By Mark Nestmann • December 22, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • December 15, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • December 8, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • December 1, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • November 24, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • November 17, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • November 10, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • November 3, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • October 27, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • October 20, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • October 13, 2015
In 2013, former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden stunned the world by revealing top-secret details of the agency’s data collection practices.
By Mark Nestmann • October 6, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • September 29, 2015
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:
By Mark Nestmann • September 22, 2015
FATCA, officially known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, is probably the worst law that most Americans don't know about.
By Mark Nestmann • September 15, 2015
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?
By Mark Nestmann • September 8, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • September 1, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • August 25, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • August 18, 2015
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.”
By Mark Nestmann • August 11, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • August 4, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • July 28, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • July 21, 2015
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.
By Mark Nestmann • July 14, 2015
Freedom to travel is a fundamental and internationally recognized human right. Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states:
By Mark Nestmann • July 7, 2015
A little over two decades ago, the elites of Europe met in Maastricht, the Netherlands, to realize a long-held dream. It was to create a common currency that could be used throughout Europe, and possibly, the world.
By Mark Nestmann • June 30, 2015
Earlier this month, news emerged that the US government had suffered its worst cyberattack ever. On June 4, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) revealed that hackers had penetrated its networks, possibly for many months.
By Mark Nestmann • June 23, 2015
Leave it to bureaucrats to decide that while some competition is good, too much is bad. In a nutshell, that’s what the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) ongoing campaign against lower taxes is all about.
By Mark Nestmann • June 16, 2015
Back in 1970, Congress enacted a law that became known as the Bank Secrecy Act, or BSA. But like the PATRIOT Act, the USA Freedom Act, and many other opaquely named laws Congress enacts, the BSA had nothing to do with encouraging bank secrecy.
By Mark Nestmann • June 9, 2015
Talk about a comeuppance. Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, who helped force through Congress stricter laws against anonymous cash transactions, now faces financial ruin – and an extended jail sentence – thanks to the very same laws.
By Mark Nestmann • June 2, 2015