“Do no harm” LoGB tells UK

| 13/03/2009

(CNS): Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts has said that the forthcoming G20 meeting and its potential blacklist could indiscriminately shut legitimate jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands from the global trade in financial services. He called on UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to reflect on this and said he would do well to invoke the Hippocratic injunction to physicians: “First, do no harm.”

He said the G20 summit in London in April was initially billed as a summit on ‘jobs, growth and stability’, but the agenda quite suddenly acquired an objective of producing a ‘blacklist’ of ‘uncooperative tax havens’.

“This to us smacks of the intellectually destitute and desperate, but perhaps that is uncharitable.  What is clear is that we must intensify our efforts to be properly identified and treated,” Tibbetts added. Achieving recognition that our jurisdiction is a positive contributor was important, he stated, as was the fact that, as facilitators of global investment flows, centres such as the Cayman Islands have a real contribution to make to the global objectives of ‘jobs, growth and stability’.

“We are regulated.  We apply international standards, and in some cases have exceeded them.  If, as it appears, those standards are lacking, we are ready, willing and able to move to any new standards developed.  But failures in the standards themselves, or in their lax application in onshore centres cannot fairly be attributed to us,” he added. “We are cooperative.  We have strong, effective channels for international cooperation in regulatory, law enforcement and taxation matters.  We are transparent.”   

Tibbetts said he agreed with Brown when he had said that protectionism is a malign influence.  “This is no less true if it should happen to manifest as a ‘blacklist’ that would indiscriminately shut legitimate players like ourselves out of the global trade in financial services,” the LoGB noted.

He said that aside from the government’s efforts during the recent visit to Washington, where they had conducted 30 meetings in just over two days, the government was seeking briefings prior to the G20 summit with No.10 and No.11 Downing Street (the residents of the prime minister and the chancellor of the exchequer)  to communicate the Cayman position directly.   

“We do hope that, dare I say, ‘sanity’ will prevail, and it is by no means clear what will ultimately transpire, but we are not relying on hope alone.  We have an unswerving goal to do our utmost to protect the interests of the Cayman Islands,” he added.

He explained that the recent ratification of  a series of commercial and tax information agreements with the seven Nordic countries and more such arrangements to follow, including onewith the UK, were important demonstrations of the Cayman’s transparency.

Minister Alden McLaughlin also said that a new collaboration project between government and the Cayman Islands Financial Service Association (CIFSA) was underway, the details of which would be revealed on Friday afternoon.

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  1. anon says:

    “Kurt is uneducated and unreal as a leader. When Alden took on the Governor and the police Kurt had to be kicked in his rear to support Alden. Kurt needs to go. His style of leadership is over. He has done nothing but spend money without a plan. Cayman can’t go back to Mac and his Jamaican possy. We need independents to form the government. The parties are immature and their leadership is stale……”

     

    Looks like Alden is trying to get rid of Kurt now (the above seem like a PPM member). I guess he feels that he lost his day of glory because of Kurt’s failures. That is what happens when you do not have the “Juevos” to stand-up and is too week to take Kurt on/out when he knows that Kurt is failing and like a drowning man, pulling them all down. The PPM should have done something about Kurt from long ago. They are all failures. They all need to come out.

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    Look at how the brain surgery went for the lady who hit her head and slipped into the coma.  The doctors said If she didn’t have the surgery done at the time they did it, she would have probably died waiting to be air ambulanced out. 

    They said the success was because the Doctors and both the George Town Hospital and Crissie Tomlinson Hospital worked together in Unity and in Integrity and thus as a result of that, this lady is alive and well instead of being tragically dead and headed for funeral/burial.  If they didn’t display that Unity and Integrity, the story would have ended as the latter tragically.

    This is the Power of Unity & Integrity.  (Because people can unite to carry out evil acts, that is the difference of Unity verses Unity & Integrity.)

    So, definately we need a United Government, but we also need a Government of Integrity.  (Look at what is now happening with the Turks & Caicos Government, that is for a lack of Integrity!)

    These are hard times.  All who come in now to lead the Country must do so with Integrity or Cayman may end up like how Turks & Caicos seems to be headed now.  Mother UK is already here conducting all these investigations of alleged corruption in Baby Cayman. 

