Corporations Join Droves Renouncing US Citizenship

By:Nick Giambruno, Senior Editor,

Don't be surprised to lose if you don't make an effort at being competitive.

And if you go out of your way to make yourself less competitive, expect to lose.

If that sounds like simple common sense, that’s because it is.

But it's also exactly what the US has been doing for years—enacting tax policies that sabotage its global economic competitiveness.

It's like trying to get in shape for a marathon by going on an all-McDonald's diet. (Speaking of McDonalds, check out this funny video spoof of what their commercials should really look like.)

Here are two major reasons why the US is lagging in the global economic marathon: Continue reading "Corporations Join Droves Renouncing US Citizenship"

Election Time

By Jeff Thomas, International Man

"Anybody who wants the presidency so much that he'll spend two years organizing and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office." - David Broder

"If voting could actually change anything, it would be illegal." - Noam Chomsky

Generally, I tend not to comment on elections, as I consider them to be largely unimportant. That is, regardless of which candidate is elected, the actual outcome tends to be much the same. In most countries, the higher the office being contested, the less real difference there is between the candidates.

First, unlike, say, a beauty pageant, in which the voter may have up to fifty contestants to choose from (as in the US), the governments of the world do all that is in their power to limit the choices to two contestants. Second, the more sophisticated the electoral system, the more likely it is that the two candidates are quite similar in both their level of ability and their apparent sincerity in serving the public who elect them. Third, the more apparent an issue is in the eyes of the voters, the less likely it is that the candidates will actually offer a specific plan to solve it. Continue reading "Election Time"

"The Bank Was Saved, and the People Were Ruined"

By Jeff Thomas, International Man

The above quote is from William Gouge, commenting on the Panic of 1819. The panic had been caused when the First Bank of the United States had first expanded the money supply dramatically by offering loans, then contracted the money supply by tightening its requirements for new loans, causing a crash.

This is a useful quote, as, in its simplicity, it states the very nature of crashes brought on by irresponsible banking practices. In every case in which this occurs, it is possible through the complicity of the government of the day.

The origin of this syndrome goes back to Mayer Rothschild, a very clever fellow who, in the late 18th century, offered financial benefits to politicians in Germany in trade for political support for whatever activities his bank might practice. Rothschild was a long-term thinker; his method involved the offering of regular emoluments to politicians without their having to provide him with anything immediately. Then, when he needed a large favour, he would call it in.

Movie buffs may see a similarity between Rothschild's method and the deals made by Don Corleone in The Godfather. "Some day - and that day may never come - I'll call upon you to do a service for me."

Rothschild created boom-and-bust cycles which were highly profitable for his bank, but depended upon the support of the government when the "bust" part came along. Continue reading ""The Bank Was Saved, and the People Were Ruined""

Canada – The New Evolution in Financial Security

By Greg McNally, International Man

With the OECD, EU and US continuing to put pressure on traditional financial centres, clients from emerging markets such as Russia, China and Brazil are now looking to new jurisdictions to plan for their financial security. One of those jurisdictions may be Canada.

In the case of Fundy Settlement v. Canada, 2012 SCC 14 [April, 2012], the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a trust should be taxed where its "mind and management" is located, not where the trustee is resident. Although these locations could be the same, tax residency for Canadian purposes is now determined to be where the principal place of business of the trust is conducted.

Therefore, a company can be incorporated in Canada. That company can enter into a trust indenture as trustee (either on declaration, or settlement) on behalf of a client and, if the trustee engages a co-trustee or a trust administrator from outside of Canada to perform the day to day management of the trust, no tax consequences will arise in Canada. As a trust not subject to tax in Canada, there is also no requirement to file any sort of information or tax return. Continue reading "Canada – The New Evolution in Financial Security"

Deflation or Inflation?

John Mauldin, International Man

I am frequently asked in meetings or after a speech whether I think we will have inflation or deflation. "Yes," I readily reply, trying hard not to smirk, as the questioner tries to digest the answer. And while my answer is flippant, it's also the truth, as I do expect both outcomes. Following the obligatory chuckle from the rest of the group comes a follow-up request for a few more specifics. And they are that I expect we will first see deflation and then inflation, but the key is the timing. Continue reading "Deflation or Inflation?"