Travers says FCO is in no position to lecture on debt

| 11/09/2009

(CNS): Chair of the Cayman Islands Financial Services Association has described the letter from the UK Overseas Territories minister Chris Bryant as a lecture on the propriety of deficit spending. Anthony Travers said the FCO was in no position to offer advice. “If we were asking for a lecture on how to manage a country’s finances, the last institution on earth that we’d be seeking advice from would be the Foreign and Commonwealth office – and you can quote me on that,” he told CityAM a London based business-news website.


Travers said that the recent a allegations that Cayman was bankrupt were “unsubstantiated and blatant” pieces of propaganda and “entirely erroneous.” The CIFSA and Stock Exchange chair explained that Cayman requires British government consent as a matter of constitutional law to incur further borrowing.  “They have declined to consent thus far and it’s hard to understand why,” he adds.

Answering the usual questions over Travers’s former work place the offices of Maples & Calder at Ugland House he said that the companies are listed there for “precisely the same reasons that 217,000 companies are listed at one registered office in the vice-president’s state of Delaware” to “obtain the benefit of superior legal structures”.

Travers insisted, once again, that Cayman has been fully transparent with respect to tax matters for over a decade, most importantly, with the US since 2001 and with all 27 countries under the European Union since 2003. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has produced a three-tier list, featuring a “white list” for those offshore locations that have ‘substantially implemented’ information-sharing agreements and that Cayman recently made it on to the white list, alongside Jersey and Guernsey.

Richard Murphy an accountant with the Tax Justice Network and an outspoken critic of the offshore business community said in the same article that Cayman was coming to terms with the fact that it is basically bust. “I think others will follow,” he said. “The situation where you aren’t prepared to raise revenue to meet your ongoing revenue obligations isn’t a viable option.”


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Tony should check his facts before speaking, assuming that the above article provides an accurate statement of his comments. There were not 27 EU member states in 2003. With mistakes like this it becomes too easy for informed critics of Cayman to rubbish the entirety of his statements and Cayman’s position.

    It is clear that articulate leadership armed with unassailable knowledge of the contribution of Cayman to the global economy is going to be required from some source if Cayman is going to survive. Tony merely giving interviews to whoever his PR people can drag up will not suffice in influencing policy decision makers although it may have a role in keeping Cayman’s deal flow operating short term. Neither will the Troglodyte style of local politics which is currently being played out have any effect other than to advance Cayman’s demise.  


    • Anonymous says:

       I dont think Bloomberg TV would be swayed by PR people – they only interview credible people who are an authority in their specialism – please bear in mid who Bloomberg service and it is the movers and shakers of the global finance world that is how they come by their revenue so to put someone on who wasnt  credible would be extremely damaging and is not something they are going to do

       – For Anthony Travers to be invited by them to answer questions not just from their London office but to have a live link to New York anchor people I believe speaks volumes and clearly underlines that Mr Travers is clearly respected . Anyone who watched the interview would be able to see that he spoke with confidence and authority 

    • Anonymous says:

        Why don’t you get yourself on global radio and TV advocate Caymans postion to a global audience and then we will all work out whether you or Mr Travers are more use to the Cayman Islands

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cayman’s best Voice is Tony Travers! He has the pulse of Cayman, is eloquent and well educated, especially knowledgible in what he is doing. Face the facts, no country or person can take him on! Go Tony Go!

    • Anonymous says:

       I agree can someone from the Govt  please tell me why CIG arent utilising his talent 


      • Anonymous says:

        Surely everyone must know that Tony, George and Paul are directing McKeeva on every step he takes and every word he utters?? I thought that was perfectly obvious.

        • Anonymous says:

          If these guys were advising Mac do you honestly think he would have made the comments he did at ritz carlton etc – think about it

          or perhaps mac aint listening

          • Anonymous says:

            2 out of 3 would have had no trouble with the comments – not sure about the third.

  3. Joe Average says:

    I have been reading extremely intelligent comments with regard to our financial situation here on Cayman, most notably, in the Viewpoint section.  It is no secret there are some well spoken and well trained individuals here in the financial services core.  What I don’t understand is why they are not advising government, either as ministers, or paid advisors.  We certainly could use their expertise.  Not, I might add, as in the United States with shady characters like Ben Bernanke or Henry Paulson.  Who follow this credo 

    "Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws" – Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild.

    But people, and I’m sure they’re here and available, with integrity and honesty and desire to see all the people of the island benefit from their knowledge. And our efforts.  Surely those people are here.

