THE STAR Businessweek
It’s been a tumultuous past few months for the normally docile Caribbean. In September the region was catapulted to the forefront of the international media as some of its smallest nations battled against Hurricane Irma, the costliest Category 5 hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. That record, however, was broken just two weeks later by Maria. The subsequent Category 5 hurricane stormed through the region, leaving a decimated Dominica and Puerto Rico in its wake. Though the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season may officially be over, it appears more dark clouds over the region loom. In what has now been dubbed ‘The Paradise Papers’, 13.4 million confidential documents related to the offshore financial affairs of the world’s wealthiest individuals and most profitable companies—from celebrities, professional athletes and politicians to blue-chip corporations like Apple and Nike—have been leaked to ICIJ journalists who, this week, began publishing the secretive tax minimization strategies of the world’s richest 1%. Despite being largely in compliance with OECD Common Reporting Standards, regulators in the US and UK are still outraged at the unmasked tax arbitrageurs and their perniciously cooperative tax jurisdictions located primarily in the Caribbean. Learn more about The Paradise Papers from The Financial Times’ Tax Evasion & Avoidance writers on pages 3 and 7. According to World Bank experts, the Caribbean may be hiding more wealth than previously estimated. Where’s that treasure hidden, you ask. Well, you could start with our cover story ‘Ocean Wealth vs Ocean Health: Diving into the Blue Economy’ starting on page 4. Admittedly, it’s been a whirlwind year in global politics with eyes either glued to the US and Donald Trump or the UK and Brexit. But did you know that our Barbadian neighbours are gearing up for an election of their own? Read more on page 2.