‘Deranged millionaire’ Former Sun journalist David Marchant on-screen during The Daily Show. *Photo supplied
‘Deranged millionaire’ Former Sun journalist David Marchant on-screen during The Daily Show. *Photo supplied

Bermuda has managed to avoid the satirical scythe of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. For now, at least.

This week, a ‘bit’ on the popular news comedy show skewered off-shore tax havens and featured a journalist who formerly covered this island’s financial industry and continues to cover offshore finance jurisdictions.

David Marchant, currently the owner and editor of the Miami-based OffShoreAlert, previously worked for The Bermuda Sun and The Royal Gazette.

This week he was featured in a ‘bit’ wherein a faux  “deranged millionaire” peppered him with questions about the
best places to stash his wealth.

“Hypothetically, let’s say I have a business that allows other millionaires to shoot panda bears remotely via Skype,” says the plutocrat John Hodgman at one point.

Mr. Marchant responds by saying the Cook Islands would still accommodate him. 

Through an email, Mr. Marchant described the entire experience as strange. “It is first and foremost a comedy show but also seeks to make serious points through that comedy. 

“It was not an interview, per se, but a series of one-liners, sound-bites and bodily expressions that would later be edited into a ‘bit’.”

What of his former home?

“It is well known in the offshore world that the Cook Islands is crime-friendly.  

“It is a common misconception that all offshore jurisdictions are the same. They’re not. There is a hierarchy. 

“Bermuda is at or near the top of the pile in terms of quality and reputation, whilst the Cook Islands is at or near the bottom. 

“The Cook Islands shamelessly went after the criminal element by passing laws to help reprobates conceal their ill-gotten gains.”

However, Bermuda, he said, is still “definitely a tax haven”.

“Anyone who argues otherwise is burying their head in the sand in order to keep the gravy train going.

“They’re delusional and it’s a case of ‘if you keep telling the lie often enough, it will soon be accepted as fact’.

“Having said that, Bermuda is clearly streets ahead of the Cook Islands in terms of reputation and credibility but not the Cayman Islands, which, in my opinion, long ago passed Bermuda as a quality jurisdiction.”