    We need Unity & Integrity in our Leaders!!!!

    Which of all the candidates running are people with true Integrity, i wonder???

     

    WEBSTER’S DEFINITION OF INTEGRITY:

    1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility 2 : an unimpaired condition : soundness 3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness   synonyms see honesty

     

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    I blame UDP for this FIASCO!!!!!!… think of it BIG MAC BURGER(Mr. Bush) granted 3000 plus status which have and I’m sure has increased by now because those status holders who got the RIGHT TO BE A CAYMANIAN for free has gave their children and spouse status by now!!!!!!  I was thinking of voting for a particular GT candidate from UDP but no way!!!!!! I’m still heartbroken of what Mr. Bush has done! This has affect us tremendously and we continue to see the affects of this and unless we shipout some of these foreigners Cayman will never be the Same i hope they do a re branding and call it International Island. Mr. Bush is not for the Cayman people if he had these Islands in his heart he would not have done such a thing.The lady that gives me pedicures worked here on island for almost a year and she was granted Cayman Status!!!! Are you serious!!!!! a nail techinican with Cayman Status its too funny but very shameful…. He has overcrowed this island with 3rd world ppl this country is a lil Jamacia if you ask me…   PPM has not created such a mess like the UDP government. The bottom line PPM has there faults and so does UDP…. But i cant get out of my heart that Mr. Bush is for the Foreigners and that is no Joke.. he is not for the Caymanian ppl at all I dont understand how ppl can believe that he is a true leader!? leader for who??? The Jamacians of course!!!!!! I must admitt that the international affairs were being negelected by the PPM.. Lets just hope that Cayman can come out of this alive… and for the May 20 elections dontmake a microwave and fridge fool you into voting for Mr. BIG MAC BUGER..

    • Owen says:

      PPM MUST FACE THE MUSIC

      Your level of argument for blaming the UDP for today’s mess is not only rhetoric but illogical. If one examines the number of foreigners in the country it has remained practically the same over the past 10 years in terms of work permit holders. It is clear that the writer  of the previous post is a PPM propagandist.

      Let’s examine the record of the current administration and face reality today.

      1) Caymanians are increasingly unemployed because a PPM administration failed to address the pending the financial services assault we are under years ago. This didn’t just happen because of a global recession. That’s a PPM created isue

      2) The Cost of Living has substantially risen in the last four years. Just check out your CUC bill. Do you realize that in negotiating a monopoly for an additional 15 years without regard to the environmental reality of more slow speed diesel engines the energy bill for the average Caymanian has doubled. That’s a PPM created issue.

      3) The fear of crime and perception of crime has radically increased in the last four years. Never in our nation’s history have we seen such brutal, callous murders. I need not desecrate the good name of victims for the sake of politics but you know our brother and sisters who have been victims of crimes. That’s a lack of PPM public policy implementation.

      4) Infrastructural upgrades – Do you really want to speak to the number of jobs, spin-off businesses and opportunities created for Caymanians as a result of the PPMs investment in infrastructure. Drive over to Frank Sound and look a the newschool. How many Caymanians are working on that job site? Do you think we cannot perform all and sundry jobs in that industry? Who awarded the contract and who stewards the public purse? This my friend is a PPM created issue.

      5) Ethics and Integrity – The Commision of Inquiry proved that ethics and integrity play no role in the way the PPM conducts its affairs. You have a Minister of Tourism – Charles Clifford who committed eggregious acts of unethical behavior but yet the arrogance of this individual and his colleagues overshadowed any corrective measure that was necessary to institute fairness and justice. This is a PPM created issue.

      6) Status Grants – While the bigotry of a voicferous minority may seem to reflect the views of a silent majority it is unconscionable that anyone would suggest that those who are now citizens of this beloved islands were the root cause and by extension Mr. Bush the problem related to today’s reality. Whilst there may have been persons who got status who ought not have gotten, the vast majority of persons who got status were deserving contributing persons who were liviing in the Cayman Islands for over 15 years. For the mistakes related to the manner and form of issuance, Mr. Bush and the UDP paid the price at the cross of the last election.

