An Ethical Evaluation of Offshore Finance in the Cayman Islands




Green, James A.

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The conception of the Cayman Islands as a tax-haven and safe space for unethical money launderers and tax evaders from around the world has achieved mythic status in the media of developed nations such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and the member states of the European Union. Meanwhile, the government and financial firms of the Cayman Islands have stressed that the jurisdiction is in compliance with, or at the forefront of, every international tax code and regulatory standard. Born of this juxtaposition is my thesis question: is offshore finance in the Cayman Islands unethical? Politicians, regulators, academics, and the public have all contributed in some way or another to the discourse surrounding this question; yet, these commenters rarely display even a rudimentary understanding of how financial services function in Cayman and of Cayman as a whole. I hope this thesis draws attention to the dearth of informed discussion regarding Cayman, injects the discussion with critical cultural, historical, and economic information about Cayman, and provides useful critiques of the ethical arguments for and against the jurisdiction. This thesis also shines a light on the bigoted, neocolonial, and prejudiced language which pollutes many discussions regarding the ethics of Cayman. This language may be partially responsible for the uninformed academic, and public discussions about Cayman and the regulation efforts to restrain the jurisdiction.



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