Tax haven reviewer to reveal all at watchdog event

| 22/12/2009

(CNS): Well known to many in the Cayman Islands, Michael Foot, the author of the UK’s report on the state of its OT’s finances will be lifting the lid on his findings when he attends the OffshoreAlert conference in Miami next year. Only one of the interesting line-up  of ‘headline acts’ Foot, will join among others, best selling crime author Jeffrey Robinson and Allen Stanford’s former financial adviser  Charles Rawl. Organisers of the conference said that 2010 promised as ever to look at the good and the bad in the financial industry.

Former financial adviser for Allen Stanford’s $8 billion offshore banking group, Charles Rawl blew the whistle to US authorities, leading to the collapse of one of the biggest-ever offshore frauds. Jeffrey Robinson the best-selling author of books like ‘The Laundrymen’ and an expert on organized crime, fraud and money laundering will reveal his insight into the offshore world and Foot the man who conducted the UK’s review for Britain’s potential liabilities where its overseas territories were concerned promises to give a close up on his findings.

Returning speakers also include Martin Kenney and Ed Davis, who are two of the world’s foremost authorities on asset recovery – one of the few sectors of the global economy that is currently booming, and Bob Roach, who is Counsel & Chief Investigator to US Senator Carl Levin’s investigations committee.

The conference takes place 2-4 May at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach and David Marchant the publisher of offshore alert described it as the most credible event about Offshore Financial Centres because of the diversity and the quality of speakers and topics as well as its independence.

“Every other offshore-specific conference I know of comprises people in the industry getting up and telling each other how wonderful they are. What use is that to anyone? The OffshoreAlert Conference deals in reality, not fantasy. We look at the good and the bad,” Marchant stated.

 “Where else can you attend an event where, as in 2009,  you could have mingled with the person in charge of the IRS’ offshore programs and the UBS investigation, the head of tax at the OECD, US Senator Carl Levin’s chief investigator, attorneys who represent the best-known tax dodgers and professionals who set up and administer complex offshore financial structures? We had 275 registrants from 29 countries and the conference was covered by 19 reporters from seven countries, including reporters from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg, and Reuters, to name but a few.”

He said it was exactly the sort of independent event that offshore leaders need to participate in as part of their general effort to improve the image of OFCs to the wider world and meet those who oppose them. Marchant said there fore he was disappointed that for the second consecutive year, the chair of Cayman Finance, Anthony Travers turned down a speaking invitation to the event.

Marchant said that Travers had been given 11 months notice of the 2010 conference. “Why someone whose mandate to spread Cayman’s message across to the international community would turn down a speaking engagement at the leading offshore conference is a mystery to me. He really ought to get out of his comfort zone,” he said.

“When OffshoreAlert first burst onto the scene in 1997, Cayman’s establishment regarded the newsletter as ‘Public Enemy Number One’, apparently for no other reason than it was exposing financial crime. That was a truly pitiful situation that reflected very poorly on Cayman. However, the jurisdiction has matured significantly since then and OffshoreAlert is now widely respected on the island.”

 

Category: Business

Comments (96)

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  1. Regardless of whether you like me or not, or appreciate the work being done by OffshoreAlert or not, I leave you with this as a final posting and I hope that it strikes a chord with at least some of you.

    There are many positive aspects of the Cayman Islands as an international business centre but, as with any jurisdiction (onshore or offshore), there are also negative aspects.

    The consequences of ignoring the negatives have never been more dire than they are currently due to the economy, the ever-growing need for spend-happy governments of major countries to fund their activities, and the raised awareness of serious financial crime, the latter of which puts pressure on law enforcement and regulators to prosecute misdeeds more vigorously.

    On the publicity-side, I deal with journalists from all over the world, at the regional, national and international levels, on a regular basis and most of them know virtually nothing about how ofshore financial centres operate. What little they do know is almost always negative and all complain that trying to obtain information from anyone in OFCs is all but impossible.

    It is imperative for the long-term well-being of the Cayman Islands that the jurisdiction responds to the immense challenges it faces in a progressive manner, learns what it can do to improve and engages the international community in a mature and professional manner.

    • au revoir says:

      Thank you David.  Unfortunately, like everywhere else, you’re going to run into some true boneheads, expat and Caymanians alike.  It’s disgusting to see the personal attacks leveled against you and your publication, and the many juvenile postings.  Everyone cries for greater government/private sector transparency, yet behave like complete idiots when asked a simple question. 

    • Girl from Ipanema says:

      Dear Mr. Marchant,

      If you had only started off on this tone at the beginning of this thread people may have reacted differently to you.  But you instead you came across as arrogant and patronising.  Sorry but that was the impression you created.  Have a good conference, and please remember that it is not the case that people are either for you or for worldwide fraud.  If you bear that in mind when people question you in the future it may result in bridges being mended rather than burned down as happened over the last few days.

      All the best in 2010.

      Abração

      GFI

  2. Anonymous says:

     Mr Marchant you should perhaps change your publication title to

    " Mein Rant"  

  3. oh dear oh dear says:

    Mr Marchant,

    you seem to have big issue with Mr Travers and have cut off your nose to spite your face?

    smacks of desperation really? 

    all you have really done is highlighted the fact that you are desperate for the endorsement of Mr Travers by  him speaking at your conference – and that it just won’t be the same without him.

    which – cemented by your rather irrational posting – he clearly won’t be…

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    Mr Marchant seems to be having a childish trantrum and throwing all of his toys out of his cot.

