Thursday, July 09, 2009

Switzerland thumbs its nose

Recently we asked whether the United States was at war with Switzerland. The New York Times reports the latest salvo from Switzerland:

"The Swiss government, vowing to protect its vaunted bank secrecy laws, said on Wednesday that it was prepared to seize UBS client data rather than allow the bank to hand it over to the United States to settle a tax case. The dispute, which is playing out in federal court in a Miami, has become a test of Washington’s efforts to pierce Swiss banking laws."

The Swiss Justice Ministry said on its website that “if circumstances require,” the Swiss government would issue an order explicitly prohibiting UBS from handing over client information.

We've just asked Cayman to drop its confidentiality law. Now we're calling on Switzerland to shove its whole dirty bank secrecy game into the dustbin - and compete with everyone else on useful things such as the ability to produce better goods and services (yes, that includes banking services) at lower cost and with the right safeguards for society at large.

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