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Nowhere to run to, Nowhere to hide

The US is tightening its grip on offshore centres’ ability to ‘hide’ money from the US authorities. The firepower that the US has to uncover assets has grown steadily and the recent experiences in Liechtenstein have shown that US investors should not try to avoid paying US tax, not only on moral grounds but on the fact that the long arm will find them eventually. We enclose an excellent article by Bill Sharp explaining how this long arm was extended over Liechtenstein.

‘Tis the season to be downgraded, Fa-La-La-La-La, La La La La

Ratings agency Fitch has downgraded six of the world’s largest banks, blaming the challenging global financial markets. The banks, including Goldman Sachs in the US, Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, were downgraded on the issuer default ratings which are based on their ability to meet financial commitments on a timely basis and have been affected by their holdings of eurozone debt.

And in the other news…

While the world’s focus has understandably been on the eurozone brouhaha for the past week, a number of significant developments have happened in the rest of the world.

In the US, the Federal Reserve has left the target interest rate at 0.25%, suggesting that the economy is expanding moderately as global growth slows. Consumer sentiment appears to have improved along with spending, and Ben

Contagion

There has been plenty happening in the news since I last posted. Silvio Berlusconi has stepped down as Prime Minister of Italy and has been replaced by economics minister Mario Monti. This follows Greece’s change a couple of weeks ago.

More recently, there have been fears over the debt situation in Spain which has itself just held a general election which

Kicking the Cannes

The G20 meeting, which was originally intended to seek a solution to the eurozone debt crisis, was yesterday dominated by the shenanigans in Greece. At one point, the Greek Prime Minister was set to resign – this now appears to be unlikely. The referendum that he had called earlier in the week now also  appears to be off the cards. What is happening (at least, what seems to be happening at the moment, but following yesterday’s flip-flopping it’s hard to be

Let it snow

With Halloween tonight, many Americans will be planning to party. Few will have reckoned on the snow that has fallen throughout New England and down the East Coast of the US. This has added a stunning extra visual dimension to the fall leaves but on a more sinister note has left nine people dead and an estimated three million homes without power.