    Unprofessional would be an understatement. 

    He has been struggling for credibility for this conference for years, and was doing a pretty good job.

    He has lost all of that hard won credibility in one silly and totally unexplainable tantrum.

     

     

  5. Cayman Finance says:

    Cayman Finance has provided speakers to, and additionally been a sponsor of, the OA conference for the past 2 years.

    Just last year our current Vice-Chairman, and former Chairman, Eduardo D’Angelo P. Silva gave two speeches to the conference in Miami that were very well received and widely quoted in the international press.

    The fact that Mr. Marchant fails to supply this rather essential information while implying our organisation is somehow avoiding his conference because it is not in our ‘comfort zone’ is intentionally misleading and disrespectful.  It is also self serving as he attempts to promote this conference as ‘the’ leading offshore conference which it clearly is not.  Any ‘respect’ that Mr. Marchant believes he has won in Cayman has most likely been lost with these inaccurate and inappropriate representations.

    Current Chairman Anthony Travers has been incredibly active on the international stage since his election to the board.  He has conducted interviews with reporters from around the globe and appeared on live television and radio broadcasts with no preconditions or limitations on questions.  Cayman Finance welcomes such opportunities since all available facts and evidence support our claims of being a world class financial centre with an excellent record of compliance, transparency, and cooperation.

    More importantly Mr. Travers and Cayman Finance, in partnership with the Cayman Islands Government, have been engaged in high level talks with foreign governments such as the US and the UK to ensure any legislative action they may be considering is undertaken with full and proper supporting facts about our jurisdiction and not based on flawed or biased information.  The success of these initiatives have been noted in recent news articles and can be found on our website.  These are far more important activities than attending every minor conference where our messages have already been delivered many times over.

    Furthermore, Cayman Finance has no obligation to present at each and every conference that Mr. Marchant chooses to put on.  And this latest behaviour by Mr. Marchant has caused us to question his integrity and character.  As a result Cayman Finance will be terminating its sponsorship of the OA conference and disassociating itself completely with OA and Mr. Marchant.

    • It is reasonable to assume that this was written by, or upon the instruction of, Tony Travers.

      Firstly, it is highly amusing to me that the writer is so wrapped up in himself or herself that he or she cannot see the sheer hypocrisy in attacking my "integrity and character" while hiding behind anonymity.

      To correct the poster, CIFSA has provided speakers for far longer than two years. In fact, I remember well that, in Cayman’s time of need in 2004 after Hurricane Ivan had struck, I created a special slot at short notice to allow Eduardo D’Angelo Silva, someone whom I like and think is an excellent ambassador for the island to come and speak to assure attendees that Cayman was still open for business.

      Now, in the first year that Tony Travers has taken over as Chairman, Cayman Finance has taken the bone-headed decision that it does not want to be associated with one of the biggest and certainly the most prominent and widely-reported about offshore conference. Is this a case of Travers’ apparently-gargantuan ego being bruised so Cayman must suffer?

      Re. "The fact that Mr. Marchant fails to supply this rather essential information while implying our organisation is somehow avoiding his conference because it is not in our ‘comfort zone’ is intentionally misleading and disrespectful."

      I did not state or imply that Cayman Finance was avoiding the conference and no reasonable or intelligent person could possibly have inferred this from anything I have said or written. I stated that Tony Travers had turned down a speaking invitation.

      Although you seem to think so, Tony Travers is not the be all and end all of Cayman Finance. I have an excellent relationship with several members of Cayman Finance and will continue to do so.

      Your immature response to some honest debate makes me believe that Cayman Finance is not being well-led at the moment.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr Marchant  why do you assume Tony Travers was behind the response from Cayman Finance – Now you are insulting the board members of Cayman Finance  – it may not have occured to you that some of the content with regards your postings and the original article is not the way myself and other members of the financial / legal community see things. 

        You appear to have a serious case of paranoia and one wonders whether it is infact in OA best interests to have someone like you at the helm-  

        Perhaps its time to take a long holiday – ( please dont come to Cayman ) 

      • Cayman Finance says:

        The post you are referring to is not listed as anonymous, but in fact is clearly an submitted on behalf Cayman Finance.

        • The writer did indeed post this message anonymously, i.e. the name of the person who wrote the message is not disclosed.

          • Anonymous says:

            It was written on behalf of Cayman Finance as a collective  body so it is NOT anonymous  

          • Anonymous says:

            Maybe you could sue if it wasn’t "under a law that is abhorrent to any genuinely-civilised person" in a "lesser-developed country which had laws that were abhorrent to a civilised person".

            By you never did start to explain why Cayman has an "anti-truth libel law".  Care to expand? 

      • frank rizzo says:

        You are quickly losing any shred of credibility you and your publication may have had with me. TT declined your invitation to your party. Get over it, stop the childishness.

    • Master Card says:

      Weekend in Miami attending a conference  . . . $6,000.

      Hour of attorney’s time to write a letter saying Offshore Alert will dodge paying any judgments against it in Cayman . . . .$500.

      Watching David Marchant get snubbed in public and throwing his toys out of the pram  . . .PRICELESS

  6. au revoir says:

    David Marchant, the fact of the matter is that if they can’t kill the message, they:  1. distort the message  2.  arrive to unreasonable conclusions  3.  side-track the discussion  4.  fabricate evidence that is not there  5.  go after the messenger  And yet again, who in their right mind would be opposed to a publication that makes an honest attempt at keeping some of these financial giants honest?  It’s not like your publication deals with Ma and Pa’s corner grocery store, as some (ie. Girl who Likes to Cry Wolf) would like to lead the readers to believe…

    • Anonymous says:

      Au revoir, are you David Marchant’s mother? 

