Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Aaro out and about

Being witty and entertaining to an audience of financial services professionals in the Cayman Islands, on the subject of "economic nationalism". Some choice quotes:

"By bringing respected and influential journalists such as David Aaronovitch to Cayman we achieve multiple objectives for our membership and the Cayman Islands overall. First, we encourage journalists to take a fresh look at who we are today and how we comport ourselves as an offshore centre - to move past the stereotype. That is certainly the experience that Mr Aaronovitch shared today."

Many attendees have noted that the insights Mr Aaronivitch shared at the CIFSA luncheon have turned out to be previews of his popular column in The Times.

In past reports of Aaro junkets (specifically, the Brunei trip) he has claimed that the local press stitched him up. None the less, I will certainly be keeping an eye out for any forthcoming column on those fuddy-duddy Old European countries with their quaint socialistic insistence on people paying their income tax, and the value of discretion and a light regulatory touch to today's globalised, mobile and indubitably progressive investing class.

Update: Hang on one cotton-picking minute! Then

"One of the United Kingdom’s best-known journalists, broadcasters and commentators, David Aaronovitch, will address the second luncheon of the Cayman Islands Financial Services Association (CIFSA) at The Ritz-Carlton (Grand Cayman) on Wednesday, 16 April.


The Cayman Islands Financial Services Association (CIFSA) has expressed satisfaction with its mid-May luncheon featuring special guest speaker UK journalist David Aaronovitch.

Was it postponed or (I like to believe this because it is funnier) does Aaro have a regular monthly gig at the Ritz-Carlton in Grand Cayman?

Update 2: No, this is getting decidedly weird. Aaro is quoted in extenso in this report dated 17 April (speak truth to power by the way, big man, and do follow the link there AW readers, it's hilarious). So he was definitely there in April. I guess the likeliest explanation is that Caymannetnews has got the date wrong.


Blogger ejh said...

How expensive does a dinner need to be before the conversation consists of "sharing insights" rather than just, say, conversation?

6/04/2008 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Actually screw this, can we change the box so that instead of "leave your comment" it says "share your insight"?

6/04/2008 01:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually screw this, can we change the box so that instead of "leave your comment" it says "share your insight"?

I might have to nick that.

6/04/2008 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger the management said...

Check out the new link I turned up and see how blatantly Aaro blew smoke up their arses, by the way - "Sharing insights" indeed.

6/04/2008 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Arse-licking indeed, although presumably the bit about inviting opinion formers back every year like Aaro is a joke based on how nice the weather is and good the beach looks.

6/04/2008 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He said there was a danger at the moment of politics ruling economics, as opposed to the other way around ...

Does he have any credibility left after this jolly?

6/04/2008 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

It is of course possible that he recognised the whole thing to be so outrageous that he thought he'd take the piss and see if they spotted it. I would certainly be inclined to do the same. So if David wishes to claim in print that this was what he was doing I promise to believe him. But only if.

6/04/2008 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

They said he was speaking at the end of the GAIM Cayman conference - it took place from the 13th to the 16th of April. As GAIM gets a jersey in the second story, it looks like they did cock it up.

Alternatively, they're really short of news.

6/04/2008 03:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What _do_ you report on Grand Cayman? I imagine that the big story ("Money slightly cleaner than it was yesterday") is ruled out of order, leaving only "Nameplates retain shine" and the perennial "This week's schmoozee is . . . . "

I wonder if Aaro ever went to Moscow in the 1970s? Same schtick, really - though perhaps there's a plug in the hotel room basin now.

Chris Williams

6/04/2008 10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Caymans aren't really a laundering centre (in the sense of criminal or political money) - they've always had quite a good local banking supervisory authority (run, IIRC by secondees from the Bank of England, where it's obviously considered a plum assignment). They're a tax haven, though, which in its own way is still a pretty pernicious thing to be; their financial services industry exists in order to facilitate the use of loopholes in international tax treaties (tax havens are nearly always little ex-colonies or constitutional anomalies because these types of country often have standing arrangements to piggyback off the international treaties of their parent states). Sometimes (as with Bermuda and reinsurance) this develops into a proper domestic industry which is developmental, but more often it's just purely parasitical off OECD fisc.

By the way, if you ever want to see "economic nationalism" in its purest form, engage a Caymanese lawyer on the subject of withholding tax.

6/05/2008 09:48:00 AM  

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