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This site offers news articles and information pertaining to expatriation, offshore banking, offshore investments, residency in other jurisdictions, second citizenship and second passport matters.  Jurisdictions covered in our main section and our on-line newsletter sections include: Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, China, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nevis, Panama, United States and Uruguay.   Ascot Advisory assists with incorportion services, banking introduction services, free zone  license  assistance, residency and naturalization (second citizenship) in the Dominican Republic, Panama, Nevis and some of the other jurisdcitions mentioned above.
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WHERE CAN YOU AFFORD TO RETIRE TAX FREE?           WHY ARE SO MANY OF THE MIDDLE CLASS LEAVING THE US & EUROPE?

Our July 2003 Newsletter:
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Dominican Republic Real Estate and Investment News Updates.   In The News:   IMF and the Dominican Republic, Wall Street Credit Ratings
John Schroder - Author of The Ascot Advisory News Letter Bulletin and Numerous Expatriate  Articles
THE VIEW FROM ATOP THE COCONUT TREE:  I always love a good rumor, don’t you?  The wonderful thing about rumors is, they are always free and there is never a shortage.  For example, we had heard some time ago that the Communist Chinese would be taking over Panama (soon after the American military left in 1999).  The circulated story was that the Red Chinese controlled both sides of the Panama Canal and were ready to pounce, forcing the poor Panamanians to learn how to eat fried plantain bananas with chopsticks (thank goodness that did not happen).  To be sure, a number of civilian employees of the military bases upset over having to move back to Texas (and give up their very charmed life in Panama) were purveyors of that one (I heard it with my own ears in a local watering hole in Panama one night a few years back).  
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Of course some rumors are a bit true, or at least have some basis in something factual, even though the final rumor is often changed or exaggerated once it makes the rounds.   The Dominican Republic lately is a perfect example of that, with all sorts of interesting (sometimes downright entertaining) things being said, using current events as the basis for what can only be called tall tales in many cases, and distortions of the truth in others. 
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You should certainly use some common sense with most rumors as things can often be blown out of proportion (often intentionally by those who have an ax to grind).  In the least, take my previous suggestion of reading some additional publications to get some more direct information (including local News Media in the Dominican Republic as we mentioned in our last update bulletin).
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As an example of some recent rumors: we have heard that Fidel Castro is coming to town to take over the Dominican government (one entertaining rumor from a fellow who drank bit too much rum I think), yet another rumor is that the local Dominican government wants to confiscate all foreign currency accounts (relayed by two panic stricken Dominicans living in New York who were told this by a third cousin living in Rio San Juan, who heard it from a guy from Santiago, who heard from a farmer that has a son-in-law that works in a car wash, and so on).  Still yet another rumor is that all the Dominican banks are calling in car and home loans (an interesting way to guarantee nothing short of a mess, if a bank was that foolish to even consider such an idea).  In addition, there are of course endless general rumors about the solvency of the other local banks as well (some say the bankers in Miami are perpetuating that one and for sure they have something to gain if Dominicans stop sending their money back to the DR and start keeping it all in Miami – or New York).  
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One of the latest and greatest stories or rumors (as reported by one of the local radio stations in Santo Domingo) involves a communiqué intercepted from the US consulate in Santo Domingo, warning against Arab Terrorists who are supposedly moving back and forth between Haiti (what they want over there, I have no idea – perhaps they are seeking out a voodoo witch-doctor to bless upcoming terrorist plots).  In any event, while claims of pink elephant sightings are common in some late night drinking establishments throughout the country, no camel sightings have come in just yet (but we will keep you posted).  Of course there is another rumor that Yasser Arafat will be buying a house next to Madonna’s in La Romana (and will be opening a falafal stand), but I take the view that might be more possible than some of the other things I have heard – although I cannot confirm that one either.

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So, while it is true that the printed press in both Miami and New York have stayed on top of the Dominican Republic with a vengeance in terms of negative publicity, the flip side is that the local view in the Dominican Republic is quite different.  Meaning, the local population is quite angry with the current government in power (probably an understatement) and many would predict with certainty a change in government with the next elections (May 2004), but there is no mass civil mayhem (it’s too hot, and besides, better to play dominoes in the shade) .  However, in the case of the overall banking system and other matters in general, it is business as usual, with no interruptions or problems (aside from some higher prices of course due to the peso devaluation).  In short, ATM machines still work just fine, you can exchange dollars or pesos without a problem, they still sell Hagen-Daz ice-cream at Price-Smart, Dominicans continue to buy Presidente Beer and listen to Kinito Mendez, and to best of my knowledge, the McDonalds in Santo Domingo still uses real chicken in its chicken nuggets (just in case you heard different).  The other things – well, I can only quote Mr. Ripley who said:  Believe it or Not.
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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC REAL ESTATE:
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Quite a few people have contacted us about real estate lately, and specifically regarding the concept that some people have started to price both rents and sale prices in US Dollars.  While it is true that some sellers of real estate have done this, the fact is that properties marketed to foreigners were more often than not priced in dollars, so this is not new news.  However, the fact that some landlords are quoting rents in US Dollars is of course new, especially in the capital of Santo Domingo (apartments for rent in tourist areas were often quoted in dollars in the past anyway).  This phenomenon only seems to be happening in the upper middle class neighborhoods and my guess is that ALL of these landlords will have vacant apartments for some time to come.  I say this because of the rents they are asking (some think that Santo Domingo is San Francisco, but while they both begin with the letter S, that is where the similarities stop) and also because Dominicans are paid in the official national currency, which is the PESO.  As a result, locals certainly do not have dollars to spend for monthly expenses such as rent, which leaves the foreigners (not enough of them to really fill up the void) who might be able to pay in another currency.  However, it should be duly noted that the foreigners are not exactly naïve, and are not foolish enough to pay exaggerated rents either.   With all of that said, there are still a large number of very comfortable upper scale apartments renting in about the 12,000 peso range (about US$ 350 per month) and even some homes with swimming pools for 15,000 (about US$450 per month).  New private homes and apartments can still be purchased with prices that start from about US$47,000 and go up from there (taking the current prices in Pesos and calculating the US Dollar exchange).  So, keep this in mind when house or apartment hunting.
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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC INVESTMENT UPDATE:
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The current buzz within the local Dominican banking industry is how any new influx of US Dollars (government bond sales and IMF funds) will affect both the exchange rates and pressures on US Dollar interest rates.  However, as noted below in the news story provided, there are many politicians that would like to keep the IMF as far away as possible, so it is yet to be determined how much a role the IMF may actually play.  In line with this theme, many local businessmen and politicians would prefer to handle whatever issues internally just as more beneficial idea – politically speaking.  This might explain the approval by the Superintendent of Banking in regards to the very wealthy Leon Jimenez Group (Tobacco, Beer), which recently purchased Banco Nacional De Credito (BanCredito), arguably one of the largest banks in the country (actually Banco Professional, a subsidiary of Leon Jimenez, bought the larger bank) - Thus taking it away from a highly leveraged parent company (Tricom, Telecable Nacional) and placing it with a more well capitalized one (Leon Jimenez).
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IN THE NEWS:
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DOMINICAN GOVERNMENT GETS PRELIMINARY IMF DEAL - Wed June 25, 2003 - By Manuel Jimenez
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Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, June 25 (Reuters) - Dominican Republic authorities said they reached a tentative deal with the IMF that would give the Caribbean nation access to $1 billion in financing, with strings attached, to help it deal with the collapse of one of its biggest banks this year.  The preliminary two-year deal gives the country access to international lenders, but would impose conditions on it, including keeping a lid on its budget deficit, freezing public-sector salaries and implementing new import duties.
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http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=2989510
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EDITORS COMMENTS:  While many factions of the local population are deeply disturbed by the idea of any foreign governments or entities having political (and economic) controls over the country, it is also viewed by some as a blessing in the sense that the current liberal party cannot run amuck financially before the next elections.  In other words, they have or will have their hands tied, financially speaking.  However, needless to say that government employees are not thrilled about pay freezes and lay-offs as mandated by the IMF as part of the package deal, so thus the reason for the next news story below.  
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PRESSURE IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC GROWS AGAINST IMF DEAL
Wed July 2, 2003 - By Manuel Jimenez 
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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, July 2 (Reuters) - Opposition lawmakers in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday rejected fiscal measures required under a tentative $1 billion International Monetary Fund deal, while a private group asked the country's supreme court to declare the financing unconstitutional.

