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(Guardian)   The latest bank to close because of how the US government handles financial matters... is 35 years older than the US itself. And in Switzerland   (guardian.co.uk) divider line 21
    More: Unlikely, United States, Switzerland, Swiss banks, offshore bank, New York Courts, Jed Rakoff, tax havens  
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1941 clicks; posted to Business » on 06 Jan 2013 at 2:28 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-06 12:33:19 AM
Wow, a 5% penalty, and not levied against the perpetrators of the tax evasion... Bravo.
 
2013-01-06 02:19:01 AM
I've been wondering what the legal basis is for a US court to impose fines on a foreign business like this (especially since what the bank did isn't illegal in their home country).

What are we going to do if they refuse to pay? Invade Switzerland?

/they'd each shoot twice and go home
 
2013-01-06 03:25:42 AM
If your business model depends on helping citizens of another country evade the lawful taxation of their home country, well then buh-bye
 
2013-01-06 03:26:32 AM

Gig103: Wow, a 5% penalty, and not levied against the perpetrators of the tax evasion... Bravo.


Well, the bank did promise to allow it's clients to break US law without fear of being identified, and it kept that promise. The extradition treaty with the host country specifically excludes financial crimes, so the bankers had absolutely no worries about prosecution.

It was a criminal enterprise with a long and fascinating history, but that doesn't make it any less criminal.
 
2013-01-06 06:16:11 AM

zerkalo: If your business model depends on helping citizens of another country evade the lawful taxation of their home country, well then buh-bye


either it carries great weight that the USA currency is the mighty wallet stuffing of the world or it's just the rich and powerful playing their non-stop Monopoly game as this institution re-emerges under the guise of a new & improved scumbank - to their advantage. smoke & mirrors. it must be a pisser to play the game at that level, $500 haircuts and what-not, while other crooks spend their lives in tiny concrete & steel cells.
 
2013-01-06 06:34:43 AM

Lukeonia1: I've been wondering what the legal basis is for a US court to impose fines on a foreign business like this (especially since what the bank did isn't illegal in their home country).

What are we going to do if they refuse to pay? Invade Switzerland?

/they'd each shoot twice and go home


I don't get it, either. What's the worst that could happen? The US seizes their US assets and they have no more offices here. Big whoop.
 
2013-01-06 07:38:44 AM

DrPainMD: Lukeonia1: I've been wondering what the legal basis is for a US court to impose fines on a foreign business like this (especially since what the bank did isn't illegal in their home country).

What are we going to do if they refuse to pay? Invade Switzerland?

/they'd each shoot twice and go home

I don't get it, either. What's the worst that could happen? The US seizes their US assets and they have no more offices here. Big whoop.


Well, the US could also threaten to seize the assets of anyone who does business with them, claiming they are a front for the bank. Take the assets and make the companies sue the US to get them back. Would be a major deterrent to anybody thinking about banking with them.
 
2013-01-06 07:59:50 AM
This thread seems to be broken. Where are all the Fark lolbertarians who think tax evaders are Galtian heroes? It's not a real thread without them, bless their retarded little hearts.
 
2013-01-06 08:55:47 AM

jso2897: This thread seems to be broken. Where are all the Fark lolbertarians who think tax evaders are Galtian heroes? It's not a real thread without them, bless their retarded little hearts.


Let me try.

Taxation is murder! The bankers were heroes, preventing a holocaust of the wealthy! Why do you hate sucess?
 
2013-01-06 10:50:10 AM
I don't think tax evaders are hero's, but I fail to see why a Swiss bank has any duty at all to report information to the US.

It's like when you buy a bong and agree it's just for tobacco use. I don't see why the bank can't say to US customers "look dudes, you can put your money here, but you are still responsible for paying your taxes in the US".

Instead, the US seems to think it has the right to deputize swiss banks to collect info for them.

We can biatch all we want about tax evaders, but the US thinks that it basically has worldwide jurisdiction over every single human on earth.

We have arrested Russians, who have never set foot in the US, for supposedly planning to smuggle drugs from south america to europe through west africa.

We do the same with arms and "money laundering" laws. The press has done a great job of making "money laundering" an evil bogeyman, but in many countries it is necessary. If you are in many countries and the government knows you have 2 million dollars the government will fabricate charges against you until you pay people off, or criminal gangs will kidnap your children.

