Luxembourgish companies and their owners

OCCRP published a series of articles on “OpenLux“. French newspaper Le Monde scraped a database with the ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs) of companies registered in Luxembourg.

To check the register yourself, go to the Luxembourg Business Registers website, click Portail LBR, click RBE, click Rechercher un dossier RBE. (I cannot provide a direct link, as the URL is time-sensitive and would show up as broken.)

The investigation did not find anything that shocks me. There is quite some research that shows Luxembourg is a popular location for holding companies (in addition to it being an investment fund center and a banking hub).

Something to keep in mind when reading such stories is that Luxembourg is quite transparent relative to its peers:

“According to EU regulations, member states were supposed to adopt publicly available beneficial ownership registers by January 10, 2020, but most have not done so. Luxembourg is one of only five member states to have implemented a register that is free and publicly accessible. The others are Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia, and Slovenia.

Though other EU member states also have registers, seven have put up paywalls and 17 have not made theirs available to the public. The U.S. Corporate Transparency Act, which passed last month, calls for the United States to set up a UBO register as well, but it will be made available only to law enforcement.” (source)

Luxembourg is eating Trump’s lunch. Sad!

President Trump couldn’t buy Greenland from Denmark. In response, he tweeted that most NATO members don’t pay their fair share.

For example, Belgium, home of the NATO headquarters, spends only 0.93% of its GDP on defense. But the worst offender is Luxembourg at 0.55%.

Defense expenditures of NATO member states. Graph tweeted by Trump.

At the same time, Luxembourg is enabling massive tax arbitrage for American multinationals like Amazon.

Source: Brad Setser

Luxembourg should pray it doesn’t wake up to the following tweet 🙂

Luxembourg has to pay BILLIONS in tribute for U.S. Military Protection! 
Its secret deals with Jeff Bozo (Amazon Washington Post) cost our great Nation so much. Grand Duke Henry should fix soon!