Only financial wealth is included. Much else isn't measured. It includes real estate, yachts, racehorses, gold, art, and other categories not easily quantified.
The offshore economy alone has an enormous negative impact on the domestic tax bases of affected countries. They've had significant private capital outflows for years, decades or longer.
TJN focused on 139 countries. They're mainly "low-middle income" ones. The World Bank and IMF maintain data on them.
Since the 1970s, private bankers let rich elites accumulate trillions in hidden wealth. At the same time, these nations experienced structural adjustment harshness.
They became debt-entrapped. Some borrowed themselves into insolvency. They sold off public assets at fire sale prices. They impoverished their people. They colluded with big money interests at their expense.
Through 2010, they accumulated over $4 trillion in debt. Minus foreign reserves invested in First World securities, it's $2.8 trillion. Including hidden wealth, they're net lenders.
Key is that assets of these countries are held by wealthy elites. Ordinary people bear the burden of debts.
In the 1980s, an unnamed Fed official said: