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  1. Maybe the island should look at appointing a Director of Public Prosecutions, which might help avoid these situations in the future? In the UK the AG is chief legal advisor to the government, as opposed to the DPP.
  2. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-21/isle-of-man-downgraded-by-s-p-on-offshore-finance-vulnerability.html Isle of Man Downgraded by S&P on Offshore Finance Vulnerability The Isle of Man was downgraded by Standard & Poor’s because the ratings company said the offshore financial center is vulnerable to growing regulatory pressure. The island administration, which sits in the Irish Sea off the north-west coast of Britain, was cut to AA from AA+, S&P said in a statement. It was ranked AAA by the ratings company in 2000 before being downgraded one level in 2011. The Isle of Man, which has profited from low taxes to develop a large financial sector accounting for 35 percent of the island’s gross domestic product, is facing challenges from regulators, the ratings company said. Growing industries such as gaming and technology won’t be able to replace the business, according to S&P. “The downgrade reflects our expectation that the contribution of the financial sector to economic growth and exports will gradually decline, due to competitive pressures and tighter regulations that will affect global off-shore financial hubs,” S&P analysts led by Aarti Sakhuja said in a statement. “Moreover, we do not anticipate that exports from emerging sectors will fully offset the decline in financial services export growth, given the difference in the size of these sectors.” The island lost its top grade from Moody’s Investors Service in December and S&P said has withdrawn its grade at the request of the government. ---------------------------------------- http://www.standardandpoors.com/prot/ratings/articles/en/us/?articleType=HTML&assetID=1245364416199 Isle of Man Long-Term Rating Lowered To 'AA' Then Withdrawn At The Government's Request OVERVIEW The financial sector remains the Isle of Man's chief source of economic activity, but its contribution to growth and exports is likely to continue to weaken, in our opinion. We do not expect exports from emerging sectors to fully offset the decline in financial services export growth. We are therefore lowering our long-term sovereign credit ratings on the Isle of Man to 'AA' from 'AA+'. We are also withdrawing the ratings, at the Manx government's request. The stable outlook at the time of the withdrawal balanced our view of the government's strong finances and flexible decision-making against the economy's vulnerability to shifts in financial sector regulation and activity. RATING ACTION On Feb. 21, 2014, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on the Isle of Man to 'AA' from 'AA+'. At the same time, we affirmed our 'A-1+' short-term sovereign credit ratings. The outlook was stable. We then withdrew our ratings on the Isle of Man, at the government's request. RATIONALE The downgrade reflects our expectation that the contribution of the financial sector to economic growth and exports will gradually decline, due to competitive pressures and tighter regulations that will affect global off-shore financial hubs. Moreover, we do not anticipate that exports from emerging sectors will fully offset the decline in financial services export growth, given the difference in the size of these sectors. We expect real GDP per capita growth to decline, although it should still exceed that of peers' over the 2014-2017 forecast period. The island's low tax regime, its location and proximity to the U.K., and its stable political environment have supported the development of a large financial services sector (35% of GDP in 2011-2012; latest available data). Since the 2008/2009 recession, the sector's contribution to growth has reduced. Economic growth has since depended on new sectors such as electronic gaming (9% of GDP in 2011-2012) and information and communications technology (just under 1% of GDP). Although we consider that the Manx government has actively met the demands of changing international regulation, we believe potential shifts in the regulatory environment could hamper the island's growth prospects. In the medium term, implementation of recommendations arising from the U.K. government's Independent Commission on Banking (also known as the Vickers Report) could affect the relationship between parent banks in the U.K. and their Manx subsidiaries (see "The Potential Impact Of Regulatory Ring-Fencing Rules On U.K. Banks," published Dec. 21, 2012, on RatingsDirect and "Europe's Ring-Fencing Proposals Could Make Big Banks Safer To Fail, But Also Have Broader Consequences," published July 11, 2013). In our view, the island's single-industry concentration heightens its economic risks. Nevertheless, we view the banking sector--which mostly comprises subsidiaries of international banks, and dominates the financial sector--as a limited contingent fiscal liability for the Manx government. The government's depositor compensation scheme totals £200 million on a rolling 10-year nonreplenishable basis. Although the Isle of Man does not have a central bank, and therefore no lender of last resort, we would expect the subsidiaries' parent banks to provide the majority of financial support, if needed. We expect the Manx government to continue to narrow its fiscal gap, which was largely created when the U.K. changed its agreement to share value-added tax with the Isle of Man. The Manx government has announced several revenue- and expenditure-side measures to rebalance its finances over the next few years. We expect the general government account to return to balance in 2015. Until then, we expect the government will finance its general government fiscal deficit by drawing down liquid assets accumulated through past surpluses, rather than by issuing additional debt. In our opinion, although the Manx government cannot raise income taxes significantly without risking the island's attractiveness as a low-tax regime, it has the ability to widen its revenue base by imposing taxes on some previously untaxed sectors. The government has a strong balance sheet; general government debt is low at an estimated 11% of GDP in 2014. Outstanding bonds mature between 2030 and 2034, making the debt structure very favorable. All obligations are in British pound sterling, which is legal tender on the Isle of Man. We anticipate that the government will maintain a comfortable net asset position, averaging 25% of GDP, over the four years to fiscal-year-end March 2017, as measured by our metrics. The Isle of Man's monetary policy flexibility is limited by its currency board arrangement, which pegs the Manx pound to sterling. The currency is fully backed by a sterling currency reserve fund. In our view, the long-standing and stable currency peg insulates the Isle's economy from currency risks and strengthens its economic links with the U.K. The Isle of Man's monetary arrangements, combined with its history as a Crown dependency of the U.K., support its role as a financial center. No data is available for external trade, balance of payments, or the island's international investment position, hindering our analysis of the size and volatility of external flows that would accompany structural changes in the economy. We assess the Isle of Man's external position according to our criteria for sovereigns with limited external data. That is, we use our assessment of the U.K.'s external position as a starting point, given the trade and currency links the U.K. shares with its Crown dependency, and then apply a negative adjustment to reflect the lack of external data. The ratings have been supported by the Isle of Man's high per capita income and market-oriented and open economy, strong government balance sheet, and consensus-based policymaking. The ratings were constrained by the vulnerability of the domestic economy to shifts in financial sector activity, the lack of monetary policy flexibility, the absence of external data, and significant delays and gaps for national income accounts. OUTLOOK The stable outlook at the time of withdrawal balances the strength of the Isle of Man's policy flexibility--which the government's sizable net asset position affords--against the external vulnerabilities associated with the potential financial distress of offshore parent financial institutions or changes in international regulations affecting low tax regimes.
  3. This is absurd. What have the costs of this whole saga been to the taxpayer? Surely these need to be weighed up before being put to another re-trial.
  4. There might be a demand for modern development projects?
  5. Why do you think there's a private jet terminal... Now a fractional private aircraft operator, with a good connection to Northolt/City/Biggin Hill, can offer a decent sized aircraft to serve the islands business community. Each business that relies on a punctual early and late connection can share the costs with other local companies requiring the same service. Looking at similar ventures, the annual fees may in fact work out cheaper than the existing arrangement and would certainly be more convenient. Clients may also help subsidise the service if necessary. Hypothetically speaking of course.
  6. Here we go again..... http://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-places-Isle-of-Mans-Aaa-rating-on-review-for--PR_278563 Rating Action: Moody's places Isle of Man's Aaa rating on review for downgrade Global Credit Research - 26 Jul 2013 London, 26 July 2013 -- Moody's Investors Service has today placed the Isle of Man's Aaa government ratings on review for downgrade. This review was triggered by two factors: 1. Increasing international pressures on offshore financial centres. 2. Moody's view that the Isle of Man's economic prospects and public finances may have become increasingly vulnerable to policy decisions made in other jurisdictions. RATINGS RATIONALE RATIONALE FOR THE REVIEW FOR DOWNGRADE The first driver of Moody's decision to place the Isle of Man's Aaa ratings on review for downgrade is the increase in international pressures on offshore financial centres. The Isle of Man has been proactive in signing up for international initiatives in the areas of taxation and transparency. However, the international climate for jurisdictions that depend on low tax rates as a key component of their business model has become more challenging, given that many advanced economies' government balance sheets are in a weaker state than they were before the global financial crisis. This has particular consequences for the Isle of Man given that offshore banking and international financial services (including insurance products) contributed around 35% of the island's GDP in 2011. The second driver of the review is Moody's view that the Isle of Man's economic prospects and public finances may have become increasingly vulnerable to policy decisions made in other jurisdictions, as illustrated by the risks that the UK's banking reform legislation pose to the Isle of Man's banking sector. The rating agency notes that the UK government's draft secondary legislation on banking reform announced in mid-July 2013 is unlikely to have a significantly negative impact on the island's banking sector due to the way it treats ring-fenced branches of UK banks that are operating on the island. However, the example raises the question of whether the Isle of Man's vulnerability to legislative or political processes that are largely or entirely outside its control may have risen in recent years. FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE REVIEW The review of the Isle of Man's sovereign ratings will focus on three issues. (1) The pressures that the Isle of Man faces as an offshore financial centre; (2) The vulnerability of its economy and public finances to adverse developments in key economic sectors, most notably financial services; (3) The way in which these vulnerabilities shape the island's credit profile, as compared to the risks faced by