BusinessCorporate FinanceStand up to these American bullies

Stand up to these American bullies

‘The City is clearly under threat,’ ran the unattributed quote in The Sunday Times. But this time the warning was not about terrorists or Al Queda plans to blow up the world’s most profitable financial centre. There was no hint of explosives on Threadneedle Street, though the reasons for this stark warning could prove just as incendiary

No, the issue that has the City worried is that of the US Justice Department
pursuing online gaming company advisers with subpoenas. The reports say bankers,
lawyers and accountants could be subject to the investigation examining illegal
online gambling in the US and forced to hand over information about their
clients.

When the US moved to outlaw online gambling, an activity which is not illegal
in Europe, British companies moved quickly to shut down their operations while
US legislators added provisions in their legislation to allow other forms of
gambling to continue.

The view from the UK, and Accountancy Age cannot help but agree, is that
lawmakers across the Atlantic have hypocritically attacked online gambling and
its providers while closing their eyes to other forms of gaming.

US law has, of course, allowed them to go after overseas companies and
reinforce the US assumptions that they can pursue anyone, anywhere if it happens
to offend US sensibilities or business interests.

The latest moves to pursue advisers here serve only to illustrate still
further just how ludicrous the issue has become. And yet the US’s assumptions of
extra territorial powers appears to go unchallenged and almost ignored at
Westminster. This remains one of the most galling elements of the whole issue.

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