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More Cayman Islands stuff

Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014

* From an August 1st Sun-Times story on Bruce Rauner’s investments in the Cayman Islands

Three of Rauner’s five Cayman Island holdings trace back to GTCR, the Chicago-based investment company that Rauner founded and headed until 2012 when he stepped down to ramp up his bid for governor. […]

Three of Rauner’s Cayman Islands investments are tied to his old firm: GTCR Golder Rauner II AIV Ironshore LP, GTCR Partners IX AIV Ironshore LP, and GTCR Partners X/A&C AIV LP.

* From today’s Sun-Times

Republican Bruce Rauner not only has personal investments in the Cayman Islands, but he presided over his former private equity firm as it set up other investment vehicles in the Caribbean tax haven known for its secrecy.

The Chicago Sun-Times verified through the Cayman Islands’ government-run online business registry that a total of a dozen investment funds were established there by Chicago-based GTCR between June 2009 and July 2011, when Rauner chaired the firm. […]

But a top Rauner aide Monday defended the funds’ creation and said they all relate to GTCR’s 2009 investment in Bermuda-based Ironshore, Inc., a specialty insurance company, and a 2011 GTCR acquisition of Gridlock Holdings, a provider of custom news and traffic reports for non-U.S. media outlets.

I’m not sure if there’s much new news there, but “a dozen” is certainly more than “three,” and it provides another opportunity for the Democrats to tee off on him.

* From the DGA…

Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner only recently returned from vacationing at one of his luxury residences in Montana where he dodged questions about why he stashed his cash in the Caymans, a notorious haven for tax dodgers.

Hmmm….any guesses on which estate Rauner goes to now in order dodge questions on the new revelation that he helped to steer company money to the Caymans?

A new Chicago Sun Times story includes an assessment of why Rauner would not only avoid US and Illinois taxes by stashing personal funds, but why he could maximize that profit by steering company money to the Caymans:

“‘By putting the funds in the Cayman Islands, he’s making it easy for his investors to cheat, which means he’ll have more investors than he’d otherwise have, and he’ll earn more fees from it,’ said Rebecca Wilkins, senior legal counsel for the Center for Tax Justice that estimates the federal government loses $100 billion a year in owed tax obligations because of foreign tax havens.’”

This isn’t the only way that Rauner avoids paying his fair share and profiting at the expense of others. Rauner also other exotic loopholes to dodge paying Medicare and Social Security taxes, while banking profits at the expense of middle class workers. Workers in Rauner’s companies have been subjected to massive layoffs, outsourcing and conditions that led to deadly negligence, abuse and outright fraud.

“If he was governor of the Cayman Islands it would allow him to spend more time managing his millions and spare Illinois from being led by a profiteer that puts his money before workers, seniors, families and communities,” said Rikeesha Phelon, Illinois Spokesperson for the Democratic Governors Association.

“He hasn’t been honest with the public about his tax information. And now we see he hasn’t been honest with the people about the extent of his foreign dealings.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


22 Comments
  1. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    If it is good enough for the State of Illinois to invest in, it should be good enough for anyone to invest in.


  2. - Amalia - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    wow, the pile of Rauner properties is higher than the pile of his released tax returns!


  3. - Anonymoiis - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    Still waiting for specific examples from Quinn camp to support their allegation that Rauner shipped Illinois jobs overseas. All this tells us is he invested in existing foreign companies, which doing so through Cayman accounts is not unusual, illegal, or unethical. Unless the State pension investors are all those things as well


  4. - Nonplussed - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    Read a 2010 article about Romney and Bain investing in Cayman’s. It made three points:

    1. Since 2009, Cayman’s cooperates with IRS and a dozen other IRS-like entities in other countries;

    2. One advantage is that foreign investors in Bain could avoid paying U.S. taxes using the Cayman accounts; and,

    3. Romney could avoid paying a certain tax on his IRA is his IRA invested in one of those Cayman accounts.

    Point 3 is interesting because Rauner’s people have made a point of saying that he has paid all the taxes he “owes”. IRA taxes are deferred into the future. He hasn’t said if he is using the personal Cayman accounts to avoid future IRA taxes.


  5. - so... - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    ==Read a 2010 article about Romney and Bain investing in Cayman’s. It made three points:

    1. Since 2009, Cayman’s cooperates with IRS and a dozen other IRS-like entities in other countries;==

    Actually, Caymans has had a tax information exchange agreement with the United States since 2006 - http://www.oecd.org/unitedstates/35514531.pdf


  6. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    ===I’m not sure if there’s much new news there…===

    Completely agree.

    Here is the rub for me.

    It is the continued honesty and integrity, ethics and morals.

    How so?

    There is always a continuation with Rauner.

    Property exemptions
    Payton Prep
    Income taxes
    Hands on/Passive investor
    Investments
    Political donations

    They all have this connection that you rarely get the full, 100% ownership of the truth. It starts with the “all baloney”, than the doubling down on what Rauner wants the narrative to be, to the “we answered that already” to the final twist of claiming zero accountability to something that could have been knocked down with one truthful statement.

    “We claimed too many exemptions. It was wrong”

    “I called to get my Daughter accepted. It was wrong. I hope you look at a parent’s love was on my mind.”

    “Here are my taxes. I have a lot of money. I signed them, and I’ll answer the questions to them.”

    “I have been successful more times than not in life. I have made mistakes, and in business as in life, I have tried to learn from them. There is a lot of gray in business, but I have tried to be a good member of the business community, and not being perfect, but being honest is how I would rather be seen.”

    “Billions of dollars in investments find their way in many pots. Even investing in the Cayman Islands has led to some business successes, not only for my investors, but for the companies here in America and Illinois. My business career is not defined by bank account numbers.”

    “I have made significant donations to members of both parties. Businesses do that, I have done that, but as someone who understands the under-belly of corporate-government convergence, I can be the one candidate to turn this whole process “inside-out ” to benefit everyone, not those who have politicians on speed dial. Everyone is to blame, but I want to be the solution.”

    It’s the hypocrisy. It’s the distain Rauner has for those pointing it out. It’s blaming others, and throwing family under the bus.

    This story is not that big, actually small, on it’s own.

    It’s the persona and the trip-ups that make these story stick around.


  7. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    Is Pat Quinn running for office in Illinois or in the Cayman Islands?

    If you didn’t know better, that’s becoming a realistic question to ask.

    OTOH, maybe a change of scenery would do Pat a world of good.


  8. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    The Caymans resonate like Swiss Bank accounts. People understand it’s a dodge available only to the most exclusive wheeler-dealers.

    Seriously, why do you think Cayman Island banking exists? For the free checking?


  9. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    tax day oct 15 for the .001% is coming soon


  10. - Adam Smith - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    It matters to the fellow a travelers Quinn must lock down if he has any chance. With the far-left base unenthused about their nominee and his prospects they have to keep the red meat flowing.

    Problem continues to be that this stuff is nowhere near as effective among indies who are breaking heavily against Quinn.


  11. - so... - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    ==Seriously, why do you think Cayman Island banking exists? For the free checking?==

    Really struggling to abide by the no insults rule here.

    Every Cayman fund that has been reported has been an investment fund, NOT a bank account. You are mixing the two up and I really think you’re smart enough to know the difference.


  12. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    word, we can open a Cayman account if we want. We’ll pay some fees because we don’t have the minimum balance “requirement” (100k) but it can be done. Our paltry interest earnings will be reported to and taxable by the IRS.

    My point is that the Caymans ain’t the financial hidey-hole they used to be.

    Personally, I’m not bothered one whit by GTCR or any PE fund with a bunch of tax-exempt investors creating offshore accounts. Type “UBIT” in the Search box for discussions in previous posts.