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http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=3027087
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WALL STREET AWAITS DOMINICAN REFORMS AFTER BANK CRISIS
Fri May 30, 2003 - By Hugh Bronstein
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New York, May 30 (Reuters) - Revelations of fraud at one of the Dominican Republic's leading banks have sparked selling of the country's foreign-held bonds BUT Wall Street is hoping for a recovery if the government responds strongly to the crisis.  We think the downside is limited because Baninter is isolated and the country's debt is STILL VERY manageable," said Carl Ross, who heads Latin American sovereign research at Bear Stearns & Co.  Based on conversations with people involved in the banking sector in the country, we would say that Baninter appears to be an isolated case," said one Wall Street economist who covers the Dominican Republic.  After the Baninter situation broke there was a redistribution of deposits in the banking system. WE DID NOT see capital flight, said the economist, who asked not to be identified.

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http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=2853266
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IMF- DOLLAR WEAKNESS COULD UNDERMINE GLOBAL GROWTH
Fri., June 6, 2003
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Washington - June 6 (Reuters) - There is risk that the dollar could fall too far against other currencies, and damp-en global economic growth prospects, the International Monetary Fund said in a report on Friday.  The NEED to continue to attract large capital inflows to FINANCE the U.S. CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT and the large share of foreign ownership of U.S. treasuries, corporate bonds, agency securities, and equities, heightens the chance of overshooting, the report added.

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http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=2891799
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EDITORS COMMENTS:  In plain English, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is stating the US Government needs foreign capital to finance its own deficit (thank you IMF for telling us something we already knew).  In this regard, the US is competing for investment capital with all other nations, and perhaps emerging markets especially.  Why make mention of it?  Well, it is certainly important to note that the so-called wealthiest and most powerful nation on the planet needs some cash to fund its enormous deficit spending.  So, it can be argued that since the US is competing with both emerging markets and European nations for banking deposits (and other kinds of investment and loans – such as sale of its own government debt, which competes in the financial markets for investors along with the government bonds of other nations) that it would offer an explanation for the, shall we say, aggressive tone towards the financial and banking industry elsewhere (the rhetoric that all the banks outside the US are not safe, everyone that banks in Switzerland or Panama is a drug dealer, etc., etc.).  So for what it is worth – I offer this as just some food for thought.
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YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: Probe Finds Significant Misuse Internet at IRS
June 19, 2003
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Internal Revenue Service employees using thousands of computers accessed prohibited Web sites that included personal e-mail, sexually explicit sites and games. To Treasury investigators, it was a sign that significant misuse of the Internet continues after a crackdown a year ago.  Employee abuse of the Internet is still widespread, the investigators reported.  The results of the Treasury Department investigation disappointed lawmakers who pushed the IRS to revise its Internet policies and block access to prohibited sites after a study in 2001 showed IRS employees spent MORE THAN HALF their workday on the Internet for personal reasons.  This is a classic case of people getting an inch and taking a mile, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley said Thursday.  Nobody should collect a government salary to sit on their behinds and play around in chat rooms, said Grassley, R-Iowa, who oversees the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service.

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http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/internet/06/19/irs.internet.abuse.ap/index.html
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US HOME FORECLOSURES HIT RECORD HIGH IN 1st QUARTER 2003 – By Richard Leong, Reuters News Service, June 20 – 2003
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. mortgages in foreclosure climbed to a record high in the first three months of 2003 as job losses and personal bankruptcies forced more people out of their homes, a mortgage industry group said on Friday.  While benefiting from the lowest borrowing costs in more than four decades, Americans have been straining to meet their mortgage payments and credit card bills.  Until the economy improves and companies hire again, more Americans will default on their debt, economists say, and if defaults gain and the increase in home values slows, this will hamper economic growth.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16013-2003Jun20.html?nav=hptoc_b
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U.S. AID THREAT ON COURT UNLIKELY TO HIT HARD - Monday June 30, 2003 - By Jonathan Wright 
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. threat to punish countries that fail to exempt Americans from prosecution in the International Criminal Court will have little immediate effect, the State Department spokesman said on Monday.  Starting Tuesday, countries that recognize the international court face the prospect that Washington will cut them off from military training funds and U.S. help with arms purchases.  But many major countries are exempt from the threat and President Bush is expected to issue waivers for many others, especially those which have agreed not to hand U.S. personnel over to the court for prosecution.

