On Mitt Romney's Millions In Cayman Island Offshore Tax Havens

Tyler Durden's picture

While the news that Mitt Romney has joined Warren Buffet in the "my secretary makes more than me" 15% tax club has come and gone, even as America appears largely confused or dismissive that Romney, at least on paper appears to be precisely the puppet that Wall Street wants put in charge, we are not so sure how it will react to discovering that in addition to all of the above, Romney also holds a substantial of his assets deep offshore, in the much maligned recently Cayman Islands. As a reminder, it has long been Obama's "tax-policy" to force repatriation of virtually all individual tax holdings held abroad, both legally and illegally, much to the detrimental collapse in the UBS business model. Yet apparently when it comes to potential future presidents, loopholes are quite welcome. Especially when as ABC reports, "the offshore accounts have provided him -- and Bain -- with other potential financial benefits, such as higher management fees and greater foreign interest, all at the expense of the U.S. Treasury." As a reminder: "Rebecca J. Wilkins, a tax policy expert with Citizens for Tax Justice, said the federal government loses an estimated $100 billion a year because of tax havens." But who needs taxes when America can just print all the money it will need to fund its deficit in perpetuity. Just ask the Neo-Keynesians. Perhaps all these are questions that the candidate that so hard is trying to channel Ronald Reagan and so far failing, can finally address once and for all, before he moves into one of his patented Obama bashing subject changing routing.

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More from ABC:

Although it is not apparent on his financial disclosure form, Mitt Romney has millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven.


"His personal finances are a poster child of what's wrong with the American tax system," said Jack Blum, a Washington lawyer who is an authority on tax enforcement and offshore banking.


On Tuesday, Romney disclosed that he has been paying a far lower percentage in taxes than most Americans, around 15 percent of his annual earnings. It has been Romney's Republican rivals who have driven the tax issue onto center stage. For weeks, Romney has cited a desire for privacy as his reason for not sharing his tax returns -- a gesture of transparency that is now expected from presidential contenders.


But tax experts tell ABC News there are other reasons Romney may not want the public viewing his returns. As one of the wealthiest candidates to run for president in recent times, Romney has used a variety of techniques to help minimize the taxes on his estimated $250 million fortune. In addition to paying the lower tax rate on his investment income, Romney has as much as $8 million invested in at least 12 funds listed on a Cayman Islands registry. Another investment, which Romney reports as being worth between $5 million and $25 million, shows up on securities records as having been domiciled in the Caymans.


Official documents reviewed by ABC News show that Bain Capital, the private equity partnership Romney once ran, has set up some 138 secretive offshore funds in the Caymans.

The official spin:

Romney campaign officials and those at Bain Capital tell ABC News that the purpose of setting up those accounts in the Cayman Islands is to help attract money from foreign investors, and that the accounts provide no tax advantage to American investors like Romney. Romney, the campaign said, has paid all U.S. taxes on income derived from those investments. Bain officials called the decision to locate some funds offshore routine, and a benefit only to foreign investors who do not want to be subjected to U.S. taxes.

And the reality:

Tax experts agree that Romney remains subject to American taxes. But they say the offshore accounts have provided him -- and Bain -- with other potential financial benefits, such as higher management fees and greater foreign interest, all at the expense of the U.S. Treasury. Rebecca J. Wilkins, a tax policy expert with Citizens for Tax Justice, said the federal government loses an estimated $100 billion a year because of tax havens.


Blum, the D.C. tax lawyer, said working through an offshore investment vehicle allows the investor to "avoid a whole series of small traps in the tax code that ordinary people would face if they paid tax on an onshore basis." Wilkins agreed, saying the "primary advantage to setting those funds up in an offshore jurisdiction like the Cayman Islands or Bermuda is it helps the investors avoid tax." "It helps U.S. investors avoid U.S. tax," said Wilkins, "it helps foreign investors avoid taxes in their home country, so it's not illegal or improper to set those funds up in a foreign jurisdiction, but it makes it more attractive to investors because it helps them avoid paying taxes on that income."