      • au revoir says:

        No, actually I’m his mother’s sister’s cousin, once removed.  But don’t worry about it, you go on to support the crooks of the world, and I’ll support those who try to expose them. 

        • Go crooks! says:

          Give me a "c", give me a "r",  . . .

          Who has said anything about supporting crooks other than David Marchant and Au Revoir?

          Saying that I bet the crooks throw better weekends in Miami . . . . 😉

          • wrds says:

            I’m sure they do throw better weekends in Miami, but they all stash their money in Cayman.  🙂  Don’t worry, soon you’ll be just another insignificant, tiny, murder-plagued island.  Oops, you’re already there, aren’t you?.

  7. au revoir says:

    Given the significant role that the financial service industry plays in the Cayman Islands, it is noteworthy that the Cayman Islands are not represented.  This conference isn’t about "shaming" the participants, but rather to provide all participants in the industry (the good, the bad, and the ugly) with an opportunity to meet, share ideas, and find ways to improve practices.  Unless one has something to hide or to fear, there is no reason for the Cayman Islands not to be represented.  Those who argue that Mr. Travers is somehow too good to participate in a conference which deals in "tabloid journalism", one ought to consider that in 2009 there were a number of far more influential and powerful attendees. 

    • Adieu says:

      It is also noteworthy that no credible figurehead in the Cayman industry has identiifed themselves on this site as supporting OA or denying the allegation that it should be considered a tabloid publication.

      • au revoir says:

        1.  Just as you have identified yourself, right?

        2.  Do you know of anyone on a work permit who is willing to rock the boat?

        3.  Anything that is in any way critical of an industry is not going to be given any merit or publicity by that industry…

        4.  This is Cayman, remember?  Transperancy, responding to criticism, supporting "unpopular" causes which may threaten its livelyhood etc. is not its forte…

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just a quick question, how much does it cost to attend this conference for information that will be publicly available the next day?

    • au revoir says:

      It makes no difference how much it costs; I don’t imagine it costs any more than half of any of McChavez’ recent globetrotting trips.  It certainly costs less than any of government’s past and more recent failed initiatives, adventures, etc.  As for the information being publicly available the next day for free — irrelevant.  The financial service industry is one of the pillars that sustains Cayman and its population – the Cayman Islands should therefore have been represented. 

      • Chris Johnson says:

        Well stated au revoir. Having attended many conferences I always note that the conference is well supported by the Cayman Financial Industry and in most years several speakers have been supplied by them.

        You may call the newsletter what you wish, tabloid or not; it makes no difference. It is an intersting tool in identifying the bad guys such as Stanford, which David did long ago. As I stated in an earlier message why knock David. After all he is only the messanger.

    • Good weekend in Miami spoiled says:

      Is this the only post that David "must have the last word" Marchant is not answering?

  9. Anonymous says:

    "When a [libel] action is brought, there is a thought-process involved that goes something like this: 1. How credible is the jurisdiction in which the action has been brought?; 2. How credible is the jurisdiction’s libel law?; 3. How much will it cost to defend?; 4. Would a default judgment be enforceable in the USA, which is the only jurisdiction in which OffshoreAlert is incorporated? and 5. What is the reputational damage to me and my company should a default judgment be entered?" 

    Wow – whether Offshore Alert can show it has a justifiable basis for its allegations appears NOWHERE!  Says a lot.

    • Re. "Wow – whether Offshore Alert can show it has a justifiable basis for its allegations appears NOWHERE!  Says a lot."

      That thought-process takes place before an article is published, not after an action is brought. That should go without saying. It is comical that you should think I only concern myself with the evidence after an action is brought.

    • au revoir says:

      I find it incredible that you’re so offended and up-in-arms about a publication that is trying to expose corrupt and under-handed practices; unless of course, you were exposed in previous publishings for some reason or another; and the reason couldn’t have been all that good…  Hmmh, makes you wonder. 

      It somehow offends you that you may not be able to sue OA and collect… yet, reverse the situation and see how easy it is to sue and collect in the Cayman Islands – near to impossible.  Judge Henderson received his award of 1.2 million, for wrongful arrest, only because the governor ordered that the money be paid out.  Had it been any other ordinary citizen, good luck with collecting…

      • what a mess says:

        Very well said! au revoir

      • Girl from Ipanema says:

        I for one am concerned about a publication which appears to be shirking responsibility for making incorrect accusations.  That is the quite disturbing outcome of the postings from the publisher, who, from what he had written himself, does not seem to care if he is subject to a hypothetical future judgment of a Cayman Court since he will not pay out on any Cayman judgment.  This judgment could represent an allegation that could ruin a Cayman business or cost Caymanians jobs.  That is what I find very disturbing from a man who claims to be a friend of Cayman.

        • No intelligent or reasonable person could draw the conclusions from my messages that you have drawn.

          • Girl from Ipanema says:

            Really?  Here is how the conclusion was drawn:

            1) You said that you would not respond to a defamation suit in Cayman.

            2) You said that you considered a judgment against you in Cayman unenforceable and it would go unpaid.

            3) Hypothetically a Cayman business is harmed by an unjustifiable allegation and jobs are lost.