    Come forth and help us.  Wrest our situation from the hands of those who don’t seem to know anything but damage control.  Thank you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Tony is getting attention and what he is saying may provide some type of feel good factor to Tony and a few others, but anyone with objectivity and half a brain would have to question whether anything of value to Cayman is actually is being accomplished by such activities.

    While Tony is giving his personal opinions to a radio talk show in the UK with a relatively small audience on non-decision makers, some of our fiercest critics are managing to wrangle invitations to speak at meetings attended by officials from the World Bank and senior representatives of G20 Finance Ministries.

    Guess which activity is likely to influence the decision makers who are setting the agenda Cayman will be forced to follow?

    Why is no one doing anything any more in fora that actually count? Hype and spin without substance do nothing in the long run other than waste money.

  5. Anonymous says:

     I heard that CIG are going to be in London next week  for a global financial cnference – I’d advise Travers to get the flak jacket prepared and the fire engine ready as the one thing we can rely on is that Mac or one of  his represntatives will say at least one stupid comment that will put the negative spotlight back on us and give the FCO the ammunition they need. 


    • Anonymous says:

      Mac can never say anything as stupid as Kurt’s "first do no harm" speech.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well said Mr Travers  –  the really great thing is that you are getting media coverage and the facts out there and they are clearly interested in what you have to say which is more than can be said of others . I know there are a lot of  us who appreciate what you are doing and the sincerity with which it is done.



  7. Redbayer says:

    Tony Travers – Legend.

    Nick Quin

  8. Anonymous says:

    Keep it up Tony! It might not persuade Richard Murphy or the Grauniad (Guardian) but at least it shows the world we are prepared to say it like it is. The great-grandchildren of today’s UK taxpayers will be paying off the debt incurred by Gordon Brown and his useless bunch of leeches. It’s called "intergenerational taxipaying".

    • Anonymous says:

      While it might be nice to think that Tony’s comments were "showing the world" and while I appreciate that he is trying to undo the damage done by McKeeva’s incredibly stupid public comments regarding the economy, it is clear that little is being accomplished other than spending CIFSA’s money and bolstering the Tony Fan Club in Cayman.

      Tony’s opinions (and that is all that is being presented by this approach) may sound good to Tony and some of his closest acolytes but out in the world where decisions are being made ten of Tony’s opinions plus $10 will hardly by a cup of coffee. Sadly they have no coherent arguments based on facts to counter thenegative material being put out their by Cayman’s foes. That does not mean that the arguments are not available, it just means that they are not being used.

      • Anonymous says:

        Some of your brave anonymous commentators appear to misunderstand the role of public relations as distinct from policy. CIFSA have made their recomendations to CIG on policy. As to opinions  Travers mattered when he was establishing Cayman globally and we are pleased to have someone of his standing internationally now making the right points on every point . As to the FCO unless and until CIFSA are brought in to negotiate resolution with the FCO, CIFSA can only rely on CIG.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It is easy to bash the British government and using the phrase “Pot calling the kettle black” is well founded. The UK financial deficit is massive (£175 Billion and projected to grow fast) and unsustainable; it will take many generations to bring back into line. The cause has been a political party that has bought votes through increased spending and encouraging asset price inflation to create an illusion of wealth. (Does this sound familiar?) It is led by a man that has never been elected, even by his own party members and whose health is in doubt especially after weekend reports of him having to take high powered anti-psychotic drugs.

    Thankfully, the Labour party is very likely to be removed at the next general election, due next year. Please don’t make themistake of thinking that those that has led the UK, and in part Cayman, into this dire condition are representative of the country as a whole.
  10. Bring back the birch says:

    The less than wise political machinations of the UK government have placed the people of UK in a position where future generations will be paying for their seriously questionable decisions. Many of the decisions have not been accompanied by any results of value, rather have managed to alienate the British people and turn UK into a warring state, following the path of the US, who appear to believe that all problems can be solved by shooting those who they see as the cause of the problem.

    But at least these idiots who run their country are consistent in their immeasurable arrogance and lack of imagination. 

    If I was a UK tax payer, I think I might be tempted to follow the political example and do a bit of my own shooting!  

    I agree with sage Travers, is Cayman really to be dictated to by a bunch who have so obviously failed to properly manage their own country?  But having said that, the Cayman government has yet to demonstrate a superior management ability, sadly it so far  has not, too much energy is used up blaming others.  Frankly who is interested in who did what, the issue is how the problem will be resolved.