Wednesday, July 14, 2010

German Police Raid Credit Suisse

German police have today raided the German offices of the Swiss-based bank, Credit Suisse, in an effort to determine if the bank helped German citizens evade taxes.

Clearly, the formula of a Swiss bank with significant assets and branches outside Switzerland is faulty. Swiss banks are all about privacy and security. By maintaining a presence outside Switzerland, they will continue to be harassed.

Over 150 police and tax inspectors were involved in the raids, which were conducted at  all 13 Credit Suisse in Gemany.


  1. Well, obviously the Swiss banks make more money, have more customers, by having branches outside Switzerland. They have to (and will) weigh that against the ongoing governmental attacks, real and potential, on their independence in foreign lands.

  2. Looks pretty obvious to me. Don't put any banks outside Switzerland.

  3. I'd like to think the Swiss are competent tacticians and would house only German customer related information within the borders of Germany.

    As an aside - presumably the German search warrants cannot penetrate to the master computers within Switzerland?

  4. Once again you appear to miss the nub of what is happening.

    The Germans are not raiding Swiss banks primarily to find out what Swiss banks did in Switzerland, but what they did in Germany.

    A year or so ago, a major German tv channel sent a journalist into a UBS branch in Germany with a hidden camera. The journalist told the UBS Germany rep he met that he had a few million Euros on which he would much rather not pay taxes, and was told that it would be illegal for the UBS Germany rep to help him, but then his greed got the better of the rep, and he got on the phone to corporate in Switzerland, and that night a UBS Switzerland rep showed up to accept the money and smuggle it across the border.

    The negotiations were shown on primetime public tv shortly later, and people on both sides of the border gossiped that someone must be protecting the banks that weren't raided ASAP.

    Ronald Reagan would have raided every single branch of that bank he could have as soon as he could have in such a situation.

  5. Yeah, because Reagan was part of a parasitic state that can only exist by stealing the fruits of productive people's labor. Good for the Swiss and others who are part of the financial version of the "Underground Railroad".

  6. Mr. Houston you are nuts.

    I assume we would both like much lower taxes and a smaller state, but even the Swiss will not tolerate, and vigorously prosecute, tax fraud by their citizens.

    If you think a high tax economy is a nightmare, wait until you live in an economy where the laws are broken with impunity. It ends badly.

    Historically, Swiss banks would accept deposits from all over the world, but only in Switzerland. When the bigger banks came to be run by yuppies, who ignored this tacit agreement, the goose that laid the golden egg was killed.

    It is only the ignorant who blame the countries for enforcing their blatantly broken laws rather than the fools who ruined things for everyone.

  7. Afraid I agree with Mr. Houston, Anonymous. However, lack of respect for the law is indeed not a good situation, although I think lack of respect for the state is healthy and productive.
    By 'the law' in the previous sentence, I mean natural law, not positivist law.

  8. Duly noted, Anonymous.

    Laws are already broken with impunity. They are enforced with impunity, prosecuted with impunity, and written with impunity. Obedience of the law is not necessarily a condition for a healthy economy. Like Thoreou said "Any fool can pass a law, and any fool can obey it." Economic health follows (like Mr Noel mentioned) natural law. Germany and other states can pass all the law they want, but those who are able will continue to protect their wealth and otherwise do as they please.

    Perhaps Credit Suisse violated the terms of their Gentleman's Agreement, but I still applaud the fact there still exists a Switzerland for people to hide their wealth from the ever-hungry hands of the State. Now, if there was a way for the common folk to evade taxes.......

  9. Mr. Houston,

    Laws cannot be enforced with "impunity," because of how impunity is defined. They can, however, be enforced and prosecuted arbitrarily, and written inconsistently.

    There has long been a wink and a nod in regard to lowering one's tax burden with an offshore bank account, but I can tell you that businessmen would much rather do business in a very predictable high tax environment than an unpredictable low tax environment; otherwise Somalia would be booming, and Germany falling apart.