Wednesday, January 21, 2009

International News - Jan 21

ECB's Trichet at European Parliament

Jan 21 (Reuters) - The following are comments by European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet during his testimony on Wednesday at an economic committee of the European Parliament. 'We are talking about tax havens that don't respect financial transparency, don't meet rules, don't allow us to tackle the proceeds of crime, terrorism.' 'We are in favour of strengthening the application of global rules.'

Can the UK government stop the UK banking system going down the snyrting without risking a sovereign debt crisis?
Jan 21 (FT Buiter blog) - The same version of the ‘Dutch disease’ - the crowding out of the non-financial internationally exposed sectors (exporting and import-competing) by the excessive growth of the financial sector and the construction industry - occurred in both countries, again to a greater extent in Iceland than in the UK, but to an highly undesirable extent even in the UK. Ireland may well be the next country where the ‘too large to rescue’ theory may be tested, although countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the UK and, outside the EU, Switzerland, are also potential candidates


Bankers accused in crisis could face trials in US
Jan 21 (Guardian) - Sanctions against bankers deemed responsible for the financial crisis could include more legal action abroad, lawyers say. The UK Serious Fraud Office, which is also responsible for prosecuting financial crime in the UK, was described recently by US prosecutor Jessica de Grazia as suffering from "startlingly low productivity and convictions rates compared to its New York counterparts".

Switzerland Remains Leading Wealth Management Centre, by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

January 21 (Tax-news) – A Swiss Bankers Association report, released this month, has reflected on Switzerland's success in gaining status as a leading global wealth management centre.

Obama to influence Hongkong as tax havens

Jan 19 (IBTimes ) - Hong Kong and Singapore may soon come under increased scrutiny from the US. The centrepiece of the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act is a provision that would force taxpayers to prove that they do not have control over any offshore entities with which they contract, including trusts,corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships. The STHAA would also increase reporting and withholding requirements on financial institutions and fiduciaries dealing with tax havens.

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