other small sovereigns who have a high degree of dependence on financial services or other services industries. WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS DOWN The Isle of Man's Aaa rating could be downgraded if Moody's were to conclude that the Isle of Man's economy and public finances are less likely to exhibit the resilience that they have demonstrated in the past. As a related point, the rating could also be downgraded if the rating agency concludes that structural risks for the financial sector have increased due to a more adverse international policy environment. The impact of this changing international environment on the island's overall credit profile, as compared to rated sovereigns that face similar pressures, could also contribute to downward pressure on the rating. The Isle of Man's rating could be confirmed at its current level if Moody's concludes that these vulnerabilities have not changed materially and that the island's overall credit profile compares well to Aaa-rated sovereigns. GDP per capita (US$): 74763.8 (2012 Actual) (also known as Per Capita Income) Real GDP growth (% change): 3.0% (2012 Actual) (also known as GDP Growth) Inflation Rate (CPI, % change Dec/Dec): 2.4% (2012 Actual) Gen. Gov. Financial Balance/GDP: -0.9% (2012 Actual) (also known as Fiscal Balance) Current Account Balance/GDP: [not available] External debt/GDP: [not available] Level of economic development: High level of economic resilience Default history: No default events (on bonds or loans) have been recorded since 1983. On 19 July 2013, a rating committee was called to discuss the rating of the Isle of Man, Government of. The main points raised during the discussion were: The issuer's economic fundamentals, including its economic strength, may have materially decreased. The issuer's susceptibility to event risk may have materially increased. An analysis of this issuer, relative to its peers, indicates that a repositioning of its rating may be appropriate. Other views raised included: The Isle of Man's economic fundamentals and susceptibility to event risk may not have materially changed. The principal methodology used in this rating was the Sovereign Bond Ratings Methodology published in September 2008. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology. The weighting of all rating factors is described in the methodology used in this rating action, if applicable.
  7. Is this a sad reflection of the state of the islands finances when they cannot afford to properly fill potholes? On the Liverpool Arms section of road there are countless potholes and all the DoI have done is stick some loose chippings on top of the problem. Give it a few months and the problem will be back, even if they do come and re-lay the whole road later. That road resembles more of a 'off-road' course than anything else.
  8. They're at it again! This evening they had the road up outside the post office, manual traffic lights for a time too.
  9. Well I guess if the MEA & WASA merge maybe the BBC & iomtoday can too...
  10. What happened here? Why didn't we get something arranged in time? ttp://www.spacenews.com/article/satellite-telecom/35498bermuda-secures-caribbean-slot-with-echostar-6-satellite#.UaaIutKsjTp Bermuda Secures Caribbean Slot with EchoStar 6 Satellite By Peter B. de Selding | May. 27, 2013 PARIS — The government of Bermuda has secured an orbital slot over the Caribbean following a last-minute agreement with satellite fleet operators EchoStar Corp. of the United States and SES of Luxembourg to move a satellite to the slot before its reservation expired, according to U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) documents and SES. With an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) deadline on using the slot expiring by mid-year, Bermuda has struck a deal in which SES will create a Bermuda subsidiary to operate Englewood, Colo.-based EchoStar’s EchoStar 6 satellite at 96.2 degrees west. Now operating under an ITU filing called Bermudasat-1, EchoStar 6 arrived at its new orbital slot in mid-April, making Bermuda the latest government to have real estate in the geostationary arc some 36,000 kilometers over the equator. Bermuda and the Isle of Man had been competing to build their own satellite communications infrastructures. Both had secured orbital slots, but the positions were too close together to permit interference-free broadcasts without extensive frequency coordination. With only a combined 32 broadcast channels available between the two governments, prospective partners steered clear of both jurisdictions’ plans, fearing frequency-interference concerns would make any future business case unfeasible. The Isle of Man, which like Bermuda is trying to attract satellite operators and other space companies to its low-tax, low-bureaucracy jurisdiction, was unable to find a satellite to place into its 95.5 degrees west orbital slot before its deadline expired in 2011. That left the road clear for Bermuda. In the past couple of years, the maritime market for satellite operators has grown rapidly and opened up for once-landlocked service providers like SES. The Bermudasat-1 coverage area as described to the FCC includes the southeast quadrant of the continental United States, the Gulf of Mexico and a large swath of the Atlantic Ocean east of the Caribbean. In their FCC filing, EchoStar and SES say they intend to use the aging EchoStar 6 “to evaluate and develop new market opportunities in the Caribbean, Latin American and North Atlantic maritime markets” for video and maritime services broadcasts. EchoStar 6 was launched in 2000. Since 2011, EchoStar has operated it in inclined orbit, a fuel-saving maneuver often employed to extend the life of otherwise healthy satellites by no longer stabilizing them on their north-south axes. EchoStar earlier had told the FCC that EchoStar 6 would be retired when its operating license expired in mid-2014. EchoStar said that apart from its advanced age — it was designed to last 15 years in orbit — EchoStar 6/Bermudasat-1 is in good