      Are you now suggesting that as voter I am to consistently blame ALL of the ills of today’s administration on a past administration that has been out of office? I think this is the most illogical, ill-conceived propagandist argument ever put forward in The Cayman Islands.

      Right thinking people understand that the PPM Administration headed by indecision, arrogance and fascade DO NOT have a clue. In the fullness of time, ALL will be revealed and those who are blind will truly see. This is not business as usual. We have a country to get on track. No rhetoric is going to stop progress. It is time for the PPM to go!

      • Anonymous says:

        Owen, your whole post is riddled with inaccuracies and illogicalities. It wil take too much space to address them all but let me take the first three since you obviously believe they are your strongest points:

        1. Recent redundancies have nothing whatsoever to do with a pending financial services assault. It has to do with a global economic crisis over which the Cayman Govt. had no ability at any level to control. That is simply the fact. Any knowledgeable person in the financial industry can confirm that. The pending financial services assault could possibly help Cayman if onshore businesses are forced re-locate offshore in order toavoid high taxes.   

        2. The Cost of Living. The cost of living in Cayman is due to many factors but is largely imported practically everything we consume is imported. You have totally confused the issue with regard to CUC bills. First, the increase in fuel bills that we saw for most of last year was a direct result of the increase in the price of oil. It had nothing to do with slow speed diesel engines. This is proved by the fact that since November the average electricity bill has declined dramatically along with the price of oil.  Second, govt. did not permit CUC to have an exclusive licence in generation. Right now there are a number of bidders to supply the additional generating capacity required. They are not in any limited to diesel or a certain type of generator.  Also, Govt. in fact reduced the cost to the consumer by giving a fuel subsidy which is passed on to the consumer, otherwise your bills would be significantly higher. It is obvious that you simply do not know what you’re talking about. This argument is simply false.   

        3.  As you ought to know the internal security and the police do not fall under the purview of the elected Goverment under our current Constitution. Accordingly, they have no say in policing policies. That is the responsiblity of the Governor and the Chief Secretary. However, the draft Constitution proposed by the govt. would address this situation by the creation of a National Security Council which would advise the Governor on these matters.  The UDP has tried to sabotage this by deliberately misleading the public to believe that this is so the elected Govt. can tell the police who to arrest. This is of course rubbish. The UDP is all about blame, negativity and trying to sabotage the efforts of others. It is very easy to criticise much more difficult to do. It has no vision for the country.

        If you who are somebody the UDP has despatched to campaign for it the UDP is in real trouble since it is clear you have no real grasp of the issues.   

  4. Gilbert says:

    The economy is ailing, helicopter fiasco, commission of inquiry, increase in crime, traffic congestion, blacklist, increase in national debt, poor response to Cayman Brac after hurricane paloma, international reputation, decline in tourism numbers, arrogance in government by Ministers. What else do we need? A direct message from the almighty? It is time to get rid of the PPM.

  5. Owen says:

    The PPM is outof touch and in a quintessential way ensuring the country is headed for doom. Clearly the UDP is more attune to the needs of the Cayman Islands. As a first time voter most of my friends at school are inclined to go with a change agenda and that means it is time for the PPM to go. The independents really are not independent but a group of individuals who have individual agendas hoping to gain power. Until they can show how their agenda can get passed in the LA they are wasting the electorate’s time.

    It is too late to attempt to fool us with money and inducements like what Chuckie and Ozzy have been doing in Bodden Town. I look forward to election day on May 20 when we can send this PPM group packing. Independents pick a side but to continue the mentality of hoping without planning is a recipe for disaster.

    UDP all the way!!

    • Anonymous says:

      "The PPM is out of touch and in a quintessential way ensuring the country is headed for doom. Clearly the UDP is more attune to the needs of the Cayman Islands. As a first time voter most of my friends at school are inclined to go with a change agenda and that means it is time for the PPM to go".

      If you are just out of school you really don’t have much by way of historical reference points. You won’t understand the culture of fear and intimidation this country suffered under in the UDP administration, nor the fact that they wasted millions on pet projects like Boatswain’s Beach, nor the fact that there are many substantial reasons to believe that the administration was riddled with corruption. Is that what you mean by "attune to the needs of Cayman". More like attuned to the needs and aspirations of their cronies. That is certainly not the change that this country needs.    

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kurt is uneducated and unreal as a leader. When Alden took on the Governor and the police Kurt had to be kicked in his rear to support Alden. Kurt needs to go. His style of leadership is over. He has done nothing but spend money without a plan. Cayman can’t go back to Mac and his Jamaican possy. We need independents to form the government. The parties are inmature and their leadership is stale. We need fresh new people that can think outside of the box. Dog eat your supper is a money hawk and will continue to over develope these Islands, bring in foreigners and sell us out for two cents on the dollar. He is to vindictive a person to allow in control of government. His time has past as well. Let’s turn the page on these old style kiss ups.

  7. Anonymous says:

    We have nothing to fear of the UK doing Harm – the LOGB is good enough at that himself!

    • Anonymous says:

      Pot calling the kettle black. On page 77 of the Feb 28th-March 6th edition of The Economist-respected world wide and read by most genuine economists- there is a chart entitled "Hush Money-location of off-shore finacial centres by amounts of assets managed". #1 is Switzerland, #3 is Luxembourg, #4 is the Cayman Islands, Bahamas and Bermuda, #5 is the United States.

      But wait, which is #2?  #2 is Britain and the Channel Islands. Explain that Gordon Brown!

  8. E Z Rydah says:

    Could he say anything more stupid and counter-productive?  The pushing out of Tim Ridley and the lack of any proactive policies in the financial services industry show how much harm our Large Leader has down to Cayman.  If he spent more time on the things that matter and less time fighting against gay marriage we might not have been as exposed as we are now.  Cayman stands on the edge and the Government has shown it has no idea what to do. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    You fools. Allow these money hawks to use our country for the benifit of a few. It’s over. Get used to it. Break out your plastic line and go fishing. I forgot there isn’t any fish left. The tourist will be going to Cuba to see something new and for a lot cheaper price. Mac and his Seaga rejects will fix us up just fine when they turn us into Jamaica. The Hedge Funds run out. The tourist run out. The fish run out.  Just perfect for the stooges to run our government(Mac and his Jamaican masters). We sure got a lot to look forward too.

     

  10. Truth says:

    In November 1794, ten vessels, which were part of a convoy escorted by HMS Convert, were wrecked on the reef in Gun Bay, on the East end of Grand Cayman, but with the help of local settlers, there was no loss of life. The incident is now remembered as The Wreck of the Ten Sail. Legend has it that there was a member of the Royal Family onboard and that in gratitude for their bravery, King George III decreed that Caymanians should never be conscripted for war service and Parliament legislated that they should never be taxed. However, no real evidence has been found for this.

    So, 1.  There will be nobody alive who would remember this wreck happening.

    2.  Legend has it that Caymanians should never be taxed.  The same legend does not state that non Caymanian owned business not be taxed.

    3.  There relly is no evidence that a royal was on board, or that George III decreed these things.

    I’m afraid that the Wreck of the Ten Sail will not save the hedge funds from being taxed in the US, UK or EU.  These are dark times for countries such as the Cayman Islands, personally I wonder why the leaders of all these countries, especially those on the proposed blacklist are not working together as a unit to come up with a compromise.

    Cayman on it’s own is one tiny country, but Cayman, Bermuda, Luxembourg, Switzerland etc asll together, would have more impact.

  11. Anonymous says:

    from the early 90’s i predicted there would one day be alot of buildings that will be just ghost buildings with no one in them.  Cayman developed too fast like a freight train out of control down a track, it was only a matter of time it would derail for lack of integrity, lack of good foresight and lack of good planning!  I agree, tear the condos down so we can see the beach again as we drive by!  Good one!!  LOL 🙂

  12. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if anyone remembers the English King who was shipwecked near Cayman many moons ago deemed us a TAX FREE HAVEN. NOT TO BE CHANGED.

  13. Only For Caymanians says:

    People of the Cayman Islands….

     Listen up  Please….  This Government and the pass Governments for the last 12 years has been here crying for help from others when they are Caught Right Handed in their "Wrong Doings" and then they take Revenge out on the Caymanian as they see fit.

    Including but not limited to the finger pointing of the other side of Government faults. Then when it comes to "Good Governance" and "Good Running of the Country", neither side knows nothing about these conditions and how they should therefore be done to make "Improvement" for the better.

     In a previous writer’s comment here, is a perfect example of  "Our Faults" as Constituents, that we must correct ,

    Everyone talked about his lack of ladershipm last time around but still put the confidence in kurt. now he has let us down again with the samed style of passive leadership. just beacsue you thrown a bunch of things together weeks before the elections does not mean people will forget the caymanian jobs thast have been lost under your watch. I am so sorry i cannot vote but i hope the people will speak out on this one..

    Almost a Replica of the Honorable… ? McKeeva Bush…. has been made

    Everyone talked about his lack of ladership  last time around but still put the confidence in Mckeeva . Now he has let us down again with the samed style of passive leadership. Just beacsue you thrown a bunch of things together weeks before the elections does not mean people will forget the caymanian jobs and values that have been lost under your watch. I am not so sorry  I "can"  vote, and  i hope the people will see it out on this one..

    Caymanians please

    As I write these words of advice in this column, I ask of you one thing. That is, that You as Constituents, Let us try a new Body of people to run these Cayman Islands in a better Governmental direction and without all the Flaws of Government being "Misled", "Government excessive spending/borrowing", "Lacking of Representation", and the list goes on.

    We need a good Government, a good Governor, a good Attorney General, a Good Chief Justice, a good Judicial System, a good Police Service and many things to make Cayman Islands a better place… We Change of Our Entire Government Officials and a cleean slate to start CaymanIslands back over….  Vote for Good Change in this Election.

     

    Only For Caymanians

     

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    And this is the government and leader some of you want for another 4 years?????????? WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No matter what anyone says……..McKeeva is a true leader, even when he has to make unpopular decisions at least he makes them and does not sit by and watch the country fall at the mercies of these global monsters!

    Cayman……..we are in big trouble here and we need a leader and a government that are ready to work for us and pull us out of these hard times that we have yet to face! Unfortunately our people of been kept in the dark about the true state of this country, and no one wants to talk about it because it may cause panic, etc. It is time for us to see the light and work together like we did after Hurricane Ivan in order to bring our country back on the right track!

    Start preparing yourselves and your families for the rough times ahead because it is going to get much worse before it gets better. But the one hope that we have is the PROVEN leadership of the UDP both old members and new members alike. And though critics will say it is a "one man" government, what they need need to understand is that you do need ONE LEADER to keep the government in line and accountable! Not several different leaders…chucky, alden, arden,…..doing their own thing and no one seems to know what’s going on….."we were misled"! Of course you were because all of you were too busy with your own egos to really care about the running of the country. How can a country be run when your right hand doesn’t know what your left hand is doing???? Hence why we are in the mess we are in now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

  15. Anonymous says:

    Our government as sat around like squid waiting to be proudly made into Calamari.

    We are taking the frying pan off the fire this May.

    Nobody will be eating us for lunch if we can help it.

    Its throw up time.

  16. Anonymous says:

    What is indisputable and startlingly factual is that over the last four years we have not been any where near as pro-active and real about the objectives/intentions of major international players toward Cayman.

    Thirty meetings in DC over two days may sound impressive and I do wish that it will bear fruit. However it is like trying to start the Kirk Pride and get her out of Hogsty Bay in the middle of a full blown Nor’wester.

    The truth is that we have been reading the weather reports and ignoring the signs that indicated a Nor’wester now turned into a brewing cat 5 storm. It is inexcusable that we were not off to see the young senator from Illinois, engage Senators Grassely and Levin as they have had us in the cross hairs over the past four years. CIFSA should have jumped into the drivers seat and engaged serious inflence players in four jurisdictions, the UK, US, France and Germany. Acting on market intelligence in a timely fashion is critical to success. We have not done so. 

    We have watched the troops advancing while sipping pina coladas. We are now trying to get the blood out the water with the sharks in sight and circling. Are we going to have to leave the fish we collected while spear fishing as sharks get closer? Or are we going toface down the sharks?

