Archive for May 10th, 2009

Travers spreads new message

| 10/05/2009 | 14 Comments

(CNS): As global leaders continue to criticise the Cayman Islands as a facilitator of tax abuse by large US corporations, European business and even wealthy individuals, the Cayman Islands Financial Services Association has vowed to challenge the negative comments about the jurisdiction directly wherever they occur throughout the world press. Anthony Travers, the new chair of CIFSA, who has in the last few weeks taken an entirely new approach to handing Cayman’s overall PR, has said he intends to “deal immediately with erroneous and negative comment” about  Cayman’s Financial sector.

Travers explained to CNS that CIFSA has now completed its review of various Cayman Islands public relations initiatives and as a result it will make recommendations to the new government immediately following the election, but when it came to immediate action Travers said there was a pressing need for a proactive rebuttal mechanism that will take effect right across the internet.

Travers said CIFSA intended to deal with what he described as erroneous and negative comment head on. “One of the evident concerns that has developed in recent years is the factually inaccurate statement by politicians and private interest groups which has sought to negate Cayman’s excellent  transparency  and history of  cooperation,” he said. “It appears that these statements have been allowed to gain traction in the global consciousness simply because they have not been firmly and immediately dealt with on a case specific basis."

Travers stated that in addition to the conventional public relations and lobbying initiatives that are being conducted now by CIFSA through Quinn Gillespie in Washington and Media House in London, CIFSA has implemented, with immediate effect, a comprehensive programme with Virilion, a US company which specializes exclusively in real time review of all forms of web based communication.

“Their systems will monitor the internet for any negative comment concerning Cayman and they will undertake immediate corrective action. Virilion have been briefed by CIFSA with the appropriate and correct messaging and will post instant rebuttals on the offending blog and web sites,” he said. “I recognize that the Cayman  Financial Industry is late with a number of these initiatives,“ Travers added, "but I am firmly of the belief that we are moving ahead in the right direction and  those who campaign continually against Cayman will shortly find  the rules have now changed  and that they will not avoid the sword of truth  forever.”

In the last few weeks Travers has written to the CI government making it clear that the industry requires immediately legislative changes concerning the Confidential Relationships Preservation Law as well as more bilateral tax exchange agreements. He has taken on new PR firms and written to the President of the United States to tell him he is wrong about Cayman. With industry backing, Travers says he intends to tackle the perceptions about Cayman head on and spread a new message.

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UK top cops prefer Cayman to London

| 10/05/2009 | 7 Comments

(Telegraph): An unprecedented 37 police officers – most of whom were British – applied to become Commissioner of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. By comparison just seven candidates are known to have declared an interest for the position of deputy chief at the Metropolitan Police, the deadline for which closes at noon on Friday. It has an office on the eighth floor of the 19-storey grey tower block that is Scotland Yard, in the heart of London.

Forget the prestigious roles on offer at the very top of policing at Scotland Yard. For police chiefs this Spring, the job in the Cayman Islands was the only one to aim for. But it was David Baines, scuba diving enthusiast and Assistant Chief Constable of Cheshire police, who was named as the new chief.

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Cayman & the post-crisis world

| 10/05/2009 | 7 Comments

We are in some of the most turbulent times the Cayman Islands’ financial services industry has ever seen. Over the years, challenges from various quarters have come and gone, but today we are facing them on many fronts and at many levels.   

The financial services industry is vital to the economic well-being of the Cayman Islands. The UK has in the past been an active supporter of the development of the industry in Cayman to ensure financial self-sufficiency. In 40 years, Cayman has been liftedfrom relative poverty to one of the highest per capita GDP’s in the world. And the recent report on the Economic Benefits of the Financial Services Industry to the Cayman Islands only underscores what we well know intuitively. But the model is facing major challenges so continued success is not a given.

Offshore financial services centres (OFC’s) have for some time been wrestling with numerous international initiatives aimed at making us better world citizens in the eyes of the leading developed nations (G7, G8, G20 et al) and international standard setters, such as the Financial Stability Group (FSG), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), IMF, IOSCO and OECD. Politicians have also voiced strong criticisms, particularly French, German and UK leaders, President Obama and a number of US Senators, for encouraging and assisting tax evaders, fraudsters and other crooks. Pope Benedict and various charities have added their voices, accusing OFC’s of causing poverty by actively assisting in the looting of third world countries by corrupt officials.

