Saturday 14 December 2019

The Punt: No real penalty for inversions

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

IReland and its tax advantages have been well known for years. And the Americans don't like it one bit.

Whether it has been former US Senator Carl Levin pointedly calling this country a tax haven a few years back, or President Barack Obama, inset, railing against the "inversion" deals which have seen a US firm buy an Irish company and shift its corporate headquarters to this country to cut its tax bill, the issue of "Ireland" and "tax" has been a recurring theme.

Given official US hatred of inversions, it is surprising to see firms which have used the process still get the perks and treatment of being an American business.

The 'Wall Street Journal' notes that med-tech firm Medtronic, which moved from the US to Ireland last year, took part in official US trade missions to South America.

Other firms were hosted at US embassies. Legally, there is no difference between these companies and a peer with no relation to the US at all.

It seems that for all the anti-inversion rhetoric, the US still looks after its own.

Pendulum swings back

After last January's sell-out event featuring motivational guru Tony Robbins, Frankie Sheahan's Pendulum Summit is already gearing up for next year.

The intensity of Tony Robbins's session at the Convention Centre in January caught many Irish attendees off-guard, and has been described as a cross between a rave, a prayer revival and a banking seminar. Next year's event is booked for January 11 and 12.

The line-up of speakers so far includes Jack Canfield, dubbed America's No1 Success Coach, and Breakthrough Specialist Lisa Nichols.

Jack Canfield is best known for his 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' series - with 123 million books sold worldwide - and he is in demand around the globe as a speaker and advisor.

Lisa Nichols has been called "the female Martin Luther King" by her fans.

She is the founder and chief executive of Motivating the Masses - one of the US's only publicly traded personal and business development training companies.

Pendulum Summit 2017 will run for two full days - with the option of one or two-day tickets.

Pendulum 2016 attracted a capacity audience of 3,200 into the Convention Centre, with 500 on the waiting list.

Other previous speakers include bestselling authors Deepak Chopra and Keith Ferrazzi, astronaut Chris Hadfield and actor Jack Black.

Martens lands at CityJet

CityJet, the Dublin-based airline that's headed by and was founded by Pat Byrne, has appointed US aviation veteran Robert Martens as a non-executive director of the company.

Texas-based Martens (71) headed regional US airline American Eagle, owned by American Airlines, from 1987 to 1995.

He had joined American Airlines in 1977 and held a number of roles with the carrier.

He's a graduate of Yale and also of Harvard.

He began his aviation career with Transworld Airlines, where he worked from 1971 to 1975.

When he left American Eagle in 1995, Martens went on to head Business Express Airlines, guiding it through involuntary bankruptcy proceedings.

He helped to rationalise the fleet and negotiated labour agreements, placed a new jet order and then negotiated the sale of the carrier to American Airlines.

He then went on to take up a role as president and chief operating officer of California-based Polar Air Cargo.

In 2007, Martens was appointed by US Airways to run its US Airways Express business.

He oversaw the US Airways Express programme, which at the time included 2,300 daily flights and included nine regional airlines.

Irish Independent

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