Whose mistake? Cahnnel 4’s or Cayman’s?

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Forbes was way ahead of the pack on this one:

What television lacks in entertainment it makes up for in irony these days. A new show that aired in Britain on Monday and claimed to unravel the mysteries behind the global financial crisis, may look a little awkward once it gets to the bit about tax-evasion and dodgy, off-balance sheet funds. Its main sponsor? The Cayman Islands.

The British overseas territory isn't only a popular off-shore tax haven--it is also where many large banks parked the toxic debt securities in the last few years before the credit crisis erupted, leading to huge write-downs, losses and now, layoffs.

The programme in question was The Ascent of Money on Channel 4 - about which I have poor expectations.

I admit I have a certain bias on the story. They quoted me saying:

Till now, some of Cayman's most popular tourists have been financiers: its light-touch regulation has led around 80.0% of the world's hedge funds to incorporate themselves there, and the secrecy it provides on off-shore accounts has spelled $400.0 billion in lost tax revenue from individuals and corporations, according to Richard Murphy of U.K. consultancy Tax Research.

Well, actually that's a global figure: it's not just Cayman, but it makes a wholesome contribution, of that we can be sure, and this quote is right:

These places actually have two choices," said Murphy. "They either sell real financial services that can survive under the glare of transparency, or they find something else to do.

Interesting that Cayman Net News has picked this up, with its usual direct and relevant style.

But why did both Channel 4 and Cayman make the mistake of linking this programme and those islands in this way? It seems like a PR disaster for both.

Not that I'm too worried.......