Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
By Neil Chatterjee
The U.S. has promised it will hunt down tax evaders.
And it seems tax evaders are on the run.
DBS bank, based in the growing offshore financial centre of
Singapore, told Reuters it had been approached by U.S. citizens
asking for its private banking services. But when told they would
have to sign U.S. tax declaration forms, the potential clients
Swiss banks also approached DBS on the hope they could
offload troublesome U.S. clients to a location that so far has
not been reached by the strong arms of Washington or Brussels.
DBS said no thanks. In fact many private banks and boutique
advisors now seem to be avoiding U.S. clients.
Will this spread to other nationalities, as governments
invest in tax spies and tax havens invest in white paint?
Is this the end of offshore private private banking?
Stephan Dolezalek, Managing Director of VantagePoint Venture Partners and Tom Werner, Chief Executive of solar power company SunPower, sat down at Reuters’ Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit in San Francisco and shared their views on global warming, investment and cleantech.
Dolezalek sees industrialization in developing countries as a more predictable impetus for investment than global warming.
Everyone likes to set records. Think about those two giant twins who felt the need to ride motorcycles for their Guinness Book of World Records picture. What were those guys thinking?
Well, after many Reuters Summits, it seemed we set a record on Monday for the use of the word “crap” in one session.
Tech managers are not just savvy about new technology but also own the coolest, most cutting edge gadgets, right? Think again, some of them have no use for gadgets at all, finding pleasure instead in century old paintings and (gasp) pen and paper.
from Shop Talk:
The global economic meltdown has the World Bank on high alert.
As the financial crisis deepens, the World Bank is issuing even bleaker warnings about rising poverty and hunger in the developing world. Initially, it estimated that 46 million people in developing countries could be pushed into poverty. Now, that level is up another 7 million.
"We estimate that about 130 million people were pushed into poverty from the food crisis and if you add the financial crisis on top of that we are estimating that about 53 million more people could be pushed into poverty as a result of the financial crisis," World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit.
Children and women are being hardest hit, she said. The World Bank estimated that the current financial downturn may add between 200,000 and 400,000 additional infant deaths per year on average in the 2009 to 2015 period. That means a total of 1.4 million to 2.8 million more infant deaths, if the financial strain continues.
"The one big piece we need to look at in this financial crisis and its translation into the food crisis is that we're talking about human beings," said Okonjo-Iweala. "Remember that 923 million people are malnourished the world over. When you talk about the financial crisis becoming an unemployment crisis in the developed world, in the developing world for many poor people it's not an issue of unemployment, it's an issue of life and death."
(Reuters photos of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Jan. 2009/Girls waiting for drinking water in Kathmandu, March 2009)
from Shop Talk:
You are not alone.
"When I heard peanut products were being contaminated earlier this year, I immediately thought of my 7-year-old daughter, Sasha, who has peanut butter sandwiches for lunch probably three times a week," U.S. President Barack Obama said recently, referring to a salmonella outbreak that has made 683 people in 46 states sick, killed as many as nine and forced the recall of more than 3,000 products.
from Global Investing:
The mood in the asset management industry is "very cautious, very realistic but not pessimistic" after the financial industry's "Chernobyl" of Lehman Brothers collapse, according to Europe's fund industry chief.
Peter De Proft, director general of the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) told the Reuters Funds Summit, that the mood was now more optimistic. At least, certainly more so than 4-5 months ago.
While the six degrees game is tied to Kevin Bacon, connections to other celebrities are helping a major charity.
from Global Investing:
Even though the former Nasdaq chairman is under arrest thousands of miles away from this discreet financial centre nestled between Belgium, France and Germany, his presence was omnipresent. Fund managers just can't stop mentioning him.