September 22, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Hype

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I had started this Editorial with a different headline when researching I happened upon an article written by Richard W. Rahn, chairman of Improbable Success Production, that appeared recently in the Cayman Compass.

I have never read anything before from Richard Rahn but the title “Hype-driven disasters” attracted me because I had used the word ‘hype’ in my not completed Editorial. If you have nor read Rahn’s article I urge you to do so as it is very well written and difficult to disagree with.

The salient points that fit my Editorial are these and I quote from Richard Rahn:

“It is normal for politicians to “hype” or exaggerate problems and their alleged solutions.”

“History is replete with examples of too much hype leading to disasters. The current fixation with all too many in the media – hyping the idea that Donald Trump is an evil person rather than just a political leader whose policies they disagree with – has the real potential to lead to violence. So, to alarmists and hypers of all stripes – climate, economic, foreign policy and their media enablers – cool it. The consequences for you and your cause are not likely to go as you would like.”

The last sentence is a warning I fervently hope Cayman Islands Opposition Members Arden McLean, Winston Connolly, Ezzard Miller, Alva Suckoo and Anthony Eden take heed.

I know I have already spoken out against their terrible instigated to derail the approval of the that was debated last week. However, because of the seriousness and damage they are recklessly doing to this country I have to write another especially since ’s statement also urging these ’s to withdraw their motion – see today’s iNews Cayman story “Cayman Finance urge movers of Private Member’s Motion to withdraw the motion”.

McLean, Connolly, Miller, Suckoo and Eden have hyped their motion even further claiming Cayman Islands law firms have denied our country $50 million in unpaid fees based on the number of attorneys working abroad without a Cayman Islands work permit or local licensing. Of course they do not back any of this up with any names or facts that can be substantiated by us. Instead they call for an investigation.

An investigation, of course, will delay a vote on the Legal Practitioners Bill until after the May election where they can pour out their rhetoric on the public during their election campaigns!

They issued a joint statement on Monday saying:

“We would welcome an independent investigation into the merits of the complaints made against these firms.

“We felt that this jurisdiction cannot simply move forward to ignore these very serious accusations made against some law firms and to blindly license certain practices, which may be, at this point in time, illegal, without at the very least, the various allegations being properly investigated and ventilated in the Legislative Assembly.”

Notice there are no names provided in these “very serious accusations” but use the phrase “SOME law firms”, plus “CERTAIN practices” and then use the word “ which MAY be” together with “at this point in time, illegal”.

McLean in the LA claimed, “Evidence is overwhelming because they have on their websites that there are people overseas practicing Cayman Islands law and they are not licensed to practice Cayman Islands law.

Where on earth is this “ overwhelming” evidence that is so illegal and been going on for years but no one has questioned until now just before the vote on the Legal Practitioners Bill?

There is enough overwhelming evidence to suggest hype before an upcoming election!

This overwhelming evidence is McLean’s estimation of 180 lawyers he claims are “practicing and advising on Caymanian law from overseas without local certification or licensing”. He bases this number on a 2007 statement by a firm (NOT NAMED).

To add even more hype to this they have made the claim private investigators have been hired to follow them, either for intimidation purposes or to dig up dirt on them.

Once again they have provided absolutely nothing to back this up. And I do mean NOTHING!!

The damage these five MLA’s are doing to this country is immeasurable at this time. All of this is now being headlined in the World Press and this has prompted Cayman Finance to join the Cayman Law Society in asking them to withdraw their motion and ‘shut up’ (my words).

Cayman Finance start their statement with these sobering words:
“In the context of the Private Member’s Motion, Cayman Finance strongly urges the movers of the motion and the other members of the House to remain focused on the need to protect the Cayman Islands Financial Services Industry, which is directly responsible for more than half of the Islands’ economy, more than half of the government’s revenue and employs more Caymanians than any other industry. In light of its significance to the Islands, any damage to this industry could have far reaching implications for the jurisdiction and its people as a whole.

“One of the core components of the Cayman Islands Financial Services Industry is the legal profession, which is one of the most important gateways for the flow of business to that industry, including fiduciary, public accounting, investment funds, banking, insurance, reinsurance and capital markets business. Cayman law firms will often be the first point of contact for clients and onshore referrers who have an interest in doing business in the jurisdiction. As such, any unwarranted attack on the legal profession which results in significant damage to that profession could in turn have significant adverse effects on the Cayman Islands Financial Services Industry as a whole.”

They go into very detailed analysis of the dangerous course of action these MLA’s are embarking on.

“Cayman Finance would strongly suggest that instead of pursuing a course of action that could have such negative consequences for the jurisdiction, the parties instead focus their efforts on fixing the problems with the current law in the interests of all parties concerned.”

They sum up with:

“We would argue that it would be much more constructive and beneficial for the jurisdiction for the parties involved to focus on producing a legal practitioners law that addresses all of those objectives in a balanced way than it would be for them to focus on debating and dealing with the Private Member’s Motion.

“For this reason, we would urge the movers of the Private Member’s Motion to withdraw the Motion as soon as possible in order to avoid any additional damage to the Financial Services Industry.”

It remains to be seen whether these fiver MLA’s listen and love their country more than their own questionable desires to be re-elected and hype up this nonsense even more.

McLean’s statement last Monday that he was speaking on behalf of his four colleagues, however, doesn’t give me any reason for hope.

He said all of them believed the financial sector would be damaged more if they don’t make a stand about many unanswered questions concerning the current practice of law firms and the proposed bill to govern the profession.

And their hype goes on….

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