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The Black World Today

Letter to the Editors of The Black World Today
Web Link:

February 25, 2002

Dear Editors,

Using The Enron Scandal To Undermine Caribbean Countries...

This email is being resent due to previous server problems:

Lucy Komisar in "'Shell' Games - Enron, Like Al Qaeda, Hid Money Offshore" 01-20-02 repeats verbatim the same story that Eurocrats in Brussels spread out against West Indian financial centers: that they are "notorious offshore centers", "that promise to keep ownership of companies and bank accounts secret, even from law enforcement".

The proposals of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and that Lucy Komisar advocates exempt banking secrecy facilities in Europe and the US but are targeted against West Indian financial centers that have as a common denominator that they rely on income from said centers to supplement decreasing income from banana exports and tourism and provide labor opportunities for clerical workers that otherwise would join the ranks of the underemployed Afro-Caribbean immigrants in the US.

In a March 14, 2001 letter, the Black Caucus asked Treasury Secretary O'Neill to reject the OECD inisitiatives, stating that "What we have been facing is a successful international media campaign, developed by the OECD, aimed at painting a picture of money laundering and unsound regulatory practices. However, the anti-money laundering regulations of many of these countries have been successfully enhanced through the assistance of international funding agencies and the commitment of their own national resources".

In the Editor's Note you ask "How did Enron executives cause the world's biggest bankruptcy while making off with millions?" and answer "By using the same secret money system used by terrorists and financial swindlers -- an offshore financial system". But Joseph N. DiStefano in a Philadelphia Inquirer article of February 3, 2002 tells us that "the largest number of Enron subsidiaries -- 685, not counting duplicate names -- were set up in Delaware, where the creation and care of corporate entities is big business". The number exceeds the partnerships created in Cayman Islands. "In all, 525,000 corporations, companies and partnerships are chartered in Delaware, mostly in Wilmington, where businesses outnumber people."

Before espousing the views of the Brussels bureaucracy, a self-proclaimed "Black World Today" should ask the Black Caucus or West Indian governments for their views.

Alvaro Aguilar

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