Sunday, March 10, 2013

WSJ on Singapore

Wealth Over the Edge: Singapore

"the world's economic center of gravity—measured by looking at income averages across more than 700 places worldwide—has shifted east over the past 30 years, from the Transatlantic Axis to somewhere across the Arabian Peninsula. If current growth trends continue, this center will move in another three decades to a resting point between India and China—just about where Singapore is, meaning its potential as the world's economic center may not even be fully realized.

what really checks all the right boxes for many of the world's ultra-rich is Singapore's obsession with order, predictability and control, all of which give comfort to individuals whose fortunes have recently gone down the drain in many parts of the world. It doesn't hurt that Singapore has some of the lowest taxes in the world, including none on capital gains and most foreign dividends. But it also has relatively secretive private banking laws and zero harassment from paparazzi or protesters, whose activities are narrowly proscribed by Singaporean authorities, further creating an aura of order and stability. Ronen Palan, a professor of international political economy and an expert on offshore wealth and tax havens at City University in London, believes that while Switzerland is 'clearly suffering' from the pressure put on its private-wealth sector from the European Union and the U.S., Singapore is a 'very secretive location' where many—Asians in particular—believe their wealth will be spared scrutiny from Western regulators."

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