Friday, June 26, 2009

A wunch of Swiss bankers

The interviewer leant forward and looked me in the eye.

"According to the Swiss Banker's Association" he said, "their members have no duty to collect taxes on behalf of other countries. What do you say about that?"

Despite the hour (this was an early morning recording session), and the cameras and the bright lights in my eye, I had to fight hard to suppress a giggle. Where do these bankers get this nonsense from?

"Well let's turn this argument on its head" I started. "If Swiss bankers don't want to collect withholding taxes from clients who are non-resident in Switzerland, they have a simple choice: sign up to the European Union's automatic information exchange process and allow their European neighbours to collect the taxes due for themselves."

"And anyway," I added, getting more fired up at Swiss sophistry, "these bankers can't moan about international pressures to tackle tax crime when they're responsible for encouraging the crime in the first place. They can argue 'til the cows come home, but most reasonable people understand that banking secrecy encourages people to act in a certain way."

The interviewer sat back in his chair and grinned.

For years bankers and other privileged elites have used obfuscation and mendacious garbage to disguise their criminal activities. Under open challenge their deceitful arguments simply fall apart.

"That's a take", said the producer.


John Christensen

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

no country should have to collect taxes for another country's citizens. Are you goofy?

11:37 am  

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