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http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=3014622
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EDITORS NOTES:  Just in case you did not know, during the first part of the century (after experiencing two world wars) the US pushed for and supported a number of organizations meant to foster cooperation and make the world a better place.  Some of these organizations included the United Nations and the International World Court (meant to settle both international civil disputes between countries – trade issues for example and also to prosecute crimes against humanity – a court and penal system for folks like Adolph Hitler, Idi Amin, and all political leaders involved with the genocide in former Yugoslavia.   Whether these organizations are well run or really make a difference in practice can be one argument aside – it would seem the world court concept was thought of as a good idea (by the United States) to prosecute war crimes (and other so-called crimes against humanity), but NOW it remains a good idea only when non-Americans are involved.  Interesting enough, no American has been charged with such things, as the United States would never engage in such an activity – or would they?  Why be afraid to submit oneself to the same standard or prosecution as the rest of the world?  A strange brew indeed – putting pressure on other nations not to recognize the world court’s authority in the case of an American, yet why would anyone be even slightly concerned that an American could be charged with such a crime in the first place (war crimes, killing innocent civilians, violating human rights, etc.)??  This is sort of like the concept that Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher might be accused of being closet liberals sometime in the future (and gathering support to the contrary before hand so no-one accepts the accusation).  In any event, make up your own mind, but something smells a bit rotten in Denmark, or is that Washington??
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IN RELATION TO THE ABOVE - Countries Ineligible for U.S. Military Aid - Tue July 1, 2003

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United Sates said on Tuesday it was cutting off military aid to 35 countries that support the International Criminal Court but have not exempted Americans from prosecution in the tribunal.  The 35 countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Central African Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominica, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Namibia, Niger, Paraguay, Peru, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zambia.  Under the American Service Members Protection Act of 2002, the basis for the decision to cut aid, another 11 countries are not eligible for U.S. military assistance, but they had not been receiving any in this fiscal year. They are: Andorra, Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Marshall Islands, Nauru, San Marino, Sweden and Switzerland.

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http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=3022100
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EDITORS NOTE:  It is very interesting that Costa Rica does not even have an Army, but go figure (as in why exactly would they need military aid if they do not have an army?).  Of course, other countries, such as Sweden, Paraguay, Trinidad, Belize, Switzerland, San Marino Venezuela, South Africa, and a few more – surely must be beside themselves with grief over the lack of US military aid coming their way (or not as the case may be).    
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READERS WRITE IN:
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Hey John:  How’s the Dominican Peso holding up these days?  Better yet, how’s the Dominican Banking system holding up?  Are you still advising people to put their savings into Pesos for high yield?  Maybe it’s time to close your Ban-Inter Account?
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EDITORS REPLY:  Well, first and foremost, I realize that I am often quite critical of other countries and policies, so I suppose it only fair that some of that comes full circle, which would seem to be the case here.  However, the truth is that I have always attempted to encourage a more conservative approach with investments in other currencies, as currency exchange risk does exist anytime you invest outside of your home or base currency.  I do not advocate the investment of a client’s entire portfolio into the Dominican Peso, just as that is not a smart idea with the Thai Bhat (if you are living in Thailand), the South Korean Won (if you are living in South Korea), the Chilean Peso (if you are living in Chile), and so on.  Although it is certainly true that living in another country does often require you to pay for your rent, your electrical bill, telephone, food shopping and so on in the local currency.  Therefore, at some point, you would need to convert US Dollars or Euros into the local currency for such a purpose.  With that said, it might be an interesting idea to invest just enough into a certificate of deposit in the other currency to provide enough of a monthly income to cover your daily living expenses.  In the case of the Dominican Peso and the 24% interest offered on Bank issued Peso certificates of deposit, it does not require too much to have a comfortable tax-free monthly income.  However, there is a risk in that should you convert pesos back to dollars in the future, that the exchange rates will go against you.
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Many clients in the past were overly excited about the higher interest rates in Pesos, and the fact that the Peso had historically devalued an average of about 5% per year, leaving a net yield of say 18% or so in US Dollar terms.  However, as we have seen this past year, the Peso has devalued over 40%, so the previous historical trend did not apply.  The real answer is to use a conservative approach, whereby ONLY some funds are invested into pesos for the higher interest and ONLY if the client is living in the country or at least visiting quite often.  For those clients whereby this does not apply, we DO NOT suggest Peso denominated accounts, and never have.
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The banking system in the Dominican Republic is holding up just fine (thank you for asking), and the Ban-Inter issue, while unfortunate, is not indicative or has nothing to do with the overall banking situation in the entire country (just as when over 20% of all the Savings and Loan associations in the US went belly-up some not too long ago, that this did not mean that all the US banks were in crisis either).  In any event, it is certainly true that the press in both Miami and New York have chased this story with zeal, and in my opinion, have done so to scare the heck out of anyone interested in banking in the Dominican Republic.  In fact, I would go so far to say that the reason the press coverage has kept up in these US cities is to discourage Dominican immigrants working in the US from sending their funds back home (and of course banking it tax-free and unreported of course).
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Once again, on the Ban-Inter issue, we have attempted to cover this topic as best as possible, but it is sufficient to say that no clients have lost any funds as a result of the situation.  They may have been inconvenienced to some extent, but they have not lost any money.  So, the real test that has come out of this is that the banking regulation system and banking insurance fund in the Dominican Republic does work.  Also, I can applaud the Dominican Central Bank for stepping up to the plate to offer additional guarantees for all former depositors of Ban-Inter.  Imagine the US Federal Reserve doing the same thing – I doubt it.
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On the Topic of Haiti, a Reader Sent in the Following:
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Once upon a time in the kingdom of Heaven, God was missing for six days.  Eventually, Michael the archangel found him, resting on the seventh day.  He inquired of God. Where have you been?  God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, "Look, Michael. Look what I've made!" Archangel Michael looked puzzled and said; "What is it? "It's a planet," replied God, "and I've put Life on it. I'm going to call Earth and it's going to be a great place of balance". Balance? Inquired Michael, still confused.  God explained, pointing to different parts of earth. "For example, northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth while southern Europe is going to be poor. North America will be rich and powerfull while south America will linger into poverty and guerilla warfare. Over there I've placed a continent of white people and over there is a continent of black people". God continued pointing to different countries. "This one will be extremely hot and while  this one will be very cold and covered in ice". The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a land mass in the Caribbean and said, "What's that one?" "Ah," said   God. "That's Haiti the most glorious place on earth. The first black independent country in the world. There are beautiful beaches, scenic mountains, streams, hills, and water falls.  The people from Haiti are going to be very handsome, modest, intelligent and humorous and they are going to be found traveling the world holding good jobs. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking and high achieving, and they will be known throughout the world as diplomats, doctors, engineers, lawyers, bankers, highly trained technicians and carriers of peace". Michael gasped in wonder and admiration but then proclaimed, "What about balance, God?  You said there would be balance.  God replied wisely, wait until you see the idiots I've put in their government.
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EDITORS REPLY:  It is interesting to note that Haiti was once called the pearl of the Caribbean for its wealth and success as a trading colony.  It just goes to show how a few politicians or political leaders can economically devastate a once prosperous country in a relatively short period of time.  There is a lesson to be learned in this.
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On the topic of Racism, this reader says the following:
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John:  I would just like to make a point and perhaps a correction of something you said. When it comes to racism, the DR is just as bad as the US if not worse. You said that the US (the "free" country) has the largest race issues but have you never witnessed how a Dominican treats a Haitian? It's absolutely amazing to think that although the Dominicans are very mixed in race they have no respect for Haitians. Seeing a Haitian walk down a street in some barrio and to watch the way the Dominicans treat him is worst than walking in downtown Detroit as a white guy. If that isn't obvious to you than maybe you might want to try living among the common folk in the DR like in Capotillo or San Pedro. If you have ever experienced any public transportation down there like publicos or guaguas then it would be obvious. Seeing the cobrador of a guagua have the chofer stop the bus so they can kick off a Haitian because he "smelled" leaving him right on the roadside is something that would never happen in the states. I think you might want to be careful when you say racism is a bigger deal in the USA.