            4) That Cayman business, harmed by a publication published in Cayman to Caymanian subscribers by yourself for a fee, will not get compensation because of your statements in 1 and 2.

            Why is the chain from 1 to 4 lacking intelligence or reason?  It looks like the logical result of your own propositions.

            • You stated that OffshoreAlert was "shirking responsibility for making incorrect accusations" and that the publisher (i.e. me) "does not seem to care if he is subject to a hypothetical future judgment of a Cayman Court since he will not pay out on any Cayman judgment".

              No intelligent or reasonable person could possibly believe that a publication defending every libel action brought against it (in five separate jurisdictions, one of which was Cayman) and spending in excess of $500,000 in legal fees in the process is an example of "shirking responsibility".

              No intelligent or reasonable person could possibly construe my comments as being an example of me ‘not caring’.

              No intelligent or reasonable person could possibly interpret a decision by me not to defend myself against any third-world laws (e.g. Britain’s libel law, a criminal’s best friend) as evidence that the accusations contained in an article are "incorrect".

              I can assure you that the only ‘Cayman jobs’ being lost as a result of exposes by OffshoreAlert are those that involve dishonesty and illegality. Such people, and perhaps you are one of them, deserve to be out of work. Long may they remain unemployed.

              OffshoreAlert will honor its legal obligations. A default judgment obtained under a law that is abhorrent to any genuinely-civilised person does not constitute a legal obligation in the USA.

        • au revoir says:

          Should call yourself Girl who likes to cry Wolf – nice attempt to divert the discussion.  1.  The focus of the article was about Mr. Travers not attending this conference.  2.  Even if your claim has some basis, which it doesn’t (see explanation below as to why a "blanket yes" answer to judgements is not possible), Mr. Travers could have attended this conference and made your "hypothetical future judgements" of a Cayman Court the focus of his speech.  3.  Hypothetical analyses of potential future judgements are irrelevant, far too complicated, and serve little value to the main point of the discussion; that being that the Cayman Islands are not being represented at an important conference.

          • O'Really says:

            It’s in the nature of threads like this to get off topic. A good example might be your characterisation  of the focus of the article being " about Mr. Travers not attending this conference."

            The article contains 9 paragraphs. The first 6 are puff pieces to promote the conference. Travers’ name does not appear until the 7th paragraph and then in a context which I interpret as a none too subtle attempt to shame Travers into speaking, if not in 2010, then later. Good luck with that.

            No one would dispute that every offshore jurisdiction, Cayman included, attracts dodgy business, but it is a small part of the total; the vast majority of business in Cayman is legit and passes the sniff test. And this is where the interests of OffshoreAlert and Cayman/Travers part company.

            OffshoreAlert is only interested in the dodgy stuff. It is not interested in the solid, clean business. There are few subscriptions to be had or conference attendees to attract by explaining that the bulk of what Cayman does is clean. It’s not even really interested in what Cayman does to weed out the suspect business. This is not what keeps bringing the punters back. Exposing the dodgy client and service provider is OffshoreAlerts raison d’etre, which is fine, but I fail to see why Travers not wanting to assist in this limited brief raises any eyebrows.

            Some of the reasons put forward for Cayman to be represented deserve closer scrutiny. For example Mr.Marchant suggests participation may help support Cayman’s flagging image, but would it? Cayman’s image has taken a few knocks of late, from Bush declaring us broke, through the farce of Operation Tempura and the largely unfounded attacks by Gordon Brown and crew, but how are these addressed at a conference promoted by an organisation specialising in " exposing serious financial crime?" In my view the danger of guilt by association with this conference and the potential for mere attendance to be misinterpreted is just not worth it. Mr. Marchant does not agree with this position and that’s his prerogative, but he is hardly impartial.

             

             

             

             

            • Our conference is primarily an educational event where people with vested interests can meet and exchange information about OFCs. We look at all aspects of doing business offshore. As anyone who has attended our event can testify to, it is certainly not an anti-offshore event and, if it were, we would not have so many offshore-resident attendees. Some of our sessions deal with plotting the way forward for OFCs in the modern era.

              About half of our attendees live in offshore financial centres and, outside of the USA, Cayman provides more attendees than any other country.

              The conference is a high-quality event and we bring together people who normally would never meet (people who, on the surface, appear to be on different sides of the fence).

              It is exactly the sort of event that Tony Travers, if he truly does represent the interests of Cayman’s offshore sector, should be attending. It would certainly be a better way for him to spend his time than writing silly letters to Barack Obama and throwing gratuitous insults at the OECD. If I were a member of Cayman Finance, I would be very concerned about such conduct.

              Cayman’s financial sector has to decide whether it wants to go back to the dark, old days in which dinosaurs wrapped up in a cloak of parochialism drove the jurisdiction towards the end of the cliff or whether it wants to enter the new era in a more thoughtful, mature and enlightened manner.

              • Anonymous says:

                Mr Marchant  you clearly have an issue with Tony Travers – You are doing yourself no favours in what can only be seen as a very personal attack on him -I am all for free speech etc however you seem to be hell bent on insulting this man at every opportunity . 

                I agree with previous posters – Who made you God that you have a divine right to dictate what people choose to do and not to do – 

                If your behaviour is represenative of the way your publication (gutter press) operates then no wonder he is giving it a body swerve 

              • Anonymous says:

                 Mr Marchant did Santa just leave you a lump of coal  

                • No, actually. Santa left me a copy of Dale Carnegie’s book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’.

