, author of The Despot's Guide to Wealth Management
"The Hypocritical Hegemon makes an important contribution to the research on the janus-faced role of America in tax policy. FATCA forced countries all over the world to end their bank secrecy while not fully doing the same in the United States. We need to overcome nationalism on both sides of the Atlantic."
Sven Giegold, MEP (Group of the Green/European Free Alliance), member of the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs