Wealth also can be attacked by ill-conceived political and fiscal policies, which weaken the local currency and devalue the accumulated wealth of the population. Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain, Iceland, Ireland and the fiscal crisis in the rest of southern Europe has caused great concern about the extent to which the Euro will be able to survive as a single currency. Besides Europe, at various times in the recent past, Russia, Indonesia, Thailand, and South Korea, have seen the value of their currencies collapse as a result of entrenched corruption and badly mismanaged fiscal policies.The cumulative savings of much of the citizenry have been obliterated. Cyprus is only the most recent example of strict exchange controls, prohibiting the movement of bank deposits out of the country. A devalued currency disproportionately penalizes that portion of the population without sufficient resources or ingenuity to successfully avoid capital control laws.
To protect against the financial consequences of a shift of political power and to avoid controls on the flow of funds, those who have accumulated wealth rely on financial privacy to ensure their livelihood and their physical safety. The universal strategy for those who can afford to do so is to keep what they own well-protected and hidden-outside the country-in a jurisdiction that specializes in providing these services.