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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Overseas Americans Week 2014 - The Video

A few weeks ago I went off to Paris to a cute little bar called Joe Allen's for a public debrief of what happened during Overseas Americans Week in Washington, D.C. a couple months ago.

I was one of the speakers (the first speaker, in fact) and I had a lot of fun (you may have noticed that I like to talk.)  I wasn't alone - each member of the delegation had a chance to say something and it's a pretty good synopsis.  Some darn good questions from the audience, too.

AARO decided to post the video on the public part of their new website so that it could be seen and shared worldwide with members and non-members alike.  It's very well done and that is mostly due to their videographer, Mathieu, who is something of a wizard with flickering images.

So, for your viewing pleasure, here it is:  Overseas Americans Week Recap.

(and it's definitely safe for work - just call it "research" :-)


Tim said...

My initial impression is while all parties seem to be sympathetic Treasury/IRS is still firmly behind FATCA and the status quo. Congress is not nearly as attached to FATCA but is simply unable to do anything.

Tim said...
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Ellen Lebelle said...

Yes, they are firmly behind FATCA and CBT. So, it is up to us to make our Representatives and Senators understand that they must change the tune.

P. Moore said...

Good to see that debrief. It is also good to see that some people in Washington are starting to get educated, even if it is a long process. To me, this is a battle that must be fought on many fronts, including efforts like this, media campaigns, leaning on legislators and so on. The other main battle front looks to be court challenges, which can really be effective, but difficult and expensive. Sure court challenges can potentially be a death blow to things like FATCA (or hopefully FATCA chokes on itself) and the practical application of CBT, but I think all these things working at the same time are necessary. Keep on grinding, Victoria, Lynne and all the others.

Christophe said...

What I found interesting what the comment by the gentleman regarding the new French worldwide income reporting requirements for non residents if they have any taxable income in France. This is wrong and a sign that they might be interested in CBT at some point in the future.
I will contact my representative about that.

Victoria, we received my son's passport and are go for our end of June vacation. I'd love for our families to meet.

Anonymous said...

Victoria, Lynn AARO et al,

You are an inspiration. But alas, a minority. In my host country, it's all hear no evil, see no evil:
Heads dive for sand as soon as FATCA/FBAR is mentioned.

P. Moore. Is a court challenge realistic (e.g. via Judicial Watch, etc)? How expensive could it be? How could we help fund it?

P. Moore said...

Court challenges are already being organised in both the US and Canada. I expect there will be more in other countries. Surely they will be expensive, but with so many stakeholders, there will be a lot of support, I think. When the organizers ask for support in funding, it will be well known how to contribute. Also, it will be interesting to see if the US actually 'pulls the 30% trigger' and what would happen to the capital markets if that occurred. Their latest delay shows that they are probably a bit gun-shy in that regard.

Anonymous said...

Gun-shy...Uhm. I wouldn't be surprised if they would actually pull the trigger on some banks to make an example and force more IGA signing. Right now, that threat is what makes every country cave in.
If it was not there, there would be more room for negociations. Right now, I don't even know why they even call that negociations. The ONLY thing they seem to negociate is which financial products are exempt from reporting. The rest of the IGA template is the same for all countries, and that part does not seem to be open for negociation.

P. Moore said...

It is possible the US might 'pull the 30% trigger' to make an example and force more cooperation, but I believe it is an extremely dangerous game. The bond market is highly intolerant of this type of activity and considering the amount of US treasuries held internationally, it could very easily cause a panic driving up interest rates on that debt. Now if you consider how much the FED is already holding through its QE program and if they were forced to do 'mark to market' accounting, it would likely show their capital is wiped out. I believe the Social Security system is backed by Treasuries as well...mark that stuff to market and you have another crisis. To me, the imposition of the 30% will cause a confidence crisis...not something the markets need at all. I could be wrong, but they have already 'wimped out' on the July 1st deadline yet again, so I suspect they know they are playing with fire.

Anonymous said...

"the imposition of the 30% will cause a confidence crisis...not something the markets need at all. I could be wrong, but they have already 'wimped out' on the July 1st deadline yet again, so I suspect they know they are playing with fire."

I agree, particularly with Russia and China still not on board and holding a significant amount of treasuries.

And its not just treasuries, its equities and corporate bonds as well. Imagine what will happen to the Dow once 30% of dividends payments start to get confiscated.

Lets see if Russia calls their bluff, which in the current environment they have every the incentive to do so. If they do, it will be the enforcement of FATCA vs. confidence in US investments and the dollar as the world's reserve currency.

Victoria FERAUGE said...

I've thought about it a lot (Washington was useful for me because I think I had some fantasies about waking folks up and they would "see the light" and do something).

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

OK, I think that the best hopes are legal challenges and host country legislation. And that's where I will be directing my efforts.

Of course, this conclusion has an interesting corollary. If I believe that working through the political community of my homeland is a complete waste of effort then doesn't it follow that I probably shouldn't continue to be part of that political community at all?

Tim said...

Do you think the National Front and LePen could be an ally based on this article?

National Front leader Marine Le Pen isn’t typically a cheerleader for the world of finance: She has been sharply critical of French banks and has said she favors temporary nationalization of them in times of financial crisis.

But the longstanding BNP ParibasBNP.FR -4.12% probes currently underway in the U.S. appear to have hit a patriotic nerve with Ms. Le Pen’s party, which advocates for a French exit from the euro common currency, closing borders for migrants and erecting trade barriers for foreign products.

The far-right party said it was regrettable that the French government “doesn’t have the leverage needed to negotiate with Washington, as a result of systematic submission (…) to U.S. wishes and foreign policy.” A French foreign ministry spokesman said the government was closely monitoring the situation regarding BNP Paribas but declined to comment further.

Politics makes strange bedfellow as they say.

Em said...

@ Victoria
Will AARO at least be giving the ADCS fund a mention in their newsletters or whatever form they use to communicate with their members? I certainly hope so. I realize they are very touchy about the "R" word so they wouldn't steer anyone toward Brock but the legal challenge is separate from that and deserves their recognition (IMHO). Have you asked them about this?

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Hi Em,

The news came too late to be included in the June newsletter. I did get a very good article about the Republican Overseas effort though and that's in this issue. Next newsletter is in September. I won't promise anything but I will talk to them and see what we can do.