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New Managing partner for BDO
BDO Simpson Xavier has announced that Peter Carroll will succeed Paul Keenan as the new managing partner from May 30th.
Carroll joined BDO Simpson Xavier in 1986 and became a partner in 1996. Prior to his appointment as Managing Partner he served as a partner in the audit practice of BDO SX with clients in the property, financial service and technology sectors. He has also been a member of the firm’s Management Committee and held the position of partner-in-charge of the audit practice, one of the four business units within BDO Simpson Xavier.

Beware a ‘dead cat’ bounce
Actions of financial market authorities has posed the question of whether the worst of the market turmoil is over. However, fundamentals may tell a different story and the continuation of the market upturn is not convincing according to May’s outlook by Trinity Markets’ Tony Keogh.

‘The courageous, or outrageous, action by the Federal Reserve in using taxpayers’ money in this way certainly had the desired effect on markets. Several people, probably the majority, have concluded the crisis is coming to an end. The real question though is whether this is the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning.’

The banking system may have further problems beyond the immediate concerns. Keogh says, ‘Central Banks can fix the credit system but getting lending back to anywhere near ‘normal’ levels is another day’s work.’ He says, ‘The amount of extra money ‘created’ during the sub-prime crisis through securitisation is generally agreed now at almost $5,900 billion.’ This figure ‘ amounts to 40 per cent of the total assets of all the banks in the world you get a sense of the binge the developed world has been on for the past few years.’ ‘Indeed the effects, according to detailed analysis by US bankers J P Morgan last month, “Will be felt in credit markets for a decade.”

‘Economic experience shows that housing cycles are long and symmetrical; meaning downturns and upturns last the same length of time,’ Keogh says

‘Economic history teaches that housing downturns last for many years. Earnings are under pressure as costs rise and demand reduces. It is easy to get carried away when share prices rally – the fourth time they have done so during the present falling (bear) market. There is also a strong temptation to call the bottom since we recognise the upturn from it is always the most profitable in a sustained rising or bull market. But it is easy to ignore the fundamentals,’ he says.

Isle of Man rewarded for greater transparency
The Isle of Man won the ‘Best International Financial Centre’ award at the International Investment Fund & Product Awards 2008 in London. The judges cited the Isle of Man’s transparent and flexible regulation as a key factor in their awarding the Isle of Man ‘Best International Finance Centre’. The award comes on the heels of new tax information exchange agreements between Isle of Man and Ireland. The agreement with Ireland is the Isle of Man tenth tax information exchange agreement.

The tax agreement comes on the back of negative press received by some ‘niche’ European financial centres - namely Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein’s government has come under fire from German authorities alleging that EU citizens are using Liechtenstein for as a tax haven. ‘The label tax haven is not something we sought or gave ourselves,” said Michael Lauber, chief executive of the Liechtenstein Bankers Association. “It is something that came from the German tax investigation.’

Paolo Ciocca, Chair of the OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs, welcomed the agreement as enhancing the international reputation of the Isle of Man as a legitimate financial centre and thereby strengthening its integration into the international financial system.
‘The trend towards greater transparency and tax cooperation continues as more and more countries and jurisdictions implement the OECD standards,’ Mr. Ciocca said in a statement. ‘Recent events have put international tax evasion in the spotlight, demonstrating the pressing need for action to tackle tax compliance issues in an increasingly borderless world. These agreements will better equip their signatories to address all forms of tax abuses.’

On the announcement of the agreement Taoiseach Brian Cowen, T?naiste and Minister for Finance at the time, acknowledged that, ‘The Isle of Man was one of the first international financial centres to make a commitment to the OECD principles of transparency and exchange of information and has since then taken the lead among smaller international financial centres in implementing these principles. To date, the Isle of Man has concluded Tax Information Exchange Agreements with the USA, the Netherlands and the seven Nordic countries.’

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