Khadija Sharife


8 September 2010

My Own Private Delaware

Hollywood loves a movie about a maverick individual taking on the might of a giant corporation – think of films like Erin Brockovich, Public Enemy or The Insider – but one breed of behemoth is unsurprisingly immune from scrutiny. Hollywood's ‘big six’ studios – Paramount (a subsidiary of Viacom), Twentieth Century Fox (News Corporation), Columbia (Sony), Warner Brothers (Time Warner), Universal (General Electric) and Disney – may have their principal place of business in California, but they’re all incorporated in Delaware.


8 July 2010

Resource Curse

Ghana, only the third African team ever to reach the quarter-finals of a World Cup, were unlucky to lose to Uruguay last Friday. Beyond football, however, a bigger question looms: will oil-rich Ghana, perceived as West Africa’s poster child of political stability, be the first African country to kick the ‘resource curse’?


9 June 2010

Offshore Exploitation

Like Panama and Liberia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands in Micronesia is not only a tax haven but also an open ship registry. Open registries enable foreign owners and operators to circumvent many of the regulations required by the national registries of such traditional flag states as the US, UK, Japan or Germany. In 2009, only 53 oil tankers were registered in the US, compared to 557 in Panama, 460 in Liberia and 221 in the Marshall Islands, where a 50,000-tonne ship can ‘flag in’ for a fee of $15,000. Perks include same-day formation, high levels of client confidentiality, voluntary disclosure and zero taxation. Citizenship can be obtained by forming a legal entity and foreign clients never have to set foot on the islands. In all, more than 2000 vessels are registered in the Marshall Islands. Until it sank in the Gulf of Mexico on 22 April, one of them was the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.">http://www.register-iri.com/index.cfm?action=page&page=22" target="_blank">Perks include same-day formation, high levels of client confidentiality, voluntary disclosure and zero taxation. Citizenship can be obtained by forming a legal entity and foreign clients never have to set foot on the islands. In all, more than 2000 vessels are registered in the Marshall Islands. Until it sank in the Gulf of Mexico on 22 April, one of them was the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.