Premier’s comments met with summit hostility

| 17/05/2016 | 53 Comments
Cayman News Service

Finanacial Services Minister Wayne Panton (left) and Premier Alden McLaughlin

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin has said that his comments about the hypocrisy of the United States were not greeted very well during last week’s anti-corruption summit in London. Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, he said the “temperature in the room fell about 10 degrees” when he pointed out the fight against corruption would not work if the G20 nations, and the US in particular, did not also sign up. The premier admitted his comments were received with hostility at the session, which included many advocates for public registers, but it was an  opportunity he could not miss.

McLaughlin said that both he and Allan Bell, the chief minister of the Isle of Man, saw red over the US hypocrisy and the speech given by John Kerry, the secretary of state, and they could not remain silent.

It was an opportunity to point out that the world was not focusing in the right places in the fight against corruption, but it was not well-received, the premier told the local media Tuesday. Despite indications before departing that he had been asked to go, the premier said Cayman had fought to go to the summit. He said that if the delegation from Cayman had not attended, the jurisdiction would have “been mauled” with no one there “to speak for us”, but instead it had been a chance to say what “needed to be said”.

McLaughlin said there was no response from the US about his comments and it was unclear if there was an official US delegation accompanying Kerry.

“We don’t know what his view is,” the premier said, adding that Cayman came away from the summit without a take on the official US position about where they stand on any move towards a global standard.

Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton said there did not seem to be an official representative for the US in the room when the premier spoke but there was a perception that America has a number of issues that need to be resolved.

The minister highlighted the situation in Delaware, where one address alone has 285,000 companies registered — as he referred to President Barrack Obama’s comment about Ugland House in the Cayman Islands. Panton said that if all of the companies registered with the UK’s crown dependencies and overseas territories, with the exception of BVI, were added together, they would be less than those in this single address in Delaware.

“It’s an illustration of the scale of problem in US,” Panton added, as he pointed out that no one there is collecting the information on beneficial ownership. The minister said, however, that these issues were recognized at the summit and finally concerns were going beyond the traditional targets. He added that the summit allowed for an open discussion and recognition that Cayman has a good system and things are not how they have been painted.

Panton said the premier had revealed an uncomfortable truth and although it may not have been well received by those wanting public registers in offshore centres, it galvanised the media to take a different view. Regardless of the discomfort resulting from the comments made by McLaughlin and Bell, there was some degree of grudging respect, he said.

The minister noted an intervention by the leader of the Netherlands delegation, who also spoke about the important difference between privacy and secrecy, supporting Cayman’s position on its opposition to a public register.

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Category: Europe, Politics, UK, World News

Comments (53)

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  1. Sherry says:

    Maybe, people from The United States of America should quit bringing their vacation money to the Cayman Islands, since so many Caymanians do not like us. Interesting that your Premier made his comments when there was not a representative from the United States in the room.

  2. Sherry says:

    Laughing my butt off! Maybe all of us citizens of the United States of America should stop spending our money in the Cayman Islands. Maybe, the Cayman Islands should import milk, bread and other goods from somewhere other than the United States of America. By the way, were there any AMERICANS in attendance while the premier was being so brave? I think NOT.

  3. anonymous says:

    Well done Premier Alden. We need you here in Cayman! Dear God, please ensure our Premier is elected for a further term. He is doing so much good for Cayman! Stay strong my friend.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good for you Mr. Premier! The bullying by the US with Cayman and the rest of the world has to end! Glad you stood up and hope you continue to do so!

    It is nothing but hypocrisy as Rothschild, the institution that has wrecked the world since the 1700’s, has opened 3 TAX HAVENS in the USA!

    And this whole thing of replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the US currency. Has nothing to do with Tubman, it is a triumph of Rothschild! Jackson was the President which banned their bank from entering the US, as he could see the control they had over Europe. Rothschild finally allowed their influence to corrupt and moved in with the Federal Reserve in 1913. The Federal Reserve is not a help, it is evil, controlling the millions.

    Keep up the good fight Mr. Premier!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good job Mr. Premier.

    However, you can yell at the master, but when it is his ball, his game, his court that you are playing on you might have a problem.

    Truth be told, asides from the Asian business 60-70% of the offshore stuff comes from the USA. That said, throw stones at the giant if you dare but don’t think that “Great” Britian is that great. Happy Thanksgiving is a common word used in November in Camana Bay offices when the clients come down. Be careful Cayman, its not yours bread, your butter or you table and the European cheese tends to go to Malta, Isle of Man, Ireland etc. So know which table the scraps fall off of.

    A Senior Official of the Bank of England commented:

    One of the reasons Bretton Woods worked was that the US was clearly the most powerful country at the table and so ultimately was able to impose its will on the others, including an often-dismayed Britain. At the time, one senior official at the Bank of England described the deal reached at Bretton Woods as “the greatest blow to Britain next to the war”, largely because it underlined the way in which financial power had moved from the UK to the US.

    When was the last time anyone handed you a British Pound in Grand Cayman..riddle me that?

  6. Anonymous says:

    What about Alan Bell from the Isle of Man. He has done exactly the same and stood up to world leaders. Can we vote for him instead?

  7. ann says:

    Well Done Alden

  8. Patricia Bryan says:

    (Clap, clap, clap, clap). Hopefully it wasn’t our upcoming election next year that inspired this stance but nevertheless it is a sensible stance. I hope you and your guys stick by the position. The US government wants the benefits of our tax havens but no one else must get a slice of the cake. Bullying as usual.

  9. Anonymous says:

    David vs Goliath….. Way to go guys

  10. Anonymous says:

    You da man Alden, we are proud of you.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, but an average American is an “intensively vaccinated, overmedicated, borderline autistic fat man slumped in front of a screen battling a high-fructose corn syrup comedown who blindly believes in the BS his government feeds him. A physically and intellectually disabled population.
    The world would definitely be safer and better when the US administration ends its authoritarian behaviour and prevents the destabilizing and warmongering actions by its allies.

    • Anonymous says:

      Man you are a genius, never a truer word said about our myopic, self indulgent and arrogant cousins up north. These are the same hypocrites that tried to blackmail the British into staying in the EU with threats of ‘back of the queue’ trade deals should WE take a democratic decision to withdraw from the restraint of big brother in Brussels. However, if someone told them to join up with Canada and South America and be ruled by a bunch of unelected morons in Mexico City, they would be apoplectic with indignation and rage.
      Land of the free my ass, land of the self opinionated more like.

    • Anonymous says:

      Being that Cayman imports all of their food from the US, you can hardly comment on Americans and fat? Have you been outside lately? Vaccinated? Yep applies to Cayman too. As for Autistic, I’m seeing so many shades of red, I’m not sure what to say.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Not to mention the City of London! However, this attack was for the voters of Cayman. Look at how I stand up to the big boys! Nothing wrong with what Alden said but lets get real here.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cayman’s business is 99% institutional. To indict Cayman is to indict the entire global financial system, including the onshore world that sends that business to Cayman.

    When the US President says a particular building in George Town is a tax scam, he is implying that Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and all the other major financial institutions of the civilised world are up to no good. This is total nonsense of course and demonstrates that politicians (even supposedly intelligent ones) will say anything to pander for votes at home.

    Cayman has nothing to hide from legitimate inquiry and will continue to adapt its disclosure regime to comply with internationally required standards.

    But there is nothing wrong with pointing out the double standards of the world’s largest economic superpower and the failures of its own states to meet the same standards being imposed elsewhere.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Finally, we have a Premier (in Alden) who can hold their own in a room FULL of world leaders and represent these Cayman Islands to the highest standards on an international stage.

    How would Arden speak for us?

    How would McKeeva speak for us?

    How would Julie speak for us?

    How would Linford speak for us?

    If you are pleased with how Alden represented Cayman’s interest, let him know. Give respect where it is due.

    • .Big Booty says:

      Alden did ok but we really wanted Mac to go with him to give those bullies the ass whooping they deserve.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would respectfully suggest that Mr.Bush’s presence, for reasons of recent history, would have served no good purpose at all.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The Alden-bots have been very busy. Is there an election around the corner?

  16. Anonymous says:

    They are shaking in their boots – Not!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Finally a fightback. Keep it up.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Alden is Don Quixote and Wayne is Sancho Panza. This is not the time for Cayman to go on the offensive. Just introduce public registers and avoid blacklisting.

    • Anonymous says:

      And you, sir/madam, are not Winston Churchill, that is patently clear..

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, yes, turn over like the proverbial Rozinante and play dead till it blows over. If anything, Alden and his team have given us hope as we reach for the sweet Dulcinea.

    • Island Bundy says:

      Some of us believe our privacy is more important then the public’s right to know. Socialists and Fascists alike continue erode a persons right to privacy for their own advantage.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if you came back on CNS to check if there were any response to your comments….. If I was you I would be scared as hell to make another stupid statement on here.

    • Anonymous says:

      More like Samson and Goliath!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    The premier should pick his fights wisely. The USA is a billion times more powerful than Cayman and regardless of principles, it is often better to just comply. The damage the US can cause to Cayman is far greater than the damage of this agreement. We are dependent on the USA from milk to medical services.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s the spirit, roll over and play dead. This country was founded by men and women of courage and resolve, not the fear and cowardice evident in your post.

    • Anonymous says:

      understood but we also have to learn to stand up for ourselves. The US is known to push policies down countries throats and expect everyone to do as they are told…

    • Anonymous says:

      That is head in the sand mentality. He is not saying anything the world doesn’t know about already, and indeed has actually become more public as a result of the Panama papers. Listening to the truth always hurts, even for the good ol’ US of A. Now the Tax Justice network needs to stop its focus on the little guys, like us, who are 99% compliant, and focus on the big fish. When that happens, we will all be compliant and on a level playing field.

    • Anonymous says:

      Small axe cut down big tree…

  20. Anonymous says:

    the innocent have nothing to hide……..what is cayman and it’s ‘financial services’ industry afraid of?????

    • Grumpy the Cat says:

      Invalid argument. I’m sure you have nothing to hide but are you in favour of your personal business, like your bank balance, your assets, or what colour of boxers you like to wear for the missus put on display for the world to see. privacy is still important.

      • Anonymous says:

        How the heck did you know about my boxers and the missus? This is all getting rather worrisome.

    • Anonymous says:

      If that was the case, why doesn’t the US and UK government have their whole population DNA tested, to compare against past and future crimes?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe you should be asking what the US has to hide. Details of beneficial ownership are already collected in Cayman and made available to the authorities when required (this is routine, happens all the time). This is not the case in Delaware and other similar states (e.g. Wyoming, Nevada). try finding out who owns those companies you won’t get far. Similarly the USA is one of the few countries in the world that has not signed up for the Common reporting Standard (CRS) on tax information meaning that tax evaders will find a natural home and a big welcome in the US, knowing they cannot be reported to their home countries. Again, what does the US have to hide?

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      It is not Cayman that wants to hide anything. I think you will find it is the US and the rich politicians there that want to hide everything.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing. That is why our industry collects verified ownership information. The question you should be asking is why do some larger countries not do the same.

  21. Anonymous says:

    As a general critic of Premier McLaughlin, I commend him on this bold action. Standing up to world leaders ‘right in their faces’ is impressive. Good shot Alden!

  22. Anonymous says:

    The truth hurts.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Well done Mr. Premier. Proud of you!

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