You, an accidental terrorist? Thank Ted Cruz

You, an accidental terrorist? Thank Ted Cruz

It’s bad enough that the US government has the authority to revoke your passport if you have a “seriously delinquent tax debt.” That little gem was buried in the 2015 Highway Funding Bill, which President Obama signed in December.

 
Best Place to Launder Money (Surprisingly)

Best Place to Launder Money (Surprisingly)

I’m in the executive lounge at Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Martin drinking double espressos and waiting for a connecting flight to Charlotte.

 
The dirty little secret about EU passports

The dirty little secret about EU passports

Greetings from the island of Nevis! I’m here dealing with yearend formalities associated with Fortress Trust Ltd., a registered agent for Nevis trusts, LLCs, and IBCs.

 
The police “stole” his house over $40

The police “stole” his house over $40

When I was nine years old, I was one of the smallest students in my fourth grade class. With my small size, not to mention my smart mouth, I attracted more than my share of elementary school bullies.

 
Fred gave into this fear… and paid for it

Fred gave into this fear… and paid for it

In my 30-year consulting career, I’ve met a fair number of clients who are paralyzed by fear. They believe that no matter what they do, disaster lurks around the corner.

 
Puerto Rico: Still Too Good to Be True

Puerto Rico: Still Too Good to Be True

In the 30 years I’ve been writing about developments in the offshore world, I’ve been called a lot of things: “Insightful”… ”thoughtful”… but also “misguided”… and (my personal favorite) “pessimistic.”

 
Should we start saving the “Chinese dollar”?

Should we start saving the “Chinese dollar”?

Three weeks ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that the Chinese renminbi (aka yuan) would join a group of other currencies to comprise what’s called the SDR (Special Drawing Rights) basket.

 
No, the PATRIOT Act Didn’t Really Expire

No, the PATRIOT Act Didn’t Really Expire

A few days ago, I was speaking to a client who informed me that “the PATRIOT Act expired last week.” She went on to tell me that as a result, she now felt her electronic communications were safe from warrantless government surveillance.

 
The Swiss win a big victory for bank privacy

The Swiss win a big victory for bank privacy

From 2006–2008, Falciani worked in HSBC’s information technology department. While there, he secretly downloaded the account details of more than 100,000 HSBC clients.

 
It’s (Almost) Official: Tax Debt = No Passport

It’s (Almost) Official: Tax Debt = No Passport

The paragons of public virtue that make up the US Congress really, really want to crack down on tax cheats. Thanks to a highway funding bill about to head to President Obama’s desk, if you owe the IRS more than $50,000, you’ll lose your passport.

 
The Feds Won’t Stop Terrorism This Way

The Feds Won’t Stop Terrorism This Way

I was in London when news emerged from Paris that a squad of Islamic militants had massacred 130 people in restaurants, theaters, and other locations. The reaction was entirely predictable: a debate over what can be done to prevent similar incidents in the future.

 
Austria: Anonymous Storage and The World’s Safest Bank

Austria: Anonymous Storage and The World’s Safest Bank

I just finished a week’s visit to Vienna, where I lived from 2003-2005 while earning a LL.M (Master of Laws) in international tax law at a local university.

 
They’re coming for your cash

They’re coming for your cash

It might sound like a conspiracy theory spun by right-wing crazies. But judging by the increasing desperation of governments to reboot the world economy, it just might happen.

 
How to Stay Off the “No Fly” List

How to Stay Off the “No Fly” List

Airport security in the USA is a joke, and a bad one at that. It’s easy to create a fake boarding pass with Photoshop. And it’s not much harder to create fake identification documents.

 
Watch Out for these 3 Offshore Scams

Watch Out for these 3 Offshore Scams

You could be forgiven for believing offshore frauds are a thing of the past. After all, with “Know Your Customer” rules that practically require you to submit to a DNA test to open an offshore account, you wouldn’t think it’s exactly easy for scam artists to bank the proceeds of fraud.

 
How to Protect Yourself from Border Big Brother

How to Protect Yourself from Border Big Brother

Big Brother is alive and well at US border crossings. The latest example comes from published accounts describing the recent ordeal of the mayor of Stockton, California, at the San Francisco International Airport.

 
Your Data Isn’t Safe in the USA

Your Data Isn’t Safe in the USA

In 2013, former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden stunned the world by revealing top-secret details of the agency’s data collection practices.

 
The Big Biz, Big Gov World of Donald Trump

The Big Biz, Big Gov World of Donald Trump

A hidden danger of a government that intervenes in every aspect of its citizens’ lives is that it develops harmful alliances with the rich and powerful.

 
Why I Love America

Why I Love America

I’m addicted to America. As I sit in a local Starbucks enjoying a coffee with a triple shot of caffeine, I’m reminded of why I live in this country:

 
The Canadians to save us from FATCA? Maybe…

The Canadians to save us from FATCA? Maybe…

FATCA, officially known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, is probably the worst law that most Americans don't know about.

 
Spy on Your Customers… or Else

Spy on Your Customers… or Else

Do you distrust the banking system? Prefer to do business in cash? Complain about the encroachment of Big Brother into every facet of your life?

 
There Are No Markets, Only [IMF] Manipulation

There Are No Markets, Only [IMF] Manipulation

I can’t help but be reminded of the truism of this week’s article title, watching Chinese stock prices drop, day after day. In response, Chinese securities regulators have banned most short selling.

 
Passport Scammer Exposed in Secret Video

Passport Scammer Exposed in Secret Video

When I was a teenager, I was a fan of the Rolling Stones. I bought their 1971 album, Sticky Fingers, immediately after its release. Unfortunately, the record was unplayable.

 
Are You Fit to be Boiled?

Are You Fit to be Boiled?

I’ll never forget the first time I saw a lobster boiled alive. It was at a family gathering when I was very young, perhaps five or six years old. One of my aunts calmly picked up a happily wriggling lobster out of an ice chest and dropped it in a pot of boiling water.

 
The US Is About to Become an Even Bigger Tax Haven

The US Is About to Become an Even Bigger Tax Haven

It’s often not “PC” (politically correct) to point out the truth. But someone needs to do it. Here’s an “inconvenient truth” for President Obama and those in Congress who want to shut down what they call “offshore tax havens.”

 
The Price of This Top 2nd Passport’s Going Up

The Price of This Top 2nd Passport’s Going Up

For years, the Commonwealth of Dominica has offered the best value for the money of all citizenship-by-investment programs. But the price will soon be increasing.

 
A Sneaky Way to Grab Your Retirement Savings

A Sneaky Way to Grab Your Retirement Savings

With an $18 trillion debt and $97 trillion or so in unfunded liabilities, Uncle Sam is anything but flush with money. So Congress and President Obama are looking for ways to stem the flow of red ink.

 
Gold: It’s Time to Buy

Gold: It’s Time to Buy

I’m what people call a “contrarian” investor. I tend to buy assets that are out of favor with the chattering classes and the talking heads on television.

 
“You? A Tax Evader?”

“You? A Tax Evader?”

It’s no secret that governments worldwide are broke. One country after another is cutting social benefits and taking other measures to reduce government spending.

 
Congress’s Plans to Lock You in

Congress’s Plans to Lock You in

Freedom to travel is a fundamental and internationally recognized human right. Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states: