Entering a year of uncertainty and opportunity

The year 2009 delivered a surprisingly strong recovery as equity markets rebounded from the historic financial crisis seen in the second half 2008. The remarkable levels of government investment into the global financial system seem to have rescued the world’s economy from a potential disaster that could have taken decades to recover from.  

Wealth creation vs control?

The apocryphal Chinese proverb, “May you live in an interesting age”, describes the current international financial environment – from the US FATCA to the various “me too” versions being hastily put forward by European governments, the world’s financial plumbing is being reworked.

 

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

Crystal ball gazing is precarious at the best of times, but especially so in the current world economic environment. This does not stop people predicting the timing of the global economic recovery.

Converging economic crime

At age 19 there was no doubt in my mind that I did not want a career in criminal law. I chose the much more objective (and enjoyable) commercial law. So much for that!   

 

The view from 1963

The global financial crisis, Cayman’s struggles to balance its budget, the sequential financial meltdowns among Europe’s PIIGS, and the turmoil in the Middle East’s impact on energy prices (let alone the question of whether countries like Egypt will end up better off or not) could all make one gloomy about the future. 

A future of wealth confiscation?

Warren Buffett famously explained to his shareholders in 2004 that investors “should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful". 

 

A new paradigm for economic sustainability

 Governments the world over are faced with the challenge of a growing imbalance between public spending and revenues.   

The case for offshore

The world’s financial infrastructure remains in flux. The United States’ FATCA, Britain’s “son of FATCA,” France’s “mini-FATCA,” the dozens of intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) being entered into by governments around the world with the U.S., and calls by many EU member states for IGA-like agreements of their own are changing the rules of international financial transactions.

 

Whither the Cayman Dollar?

The Swiss franc, the currency of a country that has a few things in common with the Cayman Islands, shot up from $1.082 (USD/CHF) on 5 April of this year to $1.375 on 10 August, an increase of 27 per cent in four months.

International regulatory policy: Risking a disconnect

Just as natural science developed out of a natural philosophy we are hopefully moving toward a science of regulation, both in the sense of being well-established knowledge and drawing on political science and quantitative economics.  

 

The Future of Money

The global debt crisis is leading to increased money chaos. Europe is in the worst shape, but the debt and money problems are to be found almost everywhere on the globe. As an economist who has often written about money, I feel a bit of embarrassment about how little progress we have made with “money”.

 

The growing threat of wealth taxation

We need a tax system which asks the billionaire class to pay its fair share of taxes and which reduces the obscene degree of wealth inequality in America.

 

The future of financial regulation: Dark clouds on the horizon

 Consider the following recent comments by key regulators in the United Kingdom and the United States and a likely one from France:  

 

The way forward for anti-corruption measures

OFCs need to exert more influence toward the global adoption of cost-effective anti-corruption measures.

The re-launch of the Cayman Financial Review

This is an exciting moment as we continue to build on the foundations and excellent work laid down by the previous publisher, Paul Byles....

Three lessons for financial regulators from 1970s price control

In the early 1970s, there was no euro, Greece could print as many drachmas as it wanted, and the notion of a common European fiscal policy would have been dismissed as sheer fantasy by all but the most ardent proponents of a “United States of Europe”.

 

Changing direction on bank regulation

The quality and cost of payment services from M-Pesa in Kenya to Apple Pay in the U.S. are steadily improving. However, the channeling of saving to investors is lagging behind.   

 

FINANCIAL IMPERIALISM: International challenges to the offshore financial services industry

We are in probably the most turbulent times the offshore financial industry has ever seen. Almost daily, new events come to light and new initiatives are unveiled. The pen is no sooner dry, than the commentary is out of date, so I apologise if that is the case here. I hope not, as I have tried to look over the horizon. 

Is Cayman committing economic suicide?

 The proposed tax, since dropped, would have been a 10 per cent payroll tax on expatriates making more than $36,000 per year. Cayman had never had a direct income tax, and officials have always previously insisted that Cayman would never have one.  

Circumventing government

Cayman has taken just such a permissive approach to certain forms of financial regulation and has reaped the benefits. Extending that approach into other areas might well enable the island to become a hub for other entrepreneurial activities, to the benefit of islanders and to the world.