G20 worries Cayman Islands

| 31/03/2009

(BBC): The tiny Cayman Islands are the world’s fifth biggest financial centre, where hundreds of billions of dollars flow through the economy. But the global economic downturn has put the Cayman Islands and other offshore financial hubs in the spotlight. On Thursday, when leaders from 20 of the world’s most powerful countries gather in London for a summit, regulation of offshore tax havens will be on the agenda, and that is causing concern on the Cayman Islands.

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  1. Only For Caymanians says:

    Good news in press releases ?  What good news are you referencing to ?

    This is Only action that  has taken by the Government of Cayman Islands After the fact of being caught up into doing the wrong things, and now we try to polish things up by saying that we have NOW joined these countries into the tax information exchange.

    Now, should I ask these questions.

    "If we had an "Honest Government", then Why the Government "Omit" parts of the International Tax Laws to permit them to be caught up into these kind of situations as is now with the G20 ?"

    "Who do we blame for this problem, is it the G20, the people of the Cayman Islands, the Government of the Cayman Islands,  Mr Obama, the President of America or is it the Prime Minister Mr. Gordon Brown ?"

    If  "This needs to be taken very seriously! "? Yes I would surely well thinks so.

     Papa Kurt is Just Now complying with "A Part" of the General System of International Tax Laws, and it is all happening After the Fact of being "caught with your pants down……"

    In my honest opinion, the "Power Grabbers" for the Premier option in the Constitution should All be Omitted from the Government as the G20 will not be the only one bringing down more hardships in Cayman Islands.

     Caymanians NEED to wakeup and join hands in cleaning up these "Government Rulers" and Replace them with a new set of "Government Leaders" to Govern and Run the Cayman Islands in a more "Honest and Right way" of running a Country….. Because we sure don’t have them now.

    Only For Caymanians




    • Anonymous says:

      Only for Caymanians, the good news in the press releases is self-explanatory. By contrast, it would have been bad news if those countries had said ‘too little, too late’.   I think everyone is clear that Cayman needed to enter into these agreements and has done so late in the day. However, since your primary focus is on allocating blame and deeming the government to have been dishonest not to have entered into them sooner here are some facts for you to consider:

      1. Cayman gave a commitment to the OECD to enter into tax information exchange agreements ("TIEAs") with the other countries in 2000. Mr. Tibbetts was LOGB from November 2000- November 2001.  In 2001 a TIEA was negotiated with the U.S. It was actually signed some two weeks after Mr. Bush took over as LOGB.

      2. During his tenure from November, 2001 until May, 2005 the UDP Govt. did not negotiate any TIEAs with any other country. Indeed, Mr. Bush forcefully resisted the implementation of the EU Tax Savings Directive.  This directive required automatic provision of information on interest paid to EU citizens on savings income outside of their home state to their home state tax authorities,to enable such authorities to then apply the relevant level oftax to that income. 

      3. A number of our competitor jurisdictions for example, Bermuda, Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man have also only recently (within the last month) entered into various TIEAs with other countries, including some of the same countries as the Cayman TIEAs. 

      The requirements of the OECD, the G20 etc. are not "international tax laws". There is also nothing inherently dishonest about not enforcing another country’s tax laws. Indeed, it was a long-standing principle of international law that no country should be required to do that. However, the political reality is that these are powerful countries which have the means, and now the will, to cripple our economy, and we therefore have little choice but to comply.

      I trust that you will now have a fresh perspective in light of factual and balanced information.   


  2. Anonymous says:

    This needs to be taken very seriously! As you will read the related articles you will note that France has threatened to walk out on the G20 talks if more isn’t done in terms of regulations. They want a more stern approach than the US and UK are asking for and France plays a major role in these negotiations, so Cayman better wake up and get prepared for the CAT 5 hurricane coming our way!

    Make no mistake, this will be one hell of a storm with some major after effects!

