FTSE 100
Dow Jones

Monday, 13 July 2009

This could get nasty, Part IV

As you were. The US and UBS have agreed to delay their court case for three weeks. That might be enough time to offer Swiss nationality to all US citizens with deposits at UBS.

When I was a young student at one of our more ivy-clad universities I had the pleasure of working for a summer at an international banking institution in Basel (a fine institution whose sports club boasted the finest clay tennis courts I have ever seen, coincidentally little more than a backhand lob away from where Roger Federer now lives).

I had two American bosses who took umbrage at the fact that, while they lived in a low tax country, Uncle Sam wanted to tax them at US rates on their worldwide income. So they wrote to their Senators back home. The Senators both wrote back saying that if the Russians were ever to invade (it was during the Cold War), the US Army would come over and get them out.

"You didn't read our letter", replied the Americans. "We are in Switzerland. We have nuclear shelters. If the Russians invade, we want to stay here."

No comments: