Jersey: Hedge Fund Island

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I've had the odd pop at Forbes before now, and nothing will ever reconcile my views on tax with those of flat taxer Steve Forbes. But I've got to say they've done a good article on regulation in Jersey. Amongst the quotes is one from me saying that Jersey's plans for a new Unregulated Funds Regime:

amount to "regulation abuse." They [Jersey] give this veneer of respectability, and they do everything they can to get rid of all the information they can, as fast as possible.

More worrying though is a comment from Angela Hayes, a partner in LG (formerly Lawrence Graham) in London, who said:

This is a very good move for Jersey. It's jostling for position with lots of other potential offshore jurisdictions, like the British Virgin Islands or the Cayman Islands, which could also be chosen by these funds.

This is yet more evidence of the subversion of the state by lawyers, seeking to undermine regulation and disclosure rules wherever possible, and all from the safety of their offices in London. Which is precisely why I and others suggest that the small tax havens are states that have been captured by the financial services industry and are now little more than legislatures available for hire.

The implications of this for the argument that they should be treated as being on a 'level playing field' with, for example, OECD countries is one that is interesting to consider.