And so forth.

In conclusion all we can say is that just like our Treasury Secretary, who almost did not get appointed to the job after it was discovered he cheated on his taxes, only to blame it on TurboTax software, the next great tax avoidance symbol will be none other than America's next possible president. Only this time we fail to see how TurboTax - the Offshore Tax Avoidance EditionTM will get the blame.

Which only confirms, once again, that America always and forever, will get precisely the president it so richly deserves.

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Clueless Economist's picture

Jim Cramer is bullish on GM!  He says the good news is that because some many people are squatting in their underwater houses, and not paying the mortgage, that they are flush with cash to buy a new car.

So deadbeats are good for GM? What a fecked up country we live in!


Pladizow's picture

Every one but Ron Paul should just drop out, including Obummer!

GMadScientist's picture

Rational Expectation of #Winning!

I think I need to buy a gun's picture

i don't think the republicans are making a serious challenge this time around once again because the next 4 years will be worse then the 4 fucked up years we just experienced.......i think its rather obvious new funds will be available to steal come 2016

Woodyg's picture

We'll know the repubs are serious when Jeb Bush enters a race......

Regardless of his last name he is the true repub power.....

He'd win Florida which goes along waybtomwinnng the white house -

He speaks fluent Spanish and is married to a Latina.....

If he siphoned off even 10% of the Latino vote from the typical spread he'd win......

And like cockroaches you can't get rid of the bush family.....

Which means The bushes expect the Oilybomber to win and Jeb to take it in 2016........

Rollerball's picture

Unless they're going to hack the Diebold machines (again), Jeb has too many skulls & cross-bones in his closet from 9/11..  

Bananamerican's picture

Dudes, It's a little spooky (in a good way) but could we be heading for a Ron Paul candidacy?

Huntsman. gone

Bachman. gone

Newt. Neutered.

Perry. Nary

RomneyTron. No way mon for de CayMon!

Santorum. I submit that amerika is STILL not ready for a theocratic admin.

-----------It will be Ron Paul by default (of de others)--------

Unfortunately, RP will lose to Obanker. Amerika will resume it's date with destiny

Woodyg's picture

I hate to tell you but even if Paul was the favorite he still wouldn't win as he is TOO OLD.

He is 76 and would be a full 8 years older than the next oldest president - Reagan - and many of us still remember how that worked out by the end.....

My funnest memories of Reagan was watching some of those last press conferences when he could barely remember his own name..........

But the basic point is that Americans won't vote for someone that old.....

It's too bad but the timing between his message and the economic facts on the ground needed to wake up the 'average american' was just off by a few years......

Rollerball's picture

Amerikansbutwonts will be SOOLDed to vote AGAINST (primary motivator of "less worst") him , NOT because he's Reaganesque, but, because he's John F Kennedyesque.

Nobody gave a shit how old Hitler was -- as long as he could stomach the cocaine necessary to "Bernay's it".  

But you hang in there Woody:


Clycntct's picture

Why do you hate old people?(G)


I've got to disagree with you. But.

If and when that is the issue then it is a great issue to address.

The key to resolve your final point is what a great ad campaign is all about.

Get it to his running mate and the fall back issue closes the deal



UBIGDummy's picture

If Ron Paul doesn't win.

I hope Obombya wins. 

If not for a peacefull elected revolution, then let Obummer cause the NOT so peacefull revolution ensue.  

Bring on Olabamba win, and Viva le revelucion.

Oh oh, is the DHS knocking on my door.  


Quick, hide!

roadhazard's picture

Ya think? Would You want to be Prez now. I don't think Obama had a clue about what he was walking into until he sat in on the inside of the $700 billion dollah "starter" bailout plea. If there is a 2016 Government as we know it today then Hillary will be the next President because the repubicans will still not be able to come up with anyone. You heard it here first.

chet's picture

The GOP should be walking into the White House this year, but instead they've come up with the worst slate of candidates in living memory, and will likely lose.

As a youngish man (35), when I listen to the GOP I hear ideas from 30 years ago, aimed at bringing back some golden age they remember from 50+ years ago.  They need some sort of platform that addresses the future instead of endlessly offering verbal handjobs to Reagan's corpse.

blindfaith's picture

It is called out of touch and don't give a rats ass either.

GOP winners make the mess and the DNC winners are blamed for cleaning up to slow.

I wish they would run Paul and Huntsman as DUAL presidents...Paul for national and Huntsman as international affairs, then we would have the two smartest men in charge and some real hope ( unless the lobist lobotmize them).  Who cares who the VP is...maybe that Joe-the-Plumer guy could do it.

Baptiste Say's picture

Huntsman is a psychopathic moron eager as the rest of the GOODNESS insiders to bomb Iran.
He is not worth of standing alongside the man of peace Paul let alone serve as co/vice president with him.

Nascent_Variable's picture

On top of that, Reagan was an absolute disaster of a president, in spite of his small government rhetoric.  If anything, they've confused him with Eisenhower, who cut spending before reducing any taxes and kept both the debt and inflation extremely low.

poor fella's picture

That's exactly why EVERYONE should vote for Romney! There's no better way to put a stake in The System than when the U.S. enters an Appalachian-style depression caused by ever increasing corporate power and rampant globalization.

In a Romney world, states could cut minimum wage and give businesses tax exemptions, free buildings, and utilities paid for by those communities, at which time we'll reach UBER levels of wealth concentration.

If that's really The Plan, let's force them to turn up the heat - maybe us peon frogs will get the point and jump... probably not (sure there's some ace in the hole like, "FREE CABLE AND SHACKS FOR ALL")

Clycntct's picture

Ehhh I think I'll hold off on cutting my throat for now.

Gully Foyle's picture


Isn't there a ballot court case coming up where Obama has to produce his birth certificate? I think it's in georgia.

Pladizow's picture

Not sure, I dont follow the subject.

I think we all Know what the truth is.

How can you ask a corrupt US gov to provide proof of a doument they are responsible for making and can reproduce at will?

Proof that Obama's Birth Certificate is a fake? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g30VCl_cgk

Woodyg's picture

Except that it is states that make birth certificates not the us guv.....

But hey facts are no fun......

Like the fact that Obama is a corporatist thru and thru - he's no Marxist -

The Oilybomber never met a Bankster he didn't want to deep throat......

Not much difference between him and Romney actually - which is Exactly how corporate America wants it...

3 card Monte and We the People are the marks......

chubbar's picture

Yes there is, on the 26th in Georgia. Of course Obummer has filed another motion telling the court that the states have no right to ask for this information. He is also trying to quash the subpeonas for his BC info in Hawaii. What an asshole. Does anyone really believe that there is no fire with all of this smoke coming from his attorneys actions? He has spent in excess of 2 Million on these actions to keep his info out of the public eye. He is definitely a Manchurian candidate! Isn't it odd that the MSM has given no coverage to the fact that in a week the president is supposed to appear in a court proceeding to prove his citizenship? Really?



Woodyg's picture

He is the manchurian candidate - for the republicans!

chet's picture

You guys still barking up that tree?  Is it really that hard to believe that a black man was born in the US?  Happens every day.

neilzep's picture

Ron is the man.

HI Tyler,its Led Zeppelin from loser Tradestion.

EscapeKey's picture

Yep, and as the GM auto loans are underwritten by the US government, in reality it's another GSE underwritten debt bubble.

economics1996's picture

This is a good example of why there should be no income tax, and a Fair/Flat tax adopted.  

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

"Fair"/Flat tax....

How about you have everyone "Gently" touch their toes.

If your State wants to have a flat tax, go ahead, but Federal Taxes are for chumps.