The recent global financial crisis (even if its origins were indisputably onshore not offshore, as most recently acknowledged by the head of the UK FSA) has resulted in a decline in new hedge funds and complex structured finance vehicles and produced a plethora of demands for more action, including global regulation, a single global regulator and tax collector, colleges of regulators, enhanced national or regional regulation (evidenced by the recent US and EU proposals to increase the regulation of hedge fund managers and an expressed desire to regulate significant hedge funds directly if they can figure a way to do it), transparency and cross border cooperation and assistance, principally exchange of information in banking, securities and tax matters (such as an expansion of automatic reporting under the EU Savings Directive-EUSD II).

You will all have seen the product of the recent G20 and OECD machinations in the white, grey and black list (that now has no black listees) for those considered to be good, ugly or bad. And with potentially broad ranging sanctions for those who continue to offend the “not substantially implemented” test. This is complemented by demands for domestic onshore legislation making the legal use of offshore centres increasingly difficult. In the US, the draft proposals from Senators Levin and Baucus will doubtless get melded with the proposals announced by the US Administration on Monday. In the UK and Europe, tighter anti avoidance/anti tax haven legislation continues to be high on the agenda.

While the G20/OECD listing is worrisome and the outcome uncertain (I discuss this in more detail below), there are signs that some of the proposals may not be as draconian as first feared. But the fat lady is a long way from singing and we should not go back to sleep, simply because we think we can live with the likely US and UK tax changes, the mooted fund manager rules in the US and the EU, Basel II (revisited) and the possible changes to the US, EU and IAIS (re)insurance regimes. We have no choice. So while giving hope, these should be considered only as allowing us some breathing space to position ourselves for longer term issues, such as the implications of G20/OECD/FSG programmes, the final Foote Review of British Offshore Centres due at the end of 2009 (there are some troubling matters raised in his progress report of April 2009) and the EUSD II.      

Cayman (like otherleading OFC’s) has a long history of stable democratic government, respect for the rule of law, an open market economy and relative fiscal discipline. And it chooses to pay its way through non discriminatory indirect rather than direct taxation. It works hard to maintain a sound, sensible and balanced regulatory regime. We can look to the excellent (but relatively unsung) reputation and success of the regulator (CIMA), the growing reputation and success of the local stock exchange (CSX), the shipping registry (MACI) and the aircraft registry (CAA) and the good work of the Financial Reporting Authority (FRA).

To-date no local banks have failed due to the global meltdown. Cayman also works hard to deter and punish abuse of its financial services and to cooperate cross border with other jurisdictions in appropriate circumstances. In particular, it has: Committed to the OECD to meet international standards on exchange of information on tax matters; Implemented the EU Savings Directive; Executed a mutual legal assistance treaty with the USA and tax information exchange agreements (TIEA’s) with the USA and the seven Nordic countries; Demonstrated a good faith willingness to negotiate further TIEA’s and like agreements; Amended its domestic legislation recently to broaden the gateways for exchange of information on regulatory and tax matters andscheduled a number of jurisdictions as qualified to receive tax matter information on request (the so-called ‘unilateral measures”); Implemented various Laws providing for cross border assistance and enforcement in criminal and civil matters (the Misuse of Drugs Law, the Proceeds of Crime Law, the Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Law, the Terrorism Law, the Evidence (Proceedings in other Jurisdictions) (Cayman Islands) Order and the Extradition Law); Received favourable assessments of its regulatory and anti money laundering regimes from the IMF and CFATF (and is likely to receive a further favourable assessment from the IMF following the recent visit); Actively pursued membership and participation in international standard setting bodies (to the extent permitted by those bodies; hopefully, CIMA will finally gain membership of IOSCO this year); Routinely assisted foreign regulators and law enforcement pursuant to Laws, Regulations, MOU’s and other arrangements; Successfully prosecuted money launderers and fraudsters and confiscated their assets and recently implemented its Freedom of Information Law and determined that the Anti Corruption Law (and Anti Corruption Commission) will go live on 1st January 2010.