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EDITORS REPLY:  Thank you for the letter and let me say I am not so far removed from daily life as you might think.  In other words, I am well aware of what goes on here and there, and I have been to many of the poorer sections of the capital and the country as well.  Your point is well taken, however I see this as pure economics and nothing less, not racism.  Which is to say, Haiti is to the Dominican Republic what Mexico is to the US in regards to undocumented illegal aliens trying to sneak across the border.  Just as there is a great deal of anger and discrimination in many states of the US towards Mexicans, you have the same in the DR.  However, just as in the US, the pooper people have even more anger and resentment.  Why you might ask?  Simply because it is the poorer un-skilled segments of the society, that is the economic class or group directly competing with the illegal Haitian workers (and the same is true in the US as well, in terms of illegal Mexican workers).  The well-educated professionals are not in danger of losing work to a Haitian.  However, a Dominican day or manual laborer is, and just as in the US, the Haitian will most likely work for half or less.  So, please understand it is not color, but economics at work.  Generally speaking, the Dominicans have no overall ill will towards the Haitians, they just do not want them pouring into the country illegally and in turn taking jobs away from Dominicans.  It does not get any more complicated than that.  Everything else is just an offshoot of that reality or truth to the matter.
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Another Reader Writes:
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We are a small real estate developer and we recently visited the Sousa and Puerto Plata areas of the Dominican Republic.  We noticed buildings from houses to apartment complexes were unfinished and appeared to have been in that condition for sometime. Could you please explain whether it is government red tape in issuing permits or lack of financing or other type problems in building there? We will also be visiting Santo Domingo in the next few weeks and we would like to know if you could recommend a real estate broker in the area or Real Estate web sites in order to prescout the area.  We found your web site very helpful and informative.  Looking forward to meeting you for our off shore needs on our next visit to the Dominican Republic.
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EDITORS REPLY:  Well, as I have said before, the Dominican Republic is a wonderful place to considering investing funds for the higher interest rates, but hand in hand, this means that home mortgages and car loans are very high as well (how about 36% for a home mortgage interest rate).  So, one problem is trying to purchase your own home without getting financially strapped.  The answer for most Dominicans then is to pay cash, as they are able instead of seeking financing.  This means saving your money and buying a building lot first.  After that, starting the foundation of your home with whatever money you have.  If you run out of money, then it means waiting until you have some more money (whenever that might be) to continue building.  So, as a result, for sure you will see many homes whereby the construction has been stopped – but temporarily stopped for the reason I just mentioned.  In a way, I would say that many Dominicans are better off in the sense that they own their own homes outright – no mortgage (unlike Americans who are mortgaged and in-debt up to their eyebrows).  It may take them awhile to save the money and finally build their own homes for cash – little by little, but they eventually do it.  Many Dominicans living in the US, by the way, send their money back home to a tax-free bank account, saving enough money to build their own home for cash (and to retire).  Which is better?  Saving enough to buy and own your own home for cash – or paying into the Social Security system?  That is one major difference between Americans and Dominicans, I would say (they take care of themselves – they have no choice but to take care of themselves, and stay out of debt doing it).
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Another Reader Writes:
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Good Day:  I am a subscriber to your newsletter and enjoy it very much.  My question is:  I have a direct deposit SS and VA in the US.  Is it possible to have them direct deposited, say, in the CitiBank branch in the DR?
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EDITORS REPLY:  It is very possible to have any payroll check, pension payment or anything else for that matter sent or deposited directly to your US Dollar savings account in the Dominican Republic.  This is accomplished through the use of the Dominican Bank’s US correspondent account in the US, and it is no more complicated than providing the sender with the banks wire routing instructions (which is what a direct deposit really is – a bank to bank electronic wire transfer).  Many of our clients have done this, however it is possible that some local banking accounts officers are not familiar with direct deposit or how to do it, but it is fairly simple to arrange.

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This information has been compiled and presented by John Schroder of Ascot Advisory Services, for the benefit of clients and readers. Ascot Advisory Services provides assistance with such matters as offshore company formation, Panama Foundations, offshore banking, and special services in the Dominican Republic regarding residency, free zone applications, etc. For more information:  
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