WonderDawg's picture

The FairTax is a no-brainer. It will be an uphill battle to get it implemented because it's been so misrepresented in what little media attention it's gotten, but if people understood how it would work, I think people would get behind it. The first result would be capital investments coming back to the US and an improvement in the dismal unemployment numbers. We could actually have a surge in manufacturing employment. Tax revenues would likely go up, as the shadow economy that pays no taxes would now be taxed. So many other benefits would come to light. It just makes sense, which is why the pols will fight it every step of the way.

redpill's picture

Couldn't agree more, WonderDawg.  Even for those who are of the opinion we need to steadily cut expenditures until there is no income or consumption tax needed, in the mean time it makes a lot of sense to move to the FairTax model.

Trust me, Mitt Romney paying 23% on everything he consumes is going to be a hell of a lot more than whatever he's paying now.


Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Why in hell would you want any taxes?!

redpill's picture

I don't, but if we're going to have them we might as well collect them in a way that makes sense.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Stop making sense!  Taxes need to be apportioned.  'Nuff said.

Badabing's picture

End Tax and just print, inflation effects the rich too, at the same inflation rate%.

redpill's picture

Wrong.  The wealthy have more ability to use their savings to purchase assets as a hedge against the inflation.  Without those assets, you quickly become broke.  So it would actually make the current disparity in wealth worse and destroy the middle class completely.

Badabing's picture

What do they do now?


Inflation  gets them in the Caymans also.

redpill's picture

They give their money to Goldman to front-run everyone.

Badabing's picture

No one saves any more not the rich, not the middleclass, no one.

Those days of a savings account are over if you don’t invest in something your going backwards.

Inflation hits everyone equally no matter how much you hedge. The only way out is physical gold.

Until the rules are changed.

Belarusian Bull's picture

That's right, if you are to pick, pick lesser of 2 evils.

Woodyg's picture

So you want to live in a 3rd world nation?

What the hell is wrong with you people?

Woodyg's picture

Paying a 23% consumption tax does not equate to a 15% cap gains tax.......

Math obviously isn't your strong suit.......

redpill's picture

And reading comprehension apparently is not yours since I didn't say that.

defencev's picture

If Romney complies with tax laws, I see no reason why his offshore accounts can somehow  make him  less eligible for US Presidency. After all, majority of people over here seem to recognize that US is broke and if some people (on smarter side) try to preserve their assets by moving them offshore, it just a sign of their intellect , the feature I personally welcome for the candidate to this job.

 Talking about possible tax laws,  Singapore is ideal , in my view. It does not tax its residents on any offshore earnings and onshore earnings are taxed in pretty straightforward way. And it does not tax at all nonresidents for investment earnings in Singapore. It takes just several minutes to fill their tax form. For example, interests and dividends are taxed (on onshore accounts). My local bank (HSBC Singapore) sends me in the end of the year the interests paid every month on my accounts (for non SGD both in the corresponding currency and equivalent in SGD). All I need to do is to enter this information in the tax form.

 I wish we had similar sytem in US.I assure you that whatever they collect over here from offshore investments does not cover a fraction of the cost of IRS beaurocracy they need to have to collect this staff.

We need Geronimo's picture

Intellect?  Possibly.  Until you are running for president, then it's called tax-dodging.

Archduke's picture

I lived in Singapore. I love Singapore. but let's be honest: it's a tax haven.

it's a eurodollar offshore nexus, and the casino's real purpose is to launder

money stolen by the corrupt mandarins of the PRC and criminals worldwide.

LetThemEatRand's picture

The FairTax is a giant scam.  How convenient if you already have $1B in the bank that you only get taxed on what you spend from this point forward.   How about we claw back the ill gotten gains and then adopt a VAT system.

defencev's picture

Your argument does not hold the water. Whatever I have on my bank account is not taxed under the present system. If you suggest, however, to tax assets rather than earnings, it is a completely different game.

TuesdayBen's picture

Class Warfare, bitchez.  Just what statist Obooba wants.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Obama is not playing and somehow winning himself votes. No wonder people are calling an end to this freakshow before all the republicans win another term for Obamanation.