The stated goal of most major jurisdictions is open and competitive global markets between which capital can freely move. There are academic studies from respected economists that show that OFCs enhance competition in onshore markets and facilitate foreign investment into onshore jurisdictions that might not otherwise be made due to domestic constraints in those jurisdictions. After all, the funds do not remain in the OFC’s. Their domestic markets are far too small and undeveloped to absorb the capital flows.

So why the continued outcry against legitimate OFC’s such as Cayman?

Many jurisdictions that claim to support free markets principles and the unrestricted flow of capital do so only as long as this system works in their favour. Behind the façade, they actually pursue self interested financial imperialism and protectionism. In financial services and products and in facilitating the global allocation of capital, OFCs pose a major competitive and potentially uncontrolled threat. So, for instance, the UK and the US are not keen to see OFCs thrive too much, but they have traditionally recognised that, for their own financial service industries and multinationals to be competitive, they must allow them to use OFC domiciled structures. Further, they recognise that such structures are also often the conduit for valuable inward investment from foreign investors. This approach is now under serious pressure as politicians (egged on by the media and the shouting classes) appear to see more downsides than upsides in the continued symbiotic relationship between onshore and offshore

Other major European nations with growing and unfunded entitlement programmes and ageing populations fear loss of capital and reduced tax revenues. And they wrongly see OFC’s (as opposed to their own domestic policies) as the cause. So, while voicing their commitment to open markets for (their own) financial services and products, they continue to impose burdensome and anti competitive regulation on OFC’s and to raise barriers to their residents investing in or using OFC financial products or services. Again, protectionism in all but name, despite protestations to the contrary.

The international standard setters mandated to execute the various initiatives are the creatures of and funded by the very same major countries that have no real interest in a level playing field opento OFC’s or to anyone else threatening to deprive them of control of the world’s capital.

It is always easier to find the mote in someone else’s eye than the plank in one’s own. OFC’s have little political leverage onshore or in international organisations so they are easy targets to blame (unfairly) for the woes caused by poor policies (e.g., easy mortgages and cheap credit in the UK and the US), poor regulation (e.g., the SEC in Madoff and the FSA in Northern Rock) and poor enforcement (e.g., anti corruption in the UK) in the major onshore jurisdictions.  The latest manoeuvring is all part of the struggle to ensure control of the world’s capital remains in the same old hands.

I do not wish to dwell on water under the bridge, but it is important to learn from history and the mistakes of the past (otherwise we are bound to repeat them). If there is one continuing failure it lies in the reactive rather than proactive approach. All too often Cayman has been late out of the starting gate, only to discover that the damage has been done by our inaction (resulting traditionally in a thoroughly frustrated and irritated group of major nations or international organizations, blacklists, bad press etc), and we face a mountain to climb. As we learnt with the FATF and the FSF in the 1990’s getting off a list is much harder than not being on the list to start with. And we applied that lesson in avoiding being on the OECD “harmful practices” tax haven list 10 years or so ago. Unfortunately, we forgot that lesson recently and are now on the latest G20/OECD grey (really the black) list.  

I fear we may be about to experience stalling and moving goal posts from the G20/OECD and more will be required of those, like Cayman, on the greylist than those who like Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man (perhaps magically) made it on to the whitelist at the outset. Recent comments by OECD officials are sending mixed and thus worrisome messages. While welcoming Cayman’s progress in signing TIEA’s and introducing the “unilateral” measures”, they also suggest that higher marks will be given for TIEA’s with some countries than with others (i.e. Greenland and the Faroes do not really count), that ‘effective implementation” (rather than mere quantitative assessment, i.e. how many TIEA’s have you signed) will be brought to the fore and that Cayman’s unique “unilateral” measures may not, for certain technical reasons, be the hoped for silver bullet. I hope I am wrong. We shall have to wait and see, possibly until the next G20 meeting in November or later.

This uncertainty and delay is not good for our reputation or business retention and development. There is anecdotal evidence that international institutions are increasingly concerned about the heightened reputational issues raised by conducting business through or with offshore jurisdictions and certainly with those not on the whitelist. Some of our key competitors have been ‘whitelisted” and are ramping up their marketing on this basis.   

