A Study of Local Capitals
Exposing the Oligarchy in the 21st Century
New forms of capital manipulation have become a popular research topic around the globe. Different forms of capital bodies, such as quasi-governmental organizations (e.g. Urban Renewal Authority), public utilities (CLP Power and MTR), individual property tycoons, as well as other Chinese and foreign corporations, all take advantage of complicated corporate structures to circumvent the responsibility of disclosing financial information, employing neutral figures for secretive operations and setting up offshore companies to hide their assets. Hong Kong’s public financing system has also tilted towards a “fund-based” model, where numerous “slush funds” have been established by the government, effectively obscuring information regarding public expenditure. As money plays such a pivotal role in many policy issues, vested interests are keen to steer the direction of public discourse, employing whatever tactics necessary. Whereas these financial manoeuvres have grave implications for resource allocation, fair competition and a just tax system, they remain overlooked and not carefully examined by the public.
Exposing these financial manoeuvres and the oligarchy of vested interests, therefore, is especially important in public policy discussions. With the help of accumulated data, studies of historical information and analysis of corporate annual reports, “Exposing the Oligarchy in the 21st Century” is an attempt to expose these inside stories that have been overlooked by the public, and to prevent these vested interests from avoiding accountability and scrutiny.
Past Research Outcomes
“Tracking the tax dodgers: a study on avoidance of residential property tax by share transfer in Hong Kong”
- Fundraising goal: $50,000This would be a fund to kickstart this new project; the amount would be spent on:Exploring the preliminary issuesPurchasing documentsPreliminary research at the Company Registry Forming a research task force
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Main Goals of the Research
To expose internal practices of large business conglomerates in Hong Kong
To review the current situation of “offshore funds” and their influence
To expose the practices, strategies and issues around “intermediaries”
To expose various problems in the operation and management of public and private funds