Why Is a Secretive Billionaire Buying Up the Cayman Islands?


After the 2008 monetary disaster, the political will to reform programs that facilitate tax avoidance reached a excessive. In 2010, the United States handed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which requires overseas monetary establishments to determine American residents who’re account holders and report that to the Treasury. Since 2013, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has been creating a world framework that goals to cut back company tax avoidance, significantly for big multinational and Internet-based companies.

Meanwhile, Britain has promised to undertake a set of stringent European Union insurance policies designed to fight cash laundering and terrorism. If absolutely carried out, protectorates like Cayman could be anticipated to create public registers of firm house owners and supply entry to the names of the beneficiaries of trusts. The registers may very well be accessible not solely to legislation enforcement but in addition to these with “legitimate interest,” together with investigative journalists and nongovernmental organizations. “What’s in the wind now is potentially existential for the financial services industry in Cayman,” stated Alex Cobham, chief govt of the Tax Justice Network, a watchdog group. “I think it does start to look like it could be a perfect storm for Cayman.”

If the colonial interval was Cayman’s opening act, and monetary providers its center, it appeared to me that Mr. Dart was quietly getting ready for Cayman’s potential finale: as an upscale tax domicile and vacationer attraction for the international ultra-wealthy who might afford to come back and go from an existentially imperiled island.

Justin Howe, a Dart group govt vice chairman, talked up the proposed skyscraper’s advantages at a current financial discussion board. “We’re looking to bring in more high net worth, ultrahigh net worth, potentially even more billionaires,” he stated throughout a question-and-answer session. “They take virtually nothing out of the economy and they put massive amounts into the economy, so we think that’s what a five-, five-plus-star resort has the potential to do.”

The plan is to construct the tower set again from Seven Mile Beach, in the center of the Camana Bay growth. Whatever would possibly occur with worldwide tax laws or risky monetary markets, the constructing could be a hedge of kinds, positioned to herald capital and face up to the rising ocean.

“Is everything he does great? I won’t say everything he does is great,” Mr. Whittaker stated of Mr. Dart, after displaying me a map of Hurricane Ivan’s devastation. “I think in overall net benefit, yes, he’s been a net benefit to the island. We need to get one or two more like him, and we’ll be insulated from world shocks.”



Source link Nytimes.com

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