Friday, June 26, 2009

UBS: to prosecute or not to prosecute

Our friend Tom Cardamone of the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development has written an interesting piece on UBS. It begins thus:

Tuesday’s New York Times piece saying that the Justice Department would soon drop its case against UBS was later retracted after a department spokesperson said there “no basis for the report.” How could this be? Did reporter Lynnley Browning – a 15 year veteran of the ink trade – get it wrong? Was her original source badly misinformed? Or was it a trial balloon by Justice? Hard to say unless you’re one of the principals.

You can read more here.

The UBS case has incredible significance. If the Department of Justice were to choose to drop its case against UBS, this would give the appearance of validating the behaviour of the UBS private bankers in explicitly breaking US law in order to serve their clients.

Prosecuting the case will provide immense momentum towards shattering the illusion (perpetuated by a tiny elite) that hiding their money from tax authorities is a right and an entitlement.

A successful prosecution would demonstrate immense progress towards a tipping point in the tax haven industry caving in on itself. So TJN says: no stepping back at this stage.

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