Cayman has become complacent as it has grown. Government, the private sector and the community have become used to the success of the industry and think it runs on autopilot. 

Cayman has not developed focused single political ownership and leadership of financial services in the Cabinet

Cayman has not developed a supporting ministry or department focused solely on financial services and with sufficient resources

Cayman has not devoted sufficient resources to ensure its financial services infrastructure (e.g. Registrar of Companies) or legislation are up to date and meet modern demands and needs

Cayman has not devoted sufficient resources to secure the critical advance international intelligence to enable it to be proactive and position itself correctly

Cayman has not devoted sufficient resources to ensure that its voice is properly heard by international standard setters, key onshore agencies and politicians or the influential media

Let me start by making two points. First, I do not believe that Cayman’s financial services industry need go the way of the dodo (as some in the media would suggest). There will always be a legitimate role for jurisdictions providing quality financial services in a well regulated and tax efficient manner. Secondly, I  recognize that there are limits on Cayman’s ability to have a place at the top table as we are an Overseas Territory (and the UK is responsible for our international relations, except to the extent she delegates matters to Cayman) and also a very small country.

There must be clearly identified and committed political leadership and support for the financial services industry and all it takes for it to flourish. This requires a holistic approach spearheaded by an elected Cabinet Minister backed by a specific, focused, well-resourced and correctly branded Government department to ensure that the right platform (in all its many facets) is in place, is nurtured and enhanced constantly and promoted both locally and internationally.

The devil is always in the details, so what are the specifics that this Minister, his department and the private sector should do? 

Government and the private sector must interact much more closely, respect and listen to each other and be proactive in moving forward together

Both the public and private sectors need to constantly demonstrate to the community as a whole how critical the financial services industry is to the economic well being of the Islands

Domestic legal, judicial, regulatory and enforcement regimes must be kept current, meet internationally accepted and applied standards (including improved transparency and disclosure of information locally and cross border) and be effectively executed while remaining innovative, competitive and not unnecessarily burdensome. 

The financial services infrastructure must be enhanced and made more efficient. The General Registry is a prime example.

There must much better and earlier engagement with the key major jurisdictions and standard setters (including participation in global colleges of regulators) to secure recognition of our regulatory regime and to shape the development and implementation of fair international standards that create a non-discriminatory playing field open to all legitimate OFC’s

Agreements must be developed or improved with keycounterparty jurisdictions for cross border cooperation and assistance (information exchange, including both criminal and civil tax matters, and law enforcement), with appropriate benefits, gateways and safeguards for legitimate privacy and other legal rights (recognising that compromises will be necessary).

Advance intelligence must be improved and ensure early and proactive engagement on, rather than late and reactive responses to, onshore and international developments and initiatives.

Far better targeted and effective lobbying and media relations are essential, particularly in key centres such as Washington, London, Brussels and Paris to influence political and media perceptions, opinions and outcomes.

Think tanks and the research, publication and dissemination of quality academic analyses of the beneficial impact of OFC’s on the world economy should be sponsored and supported. 

We should join together with other quality OFC’s (recognising they are also competitors) in building a cohesive group to conduct the necessary international efforts to protect our common interests. 

The private sector should strive to secure high quality business and to provide an efficient, cost effective and added value service. 

We should take advantage of increasing tax pressures onshore and actively encourage wealthy people to take up physical residence, buy houses and invest locally. 

Similarly, we should encourage new businesses to establish here with  meaningful physical presences and also encourage much greater decision making and economic activity within the jurisdiction by the entities domiciled here.  

We must provide the appropriate physical infrastructure, sensible and welcoming immigration policies to attract and keep the brightest and the best and well educated, motivated and participating local professionals and staff to work in partnership with them

We should actively develop governmental contacts and new business sources in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East (many of whose countries are usefully G20 members). These countries are less likely to submit to the imperial writs of the US, UK and the EU and have little or no enthusiasm for control of international capital remaining in those protectionist hands or for the impoverishment of small democratic nations

There are welcome green shoots in some of the areas I have highlighted above, evidenced by the much needed local legislation now hitting the statute book, the establishment of the commercial court, Government’s newly found vigour in pursuing international engagement, cross border assistance arrangements and media relations, the CIFSA lobbying Task Force and other private sector initiatives and the opening of overseas offices in new markets by local law firms.

Discussion has started about confidentiality and transparency. In the public sector we have good examples in the Freedom of Information Law, the Complaints Commissioner, the work of the Auditor General and now the Anti Corruption Law. But we must also expand domestic transparency in the private sector. Consideration needs to be given to making more information public about Cayman companies (trusts and partnerships are more difficult), such as the identity of directors and shareholders of record of all entities and the publishing of audited accounts of regulated entities that deal with the public (such as all Class A banks and insurance companies, recognizing that some already do voluntarily). CIMA needs to have its mandate broadened so it can publish much more statistical data about the regulated industries. And the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) needs to be restructured so that the public can have greater confidence that the financial information supplied will indeed not be disclosed other than in statistical form.

The much-loved (or reviled) Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law requires a revamp to position it as a Privacy Law (c.f. the US Right to Financial Privacy Act). I do not advocate rushing this as we need to look at the whole area of legitimate and needed data protection and privacy at the same time. The Freedom of Information Law shows that we should not expand publicly available information without ensuring that the right to privacy is properly protected at the same time.

Finally, we can take immediate action to improve our international standing and credibility by quicker enforcement of our existing financial services Laws and Regulations. The international code words for this are “effective implementation”. This requires resources, both financial and human, at CIMA and the financial crimes unit (FCU) of the RCIPS if we are to deflect the next wave of likely international criticism.

I do not believe Cayman need suffer death by a thousand cuts (whatever Aljazeera TV may suggest) and can be in the select group of survivors and thrivers. We are belatedly starting to do some of the right things. But a lot more must be done so our efforts must be greatly enhanced and must be continuing. This is not a short term battle to which there is a short term fix.

This is paper was delivered by Tim Ridley to members of the Cayman Islands Bankers Association on 6 May 2009 at the Ritz- Carlton, Grand Cayman.

 

  

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Stenographer paints “terrible” picture of court

| 10/05/2009 | 6 Comments

(CNS): The third day’s proceedings in the Justice Priya Levers tribunal opened with the examination of a witness statement submitted by stenographer Karen Myren, the senior court reporter in the Judicial Administration who in a memo to Chief Justice Anthony Smellie in March 2007 described Levers’ court as an upsetting and traumatising place where bullying and injustice were common. Stanley Brodie QC (left) said she was painting a terrible picture of Justice Levers to deliberately vilify her as part of a conspiracy.

Going through her statements regarding the transcripts which were sent to Smellie along with the explanatory letter of her complaints about Justice Levers’ behaviour in court, Timothy Otty QC for the tribunal asked Myren various questions regarding the submissions canvassed against her statement by Brodie on behalf of Justice Levers. Otty asked her if she had read the submissions that accused her of conspiring with court colleague Carol Rouse to influence the Chief Justice against Justice Levers and maliciously undermine her relationship with him.

Myren said she had and was “surprised it was worded that wa,y as I was not involved in a conspiracy.” She said she would not have done that because she admired the Chief Justice and understood he had a good relationship with Justice Levers, so undermining her would undermine him.

Taking up the questioning, Brodie however pointed to the seriousness of the language that Myren had used in her letter to the chief justice and noted that it was not the kind of description designed to praise. In the letter enclosed with the transcripts, he said, Myren had written that they could not convey the overwhelming atmosphere in the court of women being insulted, castigated and demeaned, the unpleasant and unfair environment and the fact that people were traumatized by the experience.

“This paints a picture of a terrible judge,” he said. “Yes,” Myren replied. Brodie pointed out the seriousness of the accusations made in the letter and read how she accused the judge of bullying counsel, hurrying on proceedings, of prejudice saying she was biased in favour of defendants and dealt out injustice all the time, that justice was rarely seen to be done and that people had gone away having lost trust with the judicial process. He then asked her what sort of view she expected the chief justice to take as it was hardly complimentary. Myren replied that it was designed to show him what was taking place in the court room that he was not aware of. 

Brodie went on to cite what he said was serious and extreme language deliberately designed to vilify Justice Levers in the eyes of the chief justice. Myren insisted that being in Levers’ court was upsetting, that it was making people ill and she felt it was her duty to tell the chief justice. Brodie queried why the reporter had take over four years to bring her concerns, and Myren said it was because the justice was ill, then came Ivan and then she was working in another court for a long trial, so she said she didn’t bother.

Brodie asked if she had read the numerous submissions that gave a very contrary view to hers and she said she had. Myren said that Justice Levers was always nice to experienced counsel and she behaved herself in front of people she respected. Brodie suggested that if she was behaving in such a fiendish manner it was surprising no one else complained.

Myren said there were others that complained but the lawyers were too scared to put their complaints in writing. Brodie pointed out that the Cayman Islands Law Society was where members of the legal profession would go to make a complaint about a judge but that had never happened.  He asked her if she felt that Justice Levers appeared happier when dealing with competent counsel than when with incompetent. Myren then said it was unfair to describe inexperienced and less bold counsel as incompetent.

Taking one example of her complaints and what she considered inappropriate language, Brodie asked her about the use of the term “vegetable” by Justice Levers in court, and Myren said she was offended by it. However, Brodie noted that in this case counsel in the form of respected QC Ramon Alberga and a doctor had all used the term. Moreover, the family of the concerned victim had not complained about the use of the termeither as it was used in context to describe a vegetative state, Brodie said, adding that Myren seemed to be the only person there who objected to its use. He asked if she was also criticizing Alberga but Myren replied that the offensive term was just one of many.

During the questioning Brodie also established that Myren had an informal relationship with Justice Sanderson, a former visiting judge of Cayman’s Grand Court, outside the courtroom, someone with whom Justice Levers also believes set out to undermine her relationship with the chief justice. (It is understood that the reasons for this will be revealed later in the tribunal.)

During questioning Myren said she played tennis with Justice Sanderson and often had coffee with him. Brodie asked if she had discussed her concerns about Justice Levers and she said she had, and it became clear that Sanderson had advised her not to make a complaint about the judge as it was a matter for the parties involved and not the court staff. However, Brodie noted that against his advice she had still taken her complaints to the Chief justice Smellie. “He was saying that to protect us so we wouldn’t be in this situation,” she said, adding that despite Sanderson’s advice it was weighing on her conscience heavily and she couldn’t stand it any more, so she went to the chief justice.

Brodie asked why Myren had not asked Sanderson to make the complaint, and she explained that he wasn’t in court seeing it but he knew about the behaviour and if he had wanted to complain she felt he would have done that. Brodie queried the fact that she believed Sanderson was aware of Lever’s behaviour but not the Chief Justice.

Brodie then discussed with Myren her stated position that she felt it was her responsibility to report to Chief Justice Smellie the behaviour of judges she regarded as unacceptable, something to which Myren agreed. “So if Justice Levers ceased to sit and was replaced by another judge you would still regard it as your responsibility to report that judge if they were guilty of what you saw as unacceptable behaviour as well?” he asked.  Myren answered: “Yes, if after few years they displayed the same such behaviour I would.”

Brodie then noted that the chief justice had himself been of the viewthat court staff could be useful guages on how judges manage the court, so he questioned what Myren would do if the chief justice’s behaviour was unacceptable and who would she would complain to then?

“If he was doing what Justice Levers was doing I would go to another judge,” she said. Brodie noted that given that situation all future judges in the jurisdiction needed to be told they will be subject to the scrutiny of court reporters.

Following further questioning over how she had gone about making her complaints, Brodie suggested she had it in for Justice Levers and her actions were unjustified but calculated to undermine the judge.

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Students told vote counts

| 10/05/2009 | 15 Comments

(CNS): Less concerned with who they gave their ‘X’ to than ensuring they all went to the polls on 20 May, candidates at the Vision 3 debate on Thursday evening  at UCCI told the students that their votes were important and they needed to become part of the democratic process. Sandra Catron told them not to underestimate the power of one and of their vote. “People around the world have died for the right to vote,” she said. “I don’t care if you don’t even take a shower before you go, but just go and vote.”

Along with Catron the young audience heard from a panel of candidates comprising Derrington Miller (Indep GT), Justin Woods (Indep BT), Bernie Bush (Indep WB), Jonathan Piercy (UDP GT), Eddie Tompson (Indep GT), Burns Conolly (Indep GT), Oswell Rankine (Indep NS) and Rolston Anglin (UDP WB). There were no members of the PPM present although an invitation had been extended to them.

During the evening the nine candidates discussed their reasons for running, the environment, the critical issues facing the communities, health care, the constitution, the challenges they have faced in their lives and the disconnect between young people and politics. Offering some food for thought, all nine candidates presented some interesting thoughts about how young people could become more engaged. From bringing civics back to the curriculum, as noted by Conolly, to going to talk to them on their turf, as Piercy said, the candidates were all very keen to see young people become more involved in politics. Above all, however, each one spoke about the importance of their vote on Election Day.

Bernie Bush, who has been working with young people in the district of West Bay for almost 30 years, said he saw himself as a bridge between generations and, agreeing with Catron, he said they should cast their vote for someone. He warned them not to vote against someone because they are female or young but to vote on merit. ”Vote for someone and vote smart. Don’t listen to the rhetoric. Look at what people have done, look attheir track records,” he said adding that those from West Bay might want to vote no 2 there, to enormous applause.

Catron said they should never underestimate the power of one, and she warned them not to be disenfranchised because they saw themselves as only one. “You have a lot of power,” she added saying it was time for change. She said she didn’t care who they voted for so long as they did. “I am but one person and I don’t think you should listen to the rhetoric that one person can’t achieve anything.” Catron said that every day individual people are doing extraordinary things that make a real impact.

Derrington "Bo" Miller told the students he had enjoyed the debate and said he would like to come back whether he was elected or not. He told them that as much as he would like be 21 again he would not want to trade youth for his experience, which was what he wanted to share with his country. Offering his thoughts on the party system, he said that given there were 15,000 voters and as little as 2000 party members he wonder why any voter would join the 2000 when they could join the 13,000 by voting independent.

Also running in George Town, Eddie Thompson said that he believed Cayman was involved in an awakening and he had seen a lot of young people getting more involved in community. He said to them to makes sure they voted for the right reasons and not because people were friends or family but because they as voters felt the person could do the job properly. He said that no politician could be all things to all people and they needed to listen. “I’m welcoming any ideas for discussion,” he said. “We can’t be all things to everybody but what I do promise is, I will do the best I can to get what is right for these islands."

Rolston Anglin told the students that every election is important because democracy is important and they should get involved. He said he hoped in the future he would either be nominating or voting for someone in the room. When it came to making his bid for their vote, he said he had something to offer but that was a judgement for people to make. Above all, he said, his job as a politician was to listen and hear. “If you don’t you can’t be a good representative,” he said. “Exercise your vote, think wisely and make your voices known.”

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CIMA Thomas Jefferson Memorial Scholarship

| 10/05/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Caymanians who have been accepted to an accredited university locally or overseas to pursue a bachelor’s or Master’s degree in accounting, business administration, economics or finance can apply for the CIMA Thomas Jefferson Memorial Scholarship, valued at a maximum of CI$25,000 per year. The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) award will be for the duration of the programme; a maximum of four years at undergraduate level and two years for post-graduate studies.

Established in November 2007 as part of CIMA’s 10th anniversary celebrations and as a tangible demonstration of the Authority’s commitment to the financial industry’s human-resource development, the award will support study in fields that are fundamental to the industry, a release from CIMA said.

The scholarship bears the name of the late statesman, who is recognised as having made a significant contribution to the development of the industry. Jefferson, a former Financial Secretary, was Chairman of the Cayman Islands Currency Board, one of CIMA’s predecessor organisations, from 1982 to 1992. In those capacities he had direct responsibility for supervision and regulation of financial services and the management of the currency, roles that CIMA now performs. He subsequently held elected office and was the first elected minister to serve as Leader of Government Business.

The deadline for applications is Friday 29 May 2009. The scholarship guidelines and application form can be downloaded from the home page of CIMA’s website: www.cimoney.com.ky or via the attached links:

CIMA Scholarship Guidelines

CIMA Scholarship Form

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