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Offshore Tax Havens in Spotlight After 200-Year History

The origins of the offshore finance industry dates back to Vienna, Austria, in 1815, when Switzerland’s neutrality was established at the Vienna Congress.

Nurtured by the relaxation of incorporation laws written in Delaware in 1889, and hastened by the decline of the British Empire that began in the late 19th-Century, the business has turned from a nascent tool to facilitate the flow of capital into a point of contention for governments and the media, according to John Christensen, a former economic adviser to Jersey, a Crown dependency of the U.K.