Just kidding about the V.P., but Halliburton has indeed moved to Dubai.
Speculation about the reasons includes “some of the world’s most liberal tax, investment and residency laws,” to no extradition agreement with Dubai, to the ability to trade legally with countries like Iran. U.S. law forbids U.S. companies from doing business with countires that support terrorism, including Iran and Syria, but a loophole in the law allows subsidiaries in other countries to do so. One such subsidiary is Halliburton Products and Services, based in the Cayman Islands.
How big a change is this going to be for Halliburton?
When CBS Television’s 60 Minutes program visited the address where Halliburton Products and Services is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, they discovered a “brass plate” operation with no employees whose agent – the Calidonian Bank — forwards all of the company’s mail to Halliburton’s offices in Houston (instead of the company’s operations in Dubai), “indicating that decision-making authority may be in Houston, not the Cayman Islands or Dubai,” according to the Senators. In addition, it was reported that Halliburton’s operations in Dubai share the same address, telephone and fax numbers as Halliburton Products and Services – an indication that the companies do not function separately.
And doesn’t Dubai also have very, very private bank accounts?
Here are some links for following events surrounding oil in the Middle East, particularly proposed Iraqi legislation: