Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Opaque ownership

by Craig J. Albert

Just a quick note inspired by today's NYT article on the way in which Iran attempts to evade the US embargo by changing the ownership of its ships. These subterfuges are feasible because the concept of anonymous ownership of companies is so firmly entrenched in world culture. If share ownership were open to public inspection up and down the chain until a natural person or a government were reached, then real ownership interests could easily be monitored. In this particular article, you'll see the names of some of the usual suspects -- Malta, Isle of Man, Hong Kong -- that are well-known to lawyers, financiers and other ne'er-do-wells as particularly opaque places to hide assets. There always seems to be a government willing to hide a tax cheat or two, or an arms dealer who likes to keep a low profile.

Separately, on the issue of identifying and tracking big oceangoing vessels, one would think that a good international rule might be that every ship over a certain size needs to have a continuously functioning GPS transmitter with a unique ID, stored in a tamper-evident sealed container, and that no ship that lacks such a transmitter can enter a port.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The most popular is Charlie Madden. Yes, this brand may not rake in the thousands of dollars for one product, but louis vuitton replica offers the preferred twos of heels I have ever purchased and worn. As a businesswoman and socialite, this is really important as i wear shoes for several hours. Pick modest edges or no edges whatsoever. Lets face it, the prada replica sale is the fastest growing instrument to learn to play at the moment and one of the easiest and best instruments to be seen playing. There is a wide range of styles available which is what I treasure most. I also feel as if I’m the only rolex replica wearing them, even though they don’t sell just one type of shoe to each and every fake rolex for sale on the earth. So, let’s get to the part where I tell you that you can find these and many other designers products for significantly less than retail.