CECR Vol.2| The Auditors
A corporations and economic crime report
While the reasons for the chasm between the 1% and the poor are many, the crucial factor is a globalised economy, built and maintained by mega-corporations, that entrenches the privilege of the rich. Under a mantle of “confidentiality” and “tax planning”, corporations and the super-wealthy contract financial-services firms to help them avoid paying taxes on their income as the rest of us do. The same contracts are often used to shift and hide the proceeds of grand corruption and corporate fraud – again enabling the theft of resources from people and states across the globe.
There are perhaps no more important cogs in this system than the Big Four accounting firms. KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, and Ernst & Young (EY) are corporate giants that employ around one million people in roughly 3 000 global offices, including numerous satellite offices in tax havens. While the economic impact of Covid-19 will impact them like much of the private sector, they are cushioned by years of sustained and avaricious profit-taking.