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In a few days there's going to be this international colloquium. And this place'll be crawling with rich and powerful people, the world's leading business people and politicians.
What, four days in the sun and they conclude that global recovery depends on their making more money?
Nowadays, people will go anywhere to avoid paying tax. A quick visit to Lichtenstein, Monaco, maybe Jersey; empty the vaults of private wealth, and you could write off the world's debt. In a day, in an hour, in a minute. Three-quarters of the world's cash is hidden away in places exactly like this.
It's been a fascinating few years, you could say, since 9-11. You know how many Americans now work in intelligence?
I don't know.
Over two hundred thousand, in sixteen different agencies, with thirty thousand private contractors in a hundred and seventy countries, at a grand cost to the taxpayer of seventy-five *billion* dollars a year, and they still call it the intelligence community! I don't think so.
I've been trying to understand the pattern.
Pattern of what businesses we buy, and why we buy them.
Well, you know this stuff. Any business that presents a market opportunity.
Yeah, but in practice it's not quite as simple as that, is it?
There's got to be some ethical dimension. I wouldn't buy a brothel because I thought the whores could do more tricks to the hour.
Do you understand the constitution of these islands? Did you know that Turks and Caicos is a Crown protectorate?
I think I do, yes.
And the currency is American but the jurisdiction is British. We trade in the dollar and kneel to the Crown.
Yeah, what you might call the worst of both worlds.
You haven't met. This is my friend, Margot Tyrrell.
This is Jim Carroll. He's a policeman.
Show me your passport. [reads from the passport] "Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely, without hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary." These *are* British islands. And you're holding British passports. You're free to go.
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