(c) JEFFREY ROBINSON 2013
While the Swiss financial industry continues to pretend that they welcome an agreement with the United States over foreign taxes, secret bank accounts for US citizens and FATCA, behind the scenes many Swiss are pushing for a national referendum on the issue.
The way the Swiss define their democracy, it’s not enough for parliament to agree and the Council of Ministers to sign on as well, the people have a say. A mere 50,000 signatures puts the issue to a national ballot. And here the stakes seem unusually high.
First there is the issue of Swiss neutrality — how to respond to a bullying US.
The argument goes, if America cannot collect enough taxes, why is that a Swiss problem? Just because Washington is trying to make it a Swiss problem, it clearly isn’t.
Then there is the principle at the very heart of the Swiss financial industry – secrecy. Not privacy, which is the softer word they put out as spin, but secrecy!
As a product, it outsells chocolates, cheese and cuckoo clocks, combined.
It is THE money spinner — not to mention, the platinum standard in hypocrisy — which has put Switzerland on the financial industry map.
Worth noting is that the last time the Swiss were asked, as a nation, to vote on ending Swiss banking secrecy, they said no by a factor of 3 x 1.
Will this time be any different? No.
Which is why so many Swiss bankers can happily pretend to be in favor a deal with the US, knowing that irate citizens will defend their right to secret banking. Publicly they say, we support an agreement with the Americans, all the time “investing” their money into the referendum to vote it down. But then, frankly, who can blame them for refusing to kill the goose the lays $2 Trillion eggs.
That’s where they’re going.
JEFFREY ROBINSON’S CRIMINAL INTENT: THE SWISS WASH WHITER is how they got to this point.