September 28, 2020

The publicity Cayman Islands get they couldn’t pay for


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Less than thirty years ago the Cayman Islands were known as the “islands time forgot”.

Then, slowly, the outside world started discovering them. Not only for their pristine white clean beaches, clear blue waters and 300 days plus sunshine, but banking.

A book came out called “The Firm” in 1991 written by John Grisham that became a best seller and two years later it was adapted into a film using the same name. The movie became a blockbuster. The Cayman Islands featured prominently in the plot (a large part of the film was shot there) and boom the Cayman Islands was the “big deal”.

Switzerland was no longer THE place mentioned in movies, TV and print where one held secret bank accounts and laundered money. It was NOW the Cayman Islands.

And the publicity hasn’t stopped. Hedge funds became big news and who has the largest hedge funds accounts – the Cayman Islands.

Even US President Obama loves to mention the Cayman Islands. He rolls it off his tongue with a hiss like a snake waiting to strike. He even pauses for effect. His audience waits almost breathless for the strike!

Now we have the US presidential race for the White House. Obama’s rival is multi-millionaire Republican, Mitt Romney. On January 18th this year ABC’s TV show “World News with Diane Sawyer” ran the headline “Romney Parks Millions in Cayman Islands”. Their Chief Investigator, Brian Ross appeared, and with a huge smirk he announced, “Although it is not apparent on his financial disclosure form, Mitt Romney has millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven.”

NOTORIOUS!! A far cry form the “islands time forgot”.

Not a day goes by now when “Cayman Islands” is not mentioned in articles whether in print or on the World Wide Web. We even have respected publications like “Time Magazine” actually printing rubbish that “on the twelfth floor” of a building in the Cayman Islands there are thousands of companies listed. It is only recently six floors have been allowed on Grand Cayman and nearly all of the “giant” office spaces are five.

Beneath the balmy world of sunshine, sand, seas and palm trees there lies an underworld of darkness where lies, deceit, shady deals, betrayal and evil lurks in abundance.

I have lived in this beautiful country for over thirty years and I have to laugh at all this. I am only a small bit player of a journalist (most of my friends would not even call me that) in a small online news outlet but I would never stoop to this kind of sensational and distortion of the facts form of news reporting that is making the rounds now. It’s not just ABC – all the networks have jumped on the bandwagon and then there are the specialized news outlets CNN and FOX NEWS amongst others.

One of the UK’s tabloids even has a reporter permanently here. And Miami is only a 50 minute plane journey away.

We have re-published today an interesting article written by Paddy Johnson under the title “e-flux could increase future funding for the arts through .art”. It is very good and I hope you all read it. However, even Mr. Johnson cannot resist in his last paragraph saying, “If you’d rather send your money to e-flux than the Cayman Islands, you should leave a comment ………”

As my title states “the publicity Cayman Islands get they couldn’t pay for”.

That’s good because it seems we are broke!





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