Switzerland

  • 03 Apr 2014 at 11:00 AM

The Profits Of Neutrality

The Swiss have never let unprovoked aggression deter them from doing business with the aggressors, and this long, proud tradition of profiting at others’ expense continues. Plus, they’ve already given up enough lucrative endeavors at the behest of Washington. Read more »

  • 06 Jan 2014 at 2:31 PM

Angela Merkel Taking 5

The German Chancellor is working remotely following an unfortunate run-in with a Swiss ski trail. Read more »

Maybe they will and maybe they won’t. They’re still weighing the risk/reward and YOU’LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE. Read more »

Swiss parliament rejected a bill designed to resolve a dispute over undeclared bank accounts held by U.S. citizens, potentially setting the stage for American prosecution of the country’s banks. Members of parliament’s lower house voted 123 to 63 against the bill, which would have allowed Swiss banks to cooperate with the U.S. and to settle a long-running dispute over wealthy American tax evaders. The government has said it has no plan B, in the event of the bill failing to pass. [Bloomberg]

Time was, you could count on Swiss banks to assist their clients in the business of not paying taxes, having practically written the book on how to go about keeping one’s assets a secret from prying eyes (Chapter 1: Discarded toothpaste containers make a great place to stash diamonds). Now? Not only are they no longer providing the service, they’re suddenly too good to associate with people whose hands aren’t clean. Read more »

This weekend Switzerland voted to … do something about executive pay? Maybe? I was a little frustrated reading the news reports because they didn’t really say what the Swiss actually did, so I went and found the actual resolution, and turns out it doesn’t either. Something something vote on executive pay:1

The shareholder meeting will vote each year the total amount of remuneration (money and value of benefits in kind) of the board of directors, of management, and of the the advisory committee. Each year it will elect the chairman of the board of directors and, one by one, members of the board of directors and the Compensation Committee as well as the independent representative. Pension funds will vote in the interest of beneficiaries and will communicate how they have voted. Shareholders may vote by absentee ballot electronically, but they can not be represented by a an affiliate of the company or a depositary;

So immediate fun simple questions like

  • are you voting on last year’s pay, or next year’s pay?
  • what happens if you vote no? do they get nothing? do you do another vote in a month? and
  • since you apparently just vote on total amount of comp, can management/the board divvy it up however they feel like it?

remain totally unanswered. Read more »

Foreigners keep pouring (their money) into Switzerland, partying like it’s 2007, and the powers that be can’t seem to do a thing about it. But they’re trying. Read more »