Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Swiss Bank to Trust

Holman Jenkins writes:

UBS kept large offices and staffs in the U.S. It maintained the world's largest trading floor in Stamford, Conn. This was unrealistic if the bank was simultaneously promising Swiss secrecy to its customers, for it made the bank a soft target for U.S. political and legal pressure.

The Swiss bank to trust in the future will be one whose assets and personnel are safely tucked behind Swiss mountains and a Swiss government adept at playing on the self-interest of other nations. UBS's sin was trying to market Swiss secrecy
cheaply and widely—too cheaply and widely for others to tolerate. Let's hope we
never need them again as we have in the past. But just in case, let's also hope
the Swiss have learned to manage the franchise better.

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