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly everyone is taking the issue very seriously otherwise no agreements would have been entered into. It is no secret that France wants uncooperative tax havens blacklisted and sanctioned. The question is whether Cayman will be viewed by the G20 as uncooperative. In view of the various agreements and unilateral arrangements if the issue is approached on a technical rather than political basis we should be viewed as cooperative. France alone cannot put us on a G20 blacklist.

      Please stop calling down disaster on Cayman. Your main concern seems to be that people aren’t panicked out of their minds rather than offering anything constructive. It appears that  you would like the CAT 5 to happen just so you can say "see, I was right!".     

      • Anonymous says:

        My concern is that people think that just because we have signed a few agreements that we will be in the clear and we can go back to the way things were! This is far from being over and people need to understand that!

        You are right that France alone cannot put us on the G20 blacklist but they are a major player and seeing that we are already on the "hit list" for the US and UK, this doesn’t make it any better. And I’m not "calling down disaster on Cayman", your politicians have already done that. Good luck!

        • Anonymous says:

          To: Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 03/31/2009 – 21:30.

          Since you profess a great deal of foresight and insight in this matter, rather than sending general messages of gloom and doom,  that we should be panicked witless and we ought to blame our politicians for it, here is how you can be constructive. Please tell us, (a) whether you consider that we will be on the blacklist and if so why, whether sanctions will be imposed and what they may mean to us; (b) if we are not the blacklist what other measures from G20/OECD etc. we may expect in the near to medium term and what impacts this be likely to have on our economy; and (c) what steps we can take to address or mitigate these issues. You will either be able to address these, or you will prove my suspicions right that your real purpose is to panic everyone perhaps for some political purpose.      

  3. Anonymous says:

    What is also interesting is that our competitors in the offshore world Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man only signed tax information exchange agreements with Ireland on 26th March, 2009. Jersey also signed a TIEA with France on 23rd March, 2009 and the UK on 10th March, 2009. It seems that there are others besides Cayman playing catch-up in advance of the G20 Summit.     

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good news in press releases from the authorities in Germany and Ireland in response to Cayman’s unilateral mechanism for tax information. This is positive in advance in advance of the G20 Summit on Thursday. Here is the text of the German statement:

    Cayman Islands prepared to exchange information for taxation Purposes

     On 19 March 2009, the Government of the Cayman Islands declared that its authorities would, in future, be prepared to provide the German tax authorities with all details and information of relevance to taxation on request. The Federal Ministry of Finance has the following declaration to make in response:
    "We welcome the announcement by the Cayman Islands stating that it will, with immediate effect, start to comply with requests for information from the German tax authorities in accordance with the standard laid down by the OECD. The OECD standard concerning the exchange of information for taxation purposes provides as follows: If a request for information is submitted, the tax authority of the state receiving the request must furnish the requested information provided that the requesting tax authority can demonstrate that this information is foreseeably relevant to taxation and cannot be procured by some other means. From the perspective of the German party, the decisive factor is for countries and territories to implement and actually apply the OECD standard; the question of which national statutory sources a state or territory uses to achieve the desired result is, by contrast, a secondary issue. This means that the legal approach to the exchange of information being adopted by the Cayman Islands is also recognised under German tax law. We view this step by the Cayman Islands as a clear commitment to cooperate in cross-border tax matters. By taking this step, the Cayman Islands are joining the ranks of the growing number of states that accept the need for transparency and information exchange to be adopted as the standard when it comes to tax matters."
  5. Anonymous says:

    First you say it is not time to worry and then you overdramatize.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is not a time to worry. It is a time to buy hurricane supplies. Sort out the routes of recovery as needed and do what Cayman has been accostomed to do as we approach challenge.

    Unfortunately the current adminstration choose the GHB Katrina play book.

    We have never been sitting ducks before. Now we are in comparison to times past.

    This too shall pass with a seismic change to Captain, Firstmate, and Engineers