Crisis Centre waiting for promised cash from Travers

| 29/07/2011

(CNS): The prize money for a spoof book award promised by Anthony Travers to a local Cayman charity chosen by author Nicholas Shaxson back in May has still not been paid. The tongue-in-cheek prize in the “Fairytale” category was announced in a press release circulated on behalf of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange by Travers, its chairman, in which he revealed his intention to give $1000 to a local charity chosen by the author for his book, Treasure Islands, Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World. Describing it as a “sublimely entertaining” account of bad guys, tax wrongdoers and hidden treasure, Travers said Shaxson was a worthy winner.

Shaxton, while defending his book against Travers’ criticisms in his blog,, on 6 June, and despite the obvious gibe, took Travers at his word and announced that his chosen charity was the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, but added, “This award, from the stock exchange of the world’s fifth or sixth biggest banking centre, seems tiny. How about multiplying that $1,000 by ten?” 

Following this announcement in June, CNS quoted CICC Board Chair Len Layman, who offered his thanks to both men and said it would be spent wisely. “I would like to thank Mr Shaxson for choosing the Centre as the charity to receive the proceeds from this spoof book award as well as to Mr Travers for the award. While the debate which Mr Shaxson and Mr Travers are having is bringing the eyes of the financial world on the Cayman Islands we, the Cayman islands Crisis Centre, welcome the much needed donation and hope that it will also help to bring awareness of the plight of victims of Domestic Abuse worldwide,” he said.

“We can assure both of these financially savvy individuals that the money will be well spent, helping to serve the needs of victims of domestic abuse and their children here in the Cayman Islands.  On behalf of the Board of Directors and the clients of The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre I say, thank you both."

However, the Crisis Centre says that according to their records they have not received a donation from Travers to date. Shaxton has pointed out that to them that he made plain whom he nominated. “It's a little light-hearted in places, but it makes the point clear,” he said and noted that the story was picked up in the UK's Telegraph newspaper. “I realised recently that he had not yet paid the money, and I asked him to do so. He (well, the Stock Exchange) replied, saying he/they would send me some forms to fill in before this could happen. I have not received anything from him so far,” he said. (Update: Shaxson says he has now received the forms from the Stock Exchange by traditional mail, which must be signed in the presence of a notary public and mailed back.)

CNS has emailed Travers to ask when he is going to present the Crisis Centre with the money but has not received a response.

In Treasure Islands, Shaxson, a member of the Tax Justice Network, describes tax havens as “the silent battering rams of financial deregulation” that have forced other countries to remove financial regulations, to cut taxes and restraints on the wealthy, and to shift all the risks, costs and taxes onto the backs of the rest of us. “In the process democracy unravels and the offshore system pushes ever further onshore. The world’s two most important tax havens today are United States and Britain,” he states.

Announcing the book award, Travers described the book as a “work of intricate speculation” in which the author managed “to layer mischaracterization on misrepresentation on half truth and omission to create a fabulous tale of exuberant derring-do without feeling the slightest obligation to resort to the research or evidence presented by the IMF the OECD, IOSCO  the FATF or indeed the US General Accountability Office.” Travers said Shaxson had created a tale of legend, allegory and fantasy making him the clear favourite in the new spoof award’s fiction category. “We look forward to hearing from Mr Shaxson with his designated charity,” added Travers. “It’s a rattling good light read, hugely entertaining and, my goodness, very, very, humorous.”

The author responded to the sarcastic swipe at his book in his blog: “Travers has serious form in terms of vague mudslinging in my general direction, without actually saying what, specifically, he objects to. (My guess here is that Travers has at last got around to actually reading Treasure Islands – which is why he suddenly uncorked himself again in late May, over four months after the book was launched. Although – as I explain shortly – I’m not completely sure that he really has read it.)”

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  1. This is why says:


    This is why I am all for Caymanians leading the fight to defend our financial services and also running the industry. Mr. Travers while he has risen to be our defender is making all of this too personal. He needs to stick to the facts and fight a clean fight and stop making the outside world think that this is his personal crusade. We appreciate all he has done to build our financial services, but let’s face it..Cayman has made him a very wealthy man and while he may feel it is his place to defend us and himself for that matter, he needs to remember that when you speak for a nation you best do it in a manner that is noble, ethical and in the best interests of that nation. I don’t recall anyone sending him to pick this fight and now it has become down-right embarrassing. We do not need any loose cannons going off in the background please! We need a well organized and thought out marketing campaign aimed at dispelling the myths and reviving the industry. 

  2. Clean Haven says:

    Sounds like the poor are getting screwed here, just like the poor in all the countries starved of taxes so we don't pay any.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Talk about a good way to lose your credibility!!!!  I would at least double the offer along with my explanation of why it has so far not been paid!!!

  4. Robin Hood says:

    Perhaps the $1000 is also a Fairytale.

  5. Money Maker says:

    Quite a scary book.  Any Christian reading this would wander if we are really a parasite on the poor and needy of the world.

  6. Anonymous says:

    pay up dude