So think about all of this, and now think about how you, as a US citizen will feel if Say, Russia, China, France, etc. start deciding that they have jurisdiction over things that YOU do even though you have never stepped in those countries.
 
2013-01-06 11:13:13 AM
The article in no way explains how the long arm of the law extends to Switzerland. I have a feeling that rich people have come to an agreement.
 
2013-01-06 11:38:53 AM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: DrPainMD: Lukeonia1: I've been wondering what the legal basis is for a US court to impose fines on a foreign business like this (especially since what the bank did isn't illegal in their home country).

What are we going to do if they refuse to pay? Invade Switzerland?

/they'd each shoot twice and go home

I don't get it, either. What's the worst that could happen? The US seizes their US assets and they have no more offices here. Big whoop.

Well, the US could also threaten to seize the assets of anyone who does business with them, claiming they are a front for the bank. Take the assets and make the companies sue the US to get them back. Would be a major deterrent to anybody thinking about banking with them.


I seem to recall a big broo-ha-ha some years ago where the Swiss banks agreed with the US on changing their attitude on being tax havens and eliminating the process of anonymous accounts. This was about the same time that evidence was piling up regarding Swiss collusion with the Nazis in storing money and artwork stolen from German Jews and conquered territories. I can't find the articles (my Google-fu is weak today), but I think the banking reforms were agreed upon to avoid criminal prosecution in the 'Nazi gold/stolen artworks' department.
 
2013-01-06 12:08:55 PM
Looks like it wasn't Nazi collusion that brought about the reforms, it was the Al-Quaeda hunt. Link (info near the bottom)

That makes a bit more sense: the US saying 'co-operate with us in shutting down AQ finances and US tax evaders or we'll brand you as an accessory and get your entire industry shut down' would have been a pretty good threat back in '03.
 
2013-01-06 12:36:33 PM
There was that guy who ratted out Romney and his fellow 300 tax evaders. Or so thats the generalized story. Something along the lines of 'pay your taxes owing and get amnesty and no naming in any public documents'.

Generally he was in prison for invasion of privacy, not paying taxes and for being a tattletale. But he did get a nice payday from the IRS for being a rattttt.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brad_Birkenfeld
 
2013-01-06 02:23:45 PM
I'd have to imagine the bank is having some other issues if a 5% fine makes then decide to call it quits. This is just a convenient excuse or agreed upon penalty that lets a bunch of people keep their golden parachutes.
 
2013-01-06 05:00:27 PM
A flat or consumer based tax gets rid of tax loopholes, then all you have to do is make sure incoming goods have their taxes paid.
 
2013-01-06 07:15:29 PM

steamingpile: A flat or consumer based tax gets rid of tax loopholes, then all you have to do is make sure incoming goods have their taxes paid.


It also burdens middle class and poor people with paying most of the taxes, as they spend most (if not all) of their income. Wealthy people do not do this as they accumulate more and more money. So, if all you do buy and sell stocks/options all day, you pay no taxes. Sounds like a horrible system heavily favored towards those that produce nothing of value.
 
2013-01-06 08:34:04 PM
Long before the second World War has Switzerland mooched and feasted upon the blood of the world. They are parasites.
 
2013-01-06 11:14:55 PM

Nemo's Brother: Long before the second World War has Switzerland mooched and feasted upon the blood of the world. They are parasites.


Yeah right.. You mean for literally hundreds of years they have avoided killing others? You mean they didn't take part in any of the wars an genocides that killed tens of millions?

Yeah, they must be parasites.
 
2013-01-07 12:18:50 AM

BiffDangler: Yeah right.. You mean for literally hundreds of years they have avoided killing others? You mean they didn't take part in any of the wars an genocides that killed tens of millions?


Uh, you might want to look into the history of the Swiss acting as mercenaries before you make sweeping statements like that.

/they still do
//act as mercenaries
///for the pope
 
2013-01-07 07:40:05 AM

Dwight_Yeast: BiffDangler: Yeah right.. You mean for literally hundreds of years they have avoided killing others? You mean they didn't take part in any of the wars an genocides that killed tens of millions?

Uh, you might want to look into the history of the Swiss acting as mercenaries before you make sweeping statements like that.

/they still do
//act as mercenaries
///for the pope


From wiki: Military alliances were banned under the Swiss constitution of 1848, though troops still served abroad when obliged by treaties. One such example were the Swiss serving under Francis II of the Two Sicilies who defended Gaeta in 1860 during the Italian War of Unification. This marked the end of an era.
 
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