  13. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    “The Caymans resonate like Swiss Bank accounts. People understand it’s a dodge available only to the most exclusive wheeler-dealers.

    Seriously, why do you think Cayman Island banking exists? For the free checking?”
    ———————

    Then change the freaking tax laws. Until then, it’s all just politics as usual.

    As per your “Swiss bank accounts” comments, well that kind of ignores the 2009 treaty the Caymans have with the US government over bank secrecy provisions.

    What you are really dealing with here is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which is a nice way of the US government forcing foreign banks and investment houses to comply with US banking and taxation laws as they apply to US citizens bank/investment holdings outside of the US.

    Which is why more and more foreign banks are now refusing to provide banking account services to US citizens overseas.

    Which is why Senator Rand Paul has placed holds on bills to implement every tax treaty negotiated since his election in 2010 (thankfully).

    Ask yourself why, apart from the federal bureaucracy and the IRS types, that the biggest fans of the FATCA regs. are big businesses (the “Big Four” accounting firms, ExxonMobil, General Electric, and Microsoft, etc.). It ain’t the little guys who want this stuff.

    Which is also part of the reasons for the increasing business interest in doing business “Inversions” (like Walgreen’s). Small part, but still a part.

    There’s a lot more to this story than just your “Swiss bank account” sound bite.

    Word, sometimes when you pull on the string, it goes places you weren’t expecting.

    Just sayin….


  14. - PoolGuy - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    my point is that even if the Caymans are not the “financial hidey-hole they used to be” then why do Rauner and other people continue to put their money there???

    if it still has a smelly reputation, why take the risk and not keep their money and investments in US accounts??? what is the benefits?


  15. - MrJM - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    Bruce Rauner’s Patriotism Inversion is perfectly legal!

    – MrJM


  16. - Anonymoiis - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    ==if it still has a smelly reputation, why take the risk and not keep their money and investments in US accounts??? what is the benefits?==

    For one, you could attract more foreign investors


  17. - walker - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    Anyone who thinks there are no longer US tax avoidance advantages for Cayman accounts, or secrecy advantages for Swiss Banking, are fooling themselves, or more likely being fooled by others with a political agenda.

    The scarier thing to me are the locations and techniques available now to avoid US taxes, that have replaced the few advantages which have been mitigated by US statute and treaty in those two locales. They are many, including in Europe, Bermuda, SE Asia, and the Middle East.

    However, all the detailed arguments over the merits, ethics, tax law, and facts, will have little impact on voters. Accounts or corporations in Switzerland and Cayman Islands still have some negative public image implications, and will hurt Rauner. How much remains to be seen.


  18. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    Perhaps somebody should take a trip to the Cayman Islands to investigate this first hand. I’ll volunteer.


  19. - Redux - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    Vallas said that while state pension funds have Cayman investments, it is “apples and oranges” to compare those investments designed to maximize funding for retirees to Rauner’s attempts there to “avoid taxation … and not pay his fair share” on profits he earned.


  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 4:42 pm:

    Ah, so when it’s pensions it’s “maximize returns”…and how is it returns are “maximized” by being in the Caymans vs staying based in Illinois??


  21. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 7:43 pm:

    No matter how he tries to dodge and duck this one, the issue is a mini-Hurricane for Rauner that’s hitting right over him now, will be lingering for awhile now, and leaving severe Storms and likely several Tornadoes in its wake, and consequently WILL cause him and his main possession–his lust for Power and longing for Victory over our Beloved Home State–to suffer significant damage, perhaps enough so, coupled with his other blatant flaws/shortcomings slowly but surely coming to light, plus other growing debilitating forces gravitating against him… (e.g. Same-Day Voter Registration on Campus after Campus) to be fatal/inevitably cost him possession of the end result of that very lust…!


  22. - Vietnam tours - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 8:42 am:

    It’s really a great and useful piece of information. I am happy that you shared this useful info
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