                  I decided to come here and try out the techniques.

                  Judging by how easily I have won everyone over to my viewpoint, the book clearly works!!

              • O'Really says:

                Your conference may or may not be a high-quality event, I don’t know. I did learn long ago, though, not to rely too much on the assessment of an individual with an obvious vested interest, so you’ll understand if I wait for the reviews before subscribing to your opinion. 

                I am not anti-OffshoreAlert, it serves a function. But I don’t see that this provides a platform for you to challenge Travers’ competence when assessing what is and isn’t best for Cayman. Nor do I accept that Travers’ refusal to speak at your conference somehow signals a return to the "dark old days." You are in danger of attributing far too much significance to Travers’ decision and far too much influence to your organisation.

  10. The question remains: Why would someone whose remit is, in part, to improve Cayman’s flagging image in the international financial community turn down a speaking engagement for the biggest offshore conference that is reported on by the world’s biggest news organizations?

    If the only or principal reason is that it is because OffshoreAlert specializes in exposing serious financial crime then I would find that bizarre (in the extreme) and insightful.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think Travers is being condemned without trial. But then that’s typical when it comes to discussion on Cayman. City of London?-no problem. Delaware?-no problem. Cayman?-full of scuzzball money launderers and fraudsters. I wish Mr Marchant and his offshore conference all the best but I don’t think any of us in Cayman can look to him, Obama or Gordon Brown to have other than at best a blinkered perspective on us. It’s just not in their respective DNA.

      • Anonymous says:





        Clearly you have not bothered to learn much about the offshorealert conference. If you had, you would know that the conference aims at providing an open forum to discuss issues facing cayman and other jurisdictions from an unbiased perspective. All offshorealert can do is provide the forum, it is up to us to get the job done. I think this was marchant’s point regarding travers – how could someone who is suppose to be turning cayman’s image around not bother with an event that would afford him an opportunity to get cayman’s message across to major media outlets. Regardless of travers’ opinion of offshorealert or marchant personally, the occasion to have such an audience shouldn’t have been overlooked.

         

         

        • Anonymous says:

          OK Mr Marchant and Anon 10:06. Given what you say about OA looking at onshore centres as well and being unbiased etc, why is the publication not called "Financial Centres Alert"?

          • down the rabbit hole says:

            re: "Given what you say about OA looking at onshore centres as well and being unbiased etc, why is the publication not called "Financial Centres Alert"?"

            Based on your rationale, I suppose that the Cayman News Service, for example, is bias because it specializes in news about Cayman? Or, if it reports on news outside of Cayman it should change its name?

            Don’t be ridiculous.

            • Anonymous says:

              Er………"down the rabbit hole", I presume you have enjoyed much Xmas alchoholic cheer because your post is a tad …..er..woozy. Your post is very sad and could you try to get your grammar right if you’re going to enter any kind of serious discussion? When you write "is bias" it makes no sense. The correct form-I think- of what you wanted to say is ‘is biased". Do you understand that? No? Oh well.

              Much more worrying than your grammar is what you write in your post-the second paragaph is in no way a response to the post you seem to want to respond to….it’s bizarre in the extreme and i suspect Mr Marchant who is a reputable person would not want to be represented by views expressed by bozos like you!!

              • down the rabbit hole says:

                Hmmm…the post was meant to be absurd to illustrate the ludicrousness of the original comment.  Alas, it says much about your argument if all you can remark on is a simple typo…

          • OffshoreAlert does not have the resources to cover all financial centres. Do you know how many journalists, money and other resources would be required to do that?

            OffshoreAlert’s niche is Offshore Financial Centers, i.e. centres where the overwhelming amount of financial business being conducted is with non-residents. Within that niche group, we further specialize in Bermuda-Caribbean region.

            In reality, virtually every story we write about OFCs involves major countries because that’s where the business originates from and that’s where the offshore company’s mind and management is typically based.

            At our conference, we are looking at Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada from the standpoint that they are being used by non-residents, particularly those in eastern Europe, to commit tax evasion and other financial crimes. That’s the context and relevance.

            It is ridiculous for anyone to suggest that we may be biased against OFCs merely because we choose to cover them.

            • Anonymous says:

               Interesting that you are now covering Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming at this year’s conference but again fail to take the opportunity to let people know that it was, in part, a speech by a Cayman Finance representative at your last conference brought great attention to that issue.

              Your selective use of the facts is quite disturbing to many in the industry.

              • You gave made a wild leap in logic.

                The idea for this session came from the ‘U. S. Money Laundering Threat Assessment’, which was published in December, 2005, which is available for free from http://www.treas.gov.

                The relevant section reads "A handful of U.S. states offer company registrations with cloaking features – such as minimal information requirements and limited oversight – that rival those offered by offshore financial centers. Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming are often cited as the most accommodating jurisdictions in the United States for the organization of these legal entities."

                It is well-known that these jurisdictions are attractive to criminals. I have no doubt that many people at many conferences discuss this. It is ridiculous to assume that we must have got this idea because someone from Cayman Finance talked about it at our 2009 conference.

      • The only reason anyone knows about financial crime in onshore financial and incorporation centres like London, New York and Delaware is because they are being exposed by journalists, regulators and law enforcement in the world’s major countries. It is certainly not being exposed by the Caymanian Compass!

        The real difference is one of perception. People living in small countries tend to be far more sensitive to criticism than those living in major countries and tend to take it too personally, particularly the less-worldly residents who seem to look at the world emotionally rather than intelligently.

