The Onslaught on Swiss Banks
Switzerland has lately been given the once over from a few countries for its history of a no questions asked safe vault for money from around the world. Rapped on the knuckles by the OECD, it has made attempts to cleanse its banking to some extent, and upbraided for its silence on Jewish monies that have lain unclaimed over years, it was compelled to find a solution.
Nevertheless, the question arises, keeping aside the pristine image that Switzerland still enjoys, to what extent can the state permit a system to exploit ill-gotten gains that are stashed away in the country, under laws that differentiate between tax evasion and fraud? Switzerland can ill afford to simply close down its financial services stores, wherein 1/5th of its GDP is created.
It is a question of survival and the country will willy nilly have to defend itself, thereby strengthening its lax laws and permitting only white money to be accepted. The question that many ask is, is this a feasible solution? Between the devil and the deep blue sea, the country does have little leeway. The myths and securities of the past that have been associated with this Alpine country have been subjected to an unbearable scrutiny that was absent in the past. The leverage that Switzerland enjoyed as a "neutral" country have virtually no shield in the world today.
As much heartburn as the likes of the Bahamas or the Channel Islands to name a few cause to the Swiss banking industry, these relics of the past can no longer serve as a fig leaf. The country has the potential to reinvent itself, but the Matterhorn, by itself, is not going to suffice.
Tags: Switzerland , Bank Secrecy , Black Money , OECD , Transparency , Tax
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