Monday, January 17, 2011

Swiss bank privacy (piracy?) laws

The world is very tolerant of Switzerland's banking industry, while frowning on Somalia's piracy industry. Yet there is a strong similarity between these two countries' economy. Both governments do not directly carry run the industry (banking, piracy) but both are heavily reliant on criminal activities that generate employment and revenue for the country.

Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer must be one of the most conscientious man in the world. He used to work for one of Switzerland's largest private banks. He took the courage to provide Wikileaks with two CD's containing 2000 bank clients suspected of tax evasion. The list has not been made public yet. Meanwhile Elmer is undergoing prosecution for breaching Swiss banking laws - the laws that are protecting people who have amassed fortunes out of other people's misery.

The Swiss banking privacy laws could be the single most important factor that contributes to the rise of corruption all over the world. It provides a an important facility for big scale corruption, while pretending that it is providing a legitimate service. Billions and billions of dollars from rich and impoverished countries alike are channeled into Swiss banks, allowing this country to enjoy prosperity at the expense of worldwide suffering.

This is what Elmer said:
"I want to talk about the Swiss (banking) secrecy system which is damaging our society. The short story is simple: I was in the Cayman Islands and there was a mouse tail and I started to pull on it. The tail got bigger, looked like a dragon tail, I went back to Switzerland and it became bigger, a fire breathing dragon with several heads. One head was the bank's, the other the Swiss press to an extent, and they all came after me and my family."

Note that Elmer mentioned the Swiss government and the press are also involved in this game. He is a very brave man indeed.

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