        OffshoreAlert has exposed a plethora of criminal activity that has occurred in major countries and those countries have, occasionally, prosecuted those responsible and put them in prison. OffshoreAlert has also exposed a plethora of criminal activity that has occurred in offshore financial centres and, 13 years later, I am still waiting for the first criminal prosection!

        For the record, our conference has a specific session dealing with criminal activity that occurs in Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming.

    • Anonymous says:

      This whole mentality is bizarre.  According to Mr. Marchant If someone does not support Mr. Marchant they appear to be a supporter of financial crime.  You either support Mr. Marchant or support crime.  What an incomprehensible notion of duality. 

      Perhaps Mr. Travers is staying away because, like many people, he views Offshore Alert as having limited credibility.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Marchant even on his worst day I am certain Tony Travers would wipe the floor with you – having seen the man in action on many occasions over the years as a keynote and also debating / fielding questions with regards the offshore industry. 

      I dont know what you are trying to achieve by harping on about the fact he declined your invitation – I dont  for one minute believe that it is" bizarre in the extreme and insightful " 

      He has chosen not to accept your invitation and that is good enough for me .

      You  are behaving like a cyber space bully  – there are others in Cayman and elsewhere  I am sure who if you invited would also turn you down You are not Queen of the Commonwealth –  

      • au revoir says:

        Mr. Travers wasn’t invited to "wipe the floor" with anyone; he was invited to give a speech.  His absence can be viewed with some skepticism, as there are a number of prominent people attending this conference.  The cyber bully is not Mr. Marchant, but rather those trying to intimidate him for exposing serious financial fraud.  If you believe that Cayman is somehow immune from corruption, financial fraud, et al, you’re living in some other universe.

        • Ta shen jerrey er jerkalys. says:

          I did not see Mr Travers at Copenhagen or the last Books and Books poetry recital.

          Shame on him.

           

          Out ofinterest is Jack Markel, the Gov of Delaware attending?

          I bet Richard Murphy will be.

        • Ta shen jerrey er jerkalys. says:

          I do find this amusing.

          Question, would you have expected Ann Frank to turn up to talk at the Nuremburg rallies?

          • wrds says:

            It’s rather sad that you would try to equate a financial conference which seeks to expose corrupt practices within a world-wide financial system with the Nuremberg rallies, which sought to strengthen the cult of Hitler and strip the Jews of their rights.  Nobody has suggested that corrupt practices are endemic and widespread in the Caymanian financial model, rather that some exist.  Instead of ignoring the "problems", why not be proactive, agree that some exist, and find new checks and balances which preserve the integrity of the system.  Simple as that.

  11. what a mess says:

    Ignoring a forum such as Offshore Allert is akin to burying one’s head in the sand. Cayman already has far too much experience with burying it’s head in the sand.

    If Mr. Travers (and others) expect to really improve cayman’s image in transparency, then showing up and speaking at such venues (even those that require answering the tough questions) is going to have to be done.

    Look at most world figures who atend BBCs "Hardtalk"…even though they know that the difficult "hard" questions will be asked. Those representing Cayman in such matters will need to mature and do likewise.

    If we as a country are truly invested in making Cayman a jurisdiction that is only interested in legitimate bussiness…then we have nothing to fear from being a part of a venue that seeks to stamp out illegal/illegitimate activities.And should be seeking to help in such matters!

     

    • what a mess says:

      ps: I do however believe that Mr. Marchant will do more good by being more tactful and diplomatic. Calling people "morons" and "local yokels" is not going to be helpful…to anyone or any cause!

      I can now better understand so many peoples reluctance to engage with OA if they are to be met with such contempt.

      But, i also believe Cayman (and those who represent Cayman) will need to take the High Road…and concentrate on the Goal…to present Cayman as a transparent and legitimate jurisdiction to do bussiness.

      In doing so Cayman will stand a better chance to continue and grow…both in bussiness and social maturity!

  12. Paul Itzer says:

    I think the publisher’s attack mentality on the simple question of whether Offshore Alert would pay out on a defamation judgment says a lot.  A simple "Yes" would have been the most impressive answer.  Sadly, that was the simple answer he was not prepared to give. 

    A "Yes" would have moved me quickly towards the side of those that support OA, alas the response drove me personally the other way.  The conclusion I draw from the postings below is that a publication which focuses on activities in other countries won’t accept the laws of those countries when it comes to legal and financial responsibility for the accuracy of its journalism. 

    • A "simple yes" is a simpleton’s answer to the question and ignores a range of scenarios. For example, if Thailand imposed a prison sentence against me or fined me and/or OffshoreAlert for defaming its king, which is something that has actually happened to journalists, then, no, I would not satisfy the judgment. Should a country like Iran sentence me to death for defamation, then, no, I would not satisfy the judgment.

      When an action is brought, there is a thought-process involved that goes something like this: 1. How credible is the jurisdiction in which the action has been brought?; 2. How credible is the jurisdiction’s libel law?; 3. How much will it cost to defend?; 4. Would a default judgment be enforceable in the USA, which is the only jurisdiction in which OffshoreAlert is incorporated? and 5. What is the reputational damage to me and my company should a default judgment be entered?

      As I have already stated, OffshoreAlert has sucessfully defended every libel action ever brought against us, including three in jurisdictions which have adopted Britain’s libel laws, including one in the Cayman Islands. You would have to be a moron to interpret that as being an example of avoiding one’s legal obligations.

      In hindsight, I regret choosing to defend the action in the Cayman Islands because of 1. Cayman’s anti-truth libel law; 2. The enormous costs (legal fees alone would have been circa $1 million if the case had gone to trial and an appeal); and 3. A judgment would almost certainly have been unenforceable in the USA.

      I also think there is no loss of reputation among our target audience (credible, sophisticated people, as opposed to local yokels) in choosing not to defend a libel action in the Cayman Islands.

      In summary, OffshoreAlert would satisfy any judgment that it was legally obliged to satisfy in the jurisdiction in which the company is incorporated. If that were not the case, then it would be a simple matter for a judgment-holder to petition the company into liquidation.

       

      • Local Yokel says:

        So the answer is "No" then.  You are happy to make allegations which may harm reputations and if you were not be able to justify them you would refuse to pay up.  Classy.  Real classy.

         

        • au revoir says:

          I think Mr. Marchant explained his position very clearly as to when a "No" is appropriate.   It is obvious, from your answer, that you’re only interested in denigrating his publication and reputation; unless, like many other local yokels, you have failed Comprehension 101… 

  13. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like Offshore Alert has a case of sour grapes over the fact Travers has declined to speak –  Its not as if he said he would speak and then pulled out – How many other people have they asked to speak who have declined – instead of which they decide to go public  and advertise the fact he turned them down -WHY ??  If that is indicative of the way Offshore Alert operates then thanks but no thanks 

    • Anonymous says:

      Really? I didn’t get that impression at all. In the end, travers doesn’t make or break offshorealert’s event. They always have a top-notch line-up of speakers with or without travers. But it is worth noting, which marchant did, that travers’ decision is more than a little odd…given his role. Marchant probably would have been equally critical of travers if the same event had been hosted by an organization other than his own.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The points about Offshore Alert are the points tough or not and whether they are made anonymously or not.No doubt Marchant has his admirers at the tabloid level of the market

      

    • Re. "The points about Offshore Alert are the points tough or not and whether they are madeanonymously or not."
       
      The only point being made by the pro-Travers poster(s), if I may call them that, is that Cayman should not be associated with a newsletter that specializes in rooting-out illegal activity. Good luck with that message! See how far it gets you in the outside world.
       
      Re. "No doubt Marchant has his admirers at the tabloid level of the market."
       
      OffshoreAlert’s "admirers" are those that abhor financial crime and want to see it exposed. OffshoreAlert’s detractors are those that profit from financial crime and do not want to see it exposed. It really is as simple as that. It speaks for itself that anyone who thinks negatively of a newsletter that exposes serious financial crime must actually think that serious financial crime is an acceptable way of making a living.
       
      Fortunately, it is my experience that there are many more people in Cayman’s offshore financial services sector who want to see financial crime stamped out than there are those that want to promote it. It is these people who subscribe to OffshoreAlert and attend our annual conference. These practitioners represent Cayman’s future, not the deadwood who are not taken seriously outside of their drinking circles.
       

       

      • Girl from Ipanema says:

        "It speaks for itself that anyone who thinks negatively of a newsletter that exposes serious financial crime must actually think that serious financial crime is an acceptable way of making a living."  You did not study logic earlier in life did you?  Otherwise you would see the leap you make is farcical.  Anyone who thinks a system of laws which requires journalists to compensate third parties for reputation-damaging stories which cannot be justified as "one of the most pathetic pieces of legislation that has ever existed in a developed country" is quite rightfully thought of negatively as far as I am concerned.

        If you don’t want to be bound by our libel laws and act in what appears to be a cowardly manner then please don’t publish your "news" in this country or publish stories about what you allege happens in this country. 

        I have tremendous respect for responsible high-level investigative journalism into financial misconduct.  But your responses on this topic were smug and self-satisfied.  So while I was open minded on your publication until a few days ago, I am afraid I now have to side with the doubters.

      • Anonymous says:

         Mr Marchant  it is down to you that people are speaking up in respect of Tony Travers – you chose to make public the fact that he declined your invite to speak , you further released the fact that this was the second year he declined your invite and then pointed out you had given him 11 months notice. I personally dont feel that was very professional and doesnt say much for the way your organisation operates – Wouldnt it have been far better to highlight who would be speaking and people would then draw their own conclusions instead it appears almost like a personal attack on someone who has fought Caymans corner  for many years and whose loyalty , integrity and values are well known . 

         

         

         

  15. Anonymous says:

    It speaks volumes that they had to highlight the fact that Anthony Travers declined to speak at their event for the 2nd year running –

    Travers im sure gets invited to speak at a large number of events and he has the right to decide where he wishes to speak its as simple as that – it is a cheap shot to say we gave him 11 months notice etc – 

     

  16. For the record, the Cayman Islands is one of my favourite offshore jurisdictions. I’ve visited several times and I like it immensely. There is clearly a lot of talent in the offshore sector and plenty of legitimate business being conducted there. Long may it continue.

    It is my experience that legitimate businesspeople in Cayman support OffshoreAlert and consider its products and services beneficial to their industry. Such people abhor financial crime as much as I do and understand that it is not good for Cayman to tolerate such activity.

    The measure of a jurisdiction is not that there is illegal activity being conducted in it (because financial crime is going on everywhere, particularly in the USA, where I live) but what a jurisdiction does when such activity is exposed. Burying one’s head in the sand and pretending it does not exist is not healthy.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It would be a great mistake for Cayman Finance to be in any way associated with Marchant and the tabloid  known as Offshore Alert although one can understand Marchant’s desperation at receiving any form of validation and much needed legitimacy .No doubt Travers judgment is right . 

    • I’m afraid we are long past that sort of Dinosaur mentality. Cayman provides more attendees than any country other than the USA. You really ought to keep abreast of what is happening in the offshore world. A lot has changed over the last decade.

      If I had to make a list as to who was posting these anonymous messages in support of Mr. Travers, my short list would contain just one name.

       

      David Marchant

      • Anonymous says:

        Well I made a couple of postings and I am certain you dont know my name as I am not a major player – I do however work in funds investment. I have posted in favour of Mr Travers as I sincerely feel you have acted appallingly in trying to use the fact he declined your invite to speak in order to get some publicity for your event.

        We I am glad live in a democracy so he has every right to decide where he wants to speak and where he doesnt. I agree with whoever posted it was a cheap shot  As for your comment about Tony Travers needing to get out of comfort zone that again is laughable – any one who has met Mr Travers knows that with regards offshore legal / financial he would never be out of his comfort zone he has spent all his professional career in this industry and is known for his integrity and expertise in this arena  as well as his unquestionable commitment to Cayman

         

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Why knock david Marchant and Offshore Alert? Is there something you wish to share with us?

      I am a subscriber, like many Cayman businessmen and have attended several of his conferences. Many speakers have emanated from the Cayman Islands including the previous Chairman of Cayman Finance. David frequently reports on situations prior to the international press getting hold of them and his views on Stanford were expressed long before it emerged that the bank was bust.

    • au revoir says:

      The daily lack of transparency, corruption, and fraud in the Cayman Islands is what gives Marchant et al a job.  If Travers thinks that by keeping silent these problems will disappear, he may want to give Tiger a call. 

      • Anonymous says:

        As Chairman of CIFSA  & CSX it would be very foolish for Travers to be turning a blind eye if indeed he was aware of corruption/ fraud  taking place and I cannot ever see him tolerating that type of behaviour his reputation is everything to him. 

         

  18. OffshoreAlert has an unblemished track record of exposing serious financial crime, including many scams in the Cayman Islands, and has helped to put several people behind bars.

    It should go without saying that the only people who frown upon OffshoreAlert are those of low moral fibre who are neck deep in illegal activity and are afraid of being exposed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just wondering, is Offshore Alert willing to pay in full any defamation judgments that might be made against it in England or anywhere else? 

       

      • OffshoreAlert has defended every libel action brought against it, namely seven (two of which were criminal) in five countries, including three three which were brought under libel laws that were modeled on Britain’s. We have never paid a cent in damages, fees or costs to the other side and never published a correction or an apology to any of the plaintiffs.

        The British libel law is one of the most pathetic pieces of legislation that has ever existed in in a developed country and it is widely ridiculed around the world as a means of allowing illegal, immoral and embarrassing information to go undetected. 

        • Anonymous says:

          But the question was would Offshore Alert pay out on a judgment if it was found liable in the British style?  From the tone of your response it appears the answer to that is "No".  Is that correct? 

          Also in the interests of fair and responsible journalism, when you said "OffshoreAlert has defended every libel action brought against it, namely seven (two of which were criminal) in five countries"  Of those five civil claims, how many did Offshore Alert alert win after a trial?  

          • My, it’s awfully easy to pretend to be tough when you post all of your messages as ‘Anonymous’. There is no reason whatsoever for you to exchange opinions with me on an anonymous basis other than you are embarrassed about siding with crooks and against a newsletter with an unblemished track record of exposing them. I dread to think what type of activity you have been involved with to make you so against a newsletter devoted to exposing serious financial crime.

            One libel action went to trial. The others were dismissed before trial (hardly something that reflects negatively on OffshoreAlert).

            Eleven people belonging to three plaintiff groups were criminally charged with fraud, tax evasion and/or money laundering subsequent to the libel actions being filed. The head of the first group to sue me for libel is currently serving 17 years in prison.

            A pretty good track record, don’t you think?

            Re. "But the question was would Offshore Alert pay out on a judgment if it was found liable in the British style?  From the tone of your response it appears the answer to that is "No".  Is that correct?  "

            I’m not sure how you could arrive at such an illogical conclusion based on my comments. If you participate in legal proceedings, you must be prepared to pay the cost should you lose and OffshoreAlert is no different.

            However, it is easy for me to see a situation where OffshoreAlert would choose not to participate in legal proceedings if an action was brought in an lesser-developed country which had laws that were abhorrent to a civilised person and, as such, were unenforceable in the USA, which is where I live.

            David Marchant

             

            • Anonymous says:

              "However, it is easy for me to see a situation where OffshoreAlert would choose not to participate in legal proceedings if an action was brought in an lesser-developed country which had laws that were abhorrent to a civilised person and, as such, were unenforceable in the USA, which is where I live." Which must mean Offhore Alert would seek to rely upon first amendment rights to refuse to pay a judgment on a defamation suit even thought a court found Offshore Alert liable in a country where the website had been viewed and which did not have similar limitations on holding publishers accountable for inaccurate statements?

              • au revoir says:

                Give it up already.  It’s surprising that you’re so concerned with a publication that seeks to expose fraudulent, illegal, and/or corrupt activities/practices that affect millions of people worldwide.

  19. Anon says:

    Sadly Offshore Alert is still considered at the tabloid end of journalism…which may explain why Mr. Travers did not speak.