Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The UBS-U.S. Spat Over U.S. Taxpayer Information Continues

I do not use this blog as a daily rag of news events, but this one seems so significant that I am posting it. According to a New York Times article here, the Swiss Government threatens unilateral action to block any order of the U.S. district court in Florida with respect to the pending John Doe summons proceeding. The commotion continues. It seems that the Swiss Government is digging in to defend its franchise -- the right of its financial institutions to assist foreigners, including U.S. persons, to hide the cash from violation of the laws of their respective countries and to earn boatloads of money in doing so. I just wonder why other countries tolerate this type of behavior striking at the heart of the integrity of their internal processes? And, from the Swiss perspective, I would hope that the Swiss imagination of its reason for being is more, or better, than assisting foreign persons playing fast and loose with their own laws. Can the Swiss not make a living and contribution to the world community in other ways that do not require that they behave this way?

What's the difference between being raided by pirates and being raided by Switzerland? The easy answer before this latest dust-up was that you at least know when you are raided by pirates (their clothes, snarls, and eye patches give them away), but not by Switzerland (green eye-shades and stealth business trips are less noticeable). But, as they say, now we know. And they know we know. And, now the Swiss Government wants to participate in the type of conduct that, in criminal law terms, would be considered obstruction. Amazing!

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