Tax justice pioneer Nicholas Shaxson is leaving the Tax Justice Network to co-lead the newly-established Balanced Economy Project. The project, co-founded by Shaxson with UK competition lawyer Michelle Meagher, is an international organisation dedicated to protecting democracy by tackling excessive concentrations of economic and financial power.
The Balanced Economy Project was formed in 2021 with substantial support from the Tax Justice Network. The incubation of new organisations with related aims is a key element of the Tax Justice Network’s approach to grow the movement. The incubation and partial funding of the Balanced Economy Project is in line with the Tax Justice Network’s previous support to successful organisations such as Finance Uncovered, the investigative journalism and training network. Organisations currently hosted by the Tax Justice Network and on the path to fledging out include the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, ICRICT; and the Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability and Research, CICTAR.
We thank Nick for his contributions to the Tax Justice Network, and wish him all the best with this important new endeavour.
Nick first became involved with the Tax Justice Network in 2006 and played a central role in helping to shape and build the organisation. Nick’s highly successful 2011 book Treasure Islands remains an important contribution to the spread of tax justice ideas. This page-turning account of the secretive role of offshore banks and tax havens in global economic affairs brought wider public attention to tax justice, and has since inspired three documentary films (including The Spider’s Web documentary, with some 6m views on YouTube and now also available on Netflix). Nick’s more recent 2018 book The Finance Curse has also successfully challenged views on the role of finance in economies and inspired new momentum in financial reform movements.
Nick began work on the Balanced Economy Project in 2021. His co-founder Michelle approached Nick after reading Nick’s blog about the intersection of tax havens and corporate power, and the need for an international anti-monopoly movement outside the United States. The project represents a culmination and evolution on Nick’s growing work on monopolies over the past several years.
Alex Cobham, chief executive at the Tax Justice Network, said:
“We thank Nick for his outstanding contributions to the development of the tax justice movement, and wish him all the best. We’re very excited about the work he’s embarking on with Michelle Meagher and other colleagues. The grave scale of corporate tax abuse is powerfully related to the concentration of monopoly power, and so the work of the Balanced Economy Project is an important addition to our collective efforts.”
The Tax Justice Network has published a blog by Nick on its website this morning, in which Nick shares his reflections on how a small band of people sparked a global movement – and says goodbye.
Read Nick’s leaving blog here.