    We should know to have the doctor near as we eat a little more Barra (sweetest fish in the sea). This is not turtle meat.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Kurt sleeping at the wheel as usual. This is not a new problem: it was looming from 8 year ago (reread your newspaper and internet) and was ignored by PPM and now the global financial crisis has given the impetus for the G20 and onshore to fully and directly take out tax havens.

    Caymanians better brush up on their fishing and farming. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I still have my fishing rods. the only problem is that there is no fish left, even the little ones are gone. Conch?? Lobster?? we nuh gonna be eaten no fish when all the banks and trust companies are gone. And the only hedge funds that will be left is what we pay to get or garden hedge cut. The good news is that with less people hear some of the condos on seven mile beach can be torn down and we will be able to see the sea again when we drive that way…

  18. Anonymous says:

     

    yeah great…now our leader of government is going to pray and hope for sanity by the most powerful countries in the world…step aside mr leader..maybe one of your colleagues in cabinet should take over now

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM negotiations 101

      We have the USA and UK threatening to destroy the Cayman Islands, and this useless leader of the PPM (supported by his band of merry people in the PPM) say – "Do no harm".

      "Do no harm" – is there something magical about that statement, or just another act of mismanagement by the PPM.

      Maybe the USA, EU and UK should appoint Kurt and the PPM to solve the problems in North Korea, Darfur etcetera – they could just have him run around the world saying "Do no harm", and all the problems would be solved.

      Can someone close to Kurt gently suggest he step down before he hurts the country more.

  19. Anonymous says:

    sorry guys but i usually have time for kurt but this time i am afraid this shows shameful neglect of the international issues facing our industry.

    maybe that minister responsible for roads (arden mclaughlin) should have had financial services..he is the only one thst seem to getanything done!

  20. noname says:

     

    kurt old boy stop being a cry cry baby and do soem work. try making some decisions for a change?

  21. financial industry watchdog says:

    what a debacle!

    this government has done next to nothing to protect one of our most important industries and all this man can say is please dont hurt us mr brown.

    Everyone talked about his lack of ladershipm last time around but still put the confidence in kurt. now he has let us down again with the samed style of passive leadership. just beacsue you thrown a bunch of things together weeks before the elections does not mean people will forget the caymanian jobs thast have been lost under your watch. I am so sorry i cannot vote but i hope the people will speak out on this one..

  22. financial industry watchdog says:

    Mr Tibbets. saying "we are well regulated" and "cooperative" and begging Gordon Brown to do us no harm at this late stage in the game will not do as much good. The fact is that you and your team and in particular mr alden mclaughhlin sat by and watched the financial services sector neglected for years and despite clear evidence that things like this would happen you did nothing. you can do everything at the last minute now as you prepare for the elections. But consider what harm you have caused in procrastinating for so many years while the challenges were clearly looming.

    The financial industry was literally ignored for ther first 2 and a half years by the minister for international fianncial serviuces policy (Mr Alden Mclaughlin) with sparse meetings of the newly created FSC and lack of communication with the industry.

    These international challenges are bigger than all of us, but the truth is that your indecision and leadership on the financial services sector has made our position that much worse.

     

  23. richard wadd says:

    To the Govenment of Cayman, ‘A good start, but don’t get complacent …’.

    We must now apply the Lessons learned in the past. We do not want to have a repeat of past ‘Surprises’, where our Ratings and Reputation have been ‘suddenly brought into question’ in the International Media, while we ‘slept’, complacent that we had done what was necessary to protect ourselves from this ‘Lynch-mob’.

    Make no mistake, this IS a Lynch-mob that we are facing, and they intend to ‘Tar & Feather’ us for THEIR mistakes.

    WE (the Cayman Islands Gov.) must lead the way and be PROACTIVE in the Defence and Protection of our Financial Industry. The best Defence in this case, is a good Offence. This is when ALL Legitimate Off-shore Jurisdictions such as ourselves, must come together in Unity to defend our Industry, and indeed, our reputations.

    There is strength in numbers, UNITED WE STAND !!

    Do NOT sit back and think that this is the end, come on Cayman, UNITE, UNITE, UNITE !! This is our childrens future they’re trying to destroy.

  24. Good luck says:

    Should the first question for a UK Prime Minister not be "What harm do this do to us and how can we stop it"?