Not too proud to admit an honest mistake
For the benefit of your readers I wish to apologise for an error that was included in part one of my two-part opinion, on July 12, 2021. That op-ed was about the implications for Bermuda if the intended Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development/G20-derived “Global Minimum Corporate Tax” regime was implemented along with its companion initiative called “Pillar One”.
I wrote, In relation to the existing level of Bermuda Government debt the following: “Yet, it is a major irony of epic proportions that our government is mired in annual and mounting debt of close to $2 billion.”
That should have read of course “... and mounting debt of close to $3 billion”.
In other words, my point was how ironic that this state of fiscal affairs exists in Bermuda amid so much foreign-derived wealth held in private hands — corporate and personal — which is domiciled in Bermuda.
I wish to thank MP Scott Pearman for pointing out that the $2 billion figure originally cited was in error. It was an oversight.
This is a serious issue for Bermuda and I was pleased that the former finance minister Bob Richards did offer a realistic assessment of the geostrategic threat this poses to Bermuda’s international business-dominant economy. Mr Richards indicated that he was literally “scared” for Bermuda’s future. I might add that he was not indulging in hyperbole in stating as much, either.
Lastly, there were some commentators and persons directly who have indicated that Bermuda needs to fight this as per the good old days; a theme I explored in my op-ed. But that ship has sailed and it does not look like they got the memo. They appear to be not aware that every British colony/territory, as I wrote, is firmly in the OECD’s “yes” column in support of this global initiative along with more than 100 other countries.
Why, you ask? Because we conveniently forget, as in an inconvenient fact, that Bermuda’s foreign affairs is constitutionally and firmly in the hands of the controlling power called Britain. And at critical moments such as this where its existential interest is at stake as well, it demonstrates in no uncertain terms the reality of that relationship.
As it did quietly yet effectively behind the scenes in this matter.
Does that mean that nothing is to be done to stop this? No. What it simply means is that more powerful global actors than ourselves will be the ones to fight the final battles on this front. And at this very late stage their victory is far from assured.