I managed to stay out of jail, and was even able to sneak past security at the closing press conference in order to get headphones for the Spanish and French translations. But that’s the only positive thing to report.
Here are some preliminary thoughts (and here is a press release issued by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity):
The most noteworthy development to report is that the OECD (with lots of support from Brazil) tried to officially expand its mission so that it could fight tax avoidance. This is remarkable since tax avoidance, by definition, is completely legal. For all intents and purposes, this effort indicates that the OECD wants to restrict tax planning by multinational companies. The good news is that the OECD was forced to back down – at least in the sense that they were unable to include language in the final report. The bad news is that the OECD is an unaccountable international bureaucracy and will pursue this anti-business agenda anyhow.
The other development worth noting is that the bureaucrats at the OECD have perfected the bait-and-switch maneuver. Every time the so-called tax havens would raise good points and begin to press the OECD to live up to previous statements and commitments, the bureaucrats would assert that it was time for a new subject. Then, when the time came to publish the final report of the conference (which none of the delegates were allowed to see, much less vote on), the OECD wrote its interpretation of events. If it wasn’t for the fact that the OECD is pursuing an agenda that will reduce living standards and cause misery, one would almost have to admire their cleverness.