New Offshore Book Critical of Kerry

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A new book on offshore financial centers is challenging what it calls Â?the misperception of the offshore worldÂ? and describes how offshore financial services provide legitimate benefits to investors in Oecd countries. The book criticizes some US politicians, in particular John Kerry for their approach towards these financial centers.

Five months after the inauguration of President Bush and just when John Kerry thought his limelight had finally dimmed, a new offshore book includes a chapter devoted to the former presidential candidate’s approach to the offshore financial world.

The book, ‘Inside Offshore’, includes a chapter entitled: ‘Mr. Kerry’s Neighborhood’ which discusses US politics towards the offshore financial world. It argues that Kerry’s approach, which intensified leading up to his election campaign is a broader sign of the approach of a small group of US politicians towards the offshore world in general.

President Bush seems to escape any major criticism in the book but several well known anti-offshore politicians are taken to task for making past approaches at introducing legislation in the US to stifle the offshore world.

The book’s publisher and author Paul Byles is a former regulator who worked as head of policy of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, the main regulatory body of the Cayman Islands.

While the chapter’s name suggest a Kerry focus, Byles who has worked in the offshore financial services industry for over 15 years, argues that ‘Mr. Kerry’s Neighborhood’ is simply a convenient way to describe a general problem with what he refers to as ‘a small group of cynical US politicians’. “This group of American politicians believe the US should focus on shutting down offshore centres instead of solving their fiscal problems in their own backyard”, he says.

‘Inside Offshore’ also looks at other issues such as the economic impact of the offshore world, regulation, and deals with what the book refers to as the ‘perception’ problem of offshore centres. In support of its argument, the book also has a detailed chapter on how various offshore services are used and how they benefit investors in oecd countries like the United States. A synopsis of the book's chapters is available at http://www.insideoffshore.ky

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Elissa Costello
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