health. Bermuda has rights to operate 16 broadcast channels from the 96.2 degrees west slot and has a pending application with the ITU to operate all 32 of the satellite’s available channels. Bermuda, SES and EchoStar have pledged that the operations will not interfere with DirecTV Group and Telesat broadcast satellites in the vicinity. There remains a remote possibility that Jamaica, which has reserved slots less than five degrees away, at 92.5 degrees, could place a satellite there and make life difficult for Bermudasat-1. But to date the Jamaican plan has not resulted in any publicly known satellite contract or license request to move an existing satellite into the Jamaican-registered position. How long EchoStar 6 can be operated as a direct-broadcast television satellite to land-based customers is unclear, meaning it is unclear when EchoStar and SES would need to invest in a new satellite or find an in-orbit spacecraft to take the place of EchoStar 6. For maritime customers that are already equipped with steerable shipboard antennas, inclined-orbit satellites present less of a problem. SES and EchoStar have long-standing relations, but Bermudasat-1 appears to be a reversal of their usual relationship. In the past, it has been EchoStar on its own behalf or on behalf of its sister company, Dish Network, that has leased SES satellites over North America for U.S. and Mexican customers of Dish and EchoStar. It was the arrival of the SES-owned, EchoStar-leased QuetsSat-1 satellite at EchoStar’s 77 degrees west slot that freed up EchoStar 6 for its second life as Bermudasat-1. As part of the agreement with the Bermuda Ministry of Economic Development, SES created a subsidiary called SES Satellites (Bermuda) Ltd. to develop the Bermudasat-1 business. SES spokesman Yves Feltes said SES views the market as promising but too uncertain to enable the company to commit to a new satellite, at least for now. The SES operation in Bermuda might be viewed as Bermuda’s way of returning the favor to the government of Luxembourg. Intelsat, the world’s largest satellite fleet operator ahead of SES, moved out of Bermuda to Luxembourg in part because Bermuda was on the U.S. government’s list of dubious tax regimes. Bermuda has since modified its tax policies to bring them more into line with international guidelines.
  11. That's what I seem to remember and even then it was only a shared office.
  12. Do we compete? http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/2013-05-09/jersey-to-open-london-office?mod=sectionheadlines-PE-AM Jersey recruits for new London officeSarah Krouse 09 May 2013 Jersey is seeking a head of office and a UK affairs attaché as it prepares to open its first base in London in a push to bolster the island’s relationship with the UK government. The government of Jersey plans to open a temporary office in the UK capital by autumn and have a permanent location by next year. The move, which the Jersey government has been mooting since late 2011, comes after Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man agreed to enter into information exchange agreements with the UK as it works to eliminate offshore tax evasion and raise additional revenue. The information sharing agreements were part of an ongoing effort by the UK government to increase the quality of tax data it collects through international agreements. The new agreements follow an international drive to boost sharing of tax information. Earlier this year, the UK signed an intergovernmental agreement with the US about complying with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or Fatca, which allows for a two-way flow of information on citizen’s accounts. Fatca requires foreign financial institutions to tell the relevant tax authorities the names of citizens on their books. David Walwyn, deputy director of international affairs for the States of Jersey, told Financial News: “London is our most important relationship both economically in terms of trade, and politically. We need to keep up the good relations, contacts, and engagement.” He added: “It’s very timely that we should be making these important decisions now, but I wouldn’t say it’s cause and effect. This is part of a long-term engagement.” Jersey’s new London office will open with four people: a head who will lead the new office, perform a public affairs role and network with business and political leaders; a UK affairs attaché; an office manager and a representative from Jersey. The office head should have at least five years of senior experience in “government, a multilateral organisation or in conducting UK government relations”, while the attaché should have at least two year of senior-level experience in providing policy support, preferably in Whitehall and Westminster. An advertisement for the roles says candidates need to demonstrate “good political judgement” as well as strong networking and communication skills. The office will initially be in serviced space, but is likely to ultimately to be based in St. James’s by the new year in order to be near Parliament, Whitehall and the City of London, Walwyn said. --Write to Sarah Krouse at sarah.krouse@dowjones.com
  13. http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/video/2013-04/17/content_16414452.htm China Daily interview with John Shimmin
  14. I'm scared that our elected officials can be so easily confused. This island has much bigger problems to deal with than wasting time on questions such as this and bus driver pay. We need to deal with our bloated civil service and get back to what allowed us to become a 'low tax' jurisdiction. One place to start is to admit to the size of our off balance sheet liabilities and relay it to those individuals, in the public sector, who continue to think the island can afford their services.
  15. Lonan3 - Yes, passing through Baldrine was awful. I heard that they've sealed a drain at the top of Packhorse lane and they don't open the drain at the bottom when we have these occasional downpours.
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