New York Times Editorial Reflects Growing US Assault On Offshore Banking – What Should Barbados Do?

The Swiss and Their Secrets

A New York Times editorial is calling upon the United States government to reject any deal with Switzerland that would let 52,000 American citizens off the hook for having unreported Swiss bank accounts. This “get tough” attitude is reflected in many American media articles and mirrors the long-standing position of President Obama — who sponsored anti-offshore banking legislation long before he became president.

Barbados government officials have always talked a good game when it comes to transparency, accountability and monitoring of Barbados offshore corporations and international banks, but increasingly the United States is calling upon foreign governments like Barbados to open their records for US inspection — which of course destroys much of the attraction of offshore financial centers.

As economies come under increasing pressure there will be more calls to rein in offshore financial centers from real or imagined misdeeds as the developed nations fight to retain their tax base.

What Can Barbados Do To Avoid The Wrath Of Developed Countries?

As we have pointed out from the day we published our first article over three years ago, Barbados does not have any integrity legislation, transparency laws or conflicts of interest regulations. Barbados corporations are routinely allowed to violate existing laws regarding records keeping and public accountability, and the government itself is one of the worst violators of corporate reporting laws for companies in which it has an interest.

All of this sends the wrong signals to the United States, Canada and other countries that have expressed concern over our offshore financial and corporate industries. It is a shame that the DLP and David Thompson lied about their promise to implement ITAL – Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation.

As Switzerland is discovering, chickens do come home to roost when it is most inconvenient.

Further Reading

NYT: The Swiss and Their Secrets


Filed under Barack Obama, Barbados, Business & Banking, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

12 responses to “New York Times Editorial Reflects Growing US Assault On Offshore Banking – What Should Barbados Do?

  1. Anonymous

    Barbados has no such secrecy laws, in fact we have information exchange agreements with most of the countries we have double taxation agreements with (including the US).

    This article is not relevant to the Barbados circumstances

  2. cq8

    You had better tell that to President Obama then, because in February 2007 he and his fellow senator Carl Levin identified us here in Barbados as an “Offshore Secrecy Jurisdiction” when they introduced the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act in the Senate.

    Obama knows that what Barbados says and what really happens are two different things.

    I think this article’s central point is very relevant. The USA is gunning for tax havens and views Barbados as one.

  3. cq8

    Also the United States Embassy in Barbados says that Barbados banks are laundering drug money.

    Anonymous, you sound too smug by half.

  4. Many of Barbados’s laws are not enforced. Most corporations appear to have incomplete filings. The beneficial owners of a company may be effectively hidden from the public.

    It is my view that Barbados is a very secretive place where the public does not know whose money is behind the big transactions.

    Who is involved in the purchases of large tracts of Bajan real estate at extremely low prices? For resale at very high prices!

    Might the buyers be using offshore money from Canada, the US and the UK?

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  6. tim vanovickoyo

    once again, the US is meddeling in another countries business. turn the tables, would we release the names of Swiss citizens who had accounts in the US banks?? No way. our banks would collape if the foreigners took their money out of our banking system.

    the US is a big tax haven. non-resident aliens pay no capital gains or dividend taxes on money earned in the US. Let’s stay out of another countries business. if we don’t want the rich people to put their money in Swiss banks, give an incentive to keep their money here. why should we bully another country, but it’s what we do best.
    look for a world wide surge in taxes if there is no tax competition. The OECD and the high-tax EU socialist countries are putting pressure on the US to force the Swiss to give up the names of the investors. We should not bow to that pressure. We should put pressure on the OECD to increase tax competition aound the world. the more we have tax competionion the less we will need Swiss banks. go to

  7. home sweet home

    I thought Barbados was given a high ranking on the off shore business.

  8. kiki

    If the laws changed the financial companies para-legal teams would circumvent them with new schemes and loopholes or clients would withdraw money anyway.

    The Government racket has the monopoly on force (legal, police, military) allowing them to take tribute (taxes) from the masses.

  9. kiki

    The maroons in jamaica still don’t pay taxes

  10. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    To you the tell you the truth I would like some of these thiefing politicians to get their just recompense. People got to work hard for their money when all these crooks do is award big contracts and get back their big draw backs, tax free and without breaking a sweat. Absolutely wrong!!!!

  11. kiki

    Check out CHF Tax Reclaims

  12. Panama has lots to offer for offshore asset
    protection, here’s an article about Panama as a tax haven: