What is this “Swiss Business”? It occurred to me that most non-Swiss have no idea what is meant by this phrase, “Swiss Business”, so, I thought I would attempt an explanation for their benefit and to make clear the “why” of : “Why do the Swiss act that way?”
By “Swiss Business” is meant the complete neutrality of business and government in regard to all external, i.e., non-Swiss activities. As well, the neutrality of attitude to the, outside of Switzerland, activities of those who come to or seek to do business in / with / through Switzerland. So long as no Swiss law is contravened, the Swiss attitude is that it is none of Switzerland’s affair who you are, where your money comes from or what your political stance and philosophy might be. In other words , behave yourself in Switzerland and the Swiss will remain neutral toward you and your activities. A most civilized and democratic attitude, not so?
This same attitude is the one which permitted the Jews to deposit money in Swiss accounts which otherwise would have been seized by the Nazi’s and denied to the rightful owners. The same continues to guard the assets of the Romanov Family…to this day. Neutrality also permitted the meeting in Switzerland, during WWII, of the International Settlement Committee. You don’t know of them? Most of the world does not.
This committee was formed of and by the trans-national business community, ITT, IBM, etc., etc., to settle debts for patent payments and other use fees attendant to manufactory and other business activities during this War. This is another way of saying that none of these companies lost a single Franc/Dollar/Yen/Pound because of , what to them was,… an inconvenience. Delightful is it not?
Swiss neutrality also permits the viewing of international affairs, such as “9-11”, as events to be analyzed. That, neutral analysis, is essential to the continued safety and liberty of Switzerland and the Swiss population. Not to mention which: it allows for better business decisions – greater profit and with increased safety for the investment. All of which are needful to Swiss Business. In another addition to this column, I will express to you and, I hope, to your education, the actualities of “The Day That Changed The World”, i.e., “9-11”. Such twaddle is talked of it and causes USA to become even more a laughing stock that I thought I’d provide some small amount of elucidation . I can tell you now: You won’t like it, nor should you. That “itching ,burning sensation around your rectal tissues”(?)…well, it isn’t hemorrhoids. But ( should it be butt?) we’ll get to that later.
Swiss neutrality, and the feelings it stimulates in other countries and power-blocks, should have counseled UBS and Credit Suisse to not involve themselves with non-Swiss agents and never to establish “branches or active agents” within other nations. As they did not observe these most basic restraints but became enamored of the American Dream of “more money”…. Well, you see the result, eh? UBS is being raked over the coals and its depositors are in a quandary as to removing their funds – if they even can. The Swiss Government is divesting itself of all holdings in UBS,- the list of horrors goes on. All because UBS hired some Americans and allowed them to conduct business in non-Swiss ways. The same is true of the Credit Suisse problems. Acting, in Germany, as a Swiss Bank should act only in Switzerland. What else might one expect? To use non-Swiss employees and to trust them with sensitive information about accounts? Ha! UBS and Credit Suisse attained the result which any reasonable person would have expected. Now some who sought safety for their assets face, instead, the possibility of indictment and prison terms. This is not Swiss Business. This is why one should never use a major, public bank but only a private bank. The private bank must depend upon absolute probity and relies upon the Name and the Family or Families who administer it and its activities. These must be beyond question and always within the law…and good judgment. UBS and Credit Suisse failed the test of avarice – the banker’s downfall. But enough of this, for now. We will return to this as the situation warrants.
One final word on this matter though. It may not be known to the non-Swiss among you that even if the governments involved in this “revelatory fiasco” decide that Switzerland must reveal the names and other information for/of depositors…the act must be approved, and probably won’t be, by the Swiss citizens – by vote. Interesting difference among the contending countries, is it not?
Swiss Business is interesting phenomena, in the modern world, as it requires recognition that the affairs of others, be they individuals, corporations or nation-states remain theirs and private to them.
Swiss neutrality should not be confused with the “neutrality”, during WWII, of Spain (set up by the Nazis) or Portugal (used by Fat-Hermann to export stolen art by the boat load – to New York, as an aside) or any of the other European Nations that attempted to remain outside the conflict. Aside from the afore mentioned Spain, Portugal and , of course ‘Vichy France ( a nation of collaboration) none were able to claim actual neutrality – only Switzerland.
One wonders why, eh? Surely it wasn’t because of the need for a financial center …that could have been established anywhere. Central location? Hardly. The desire of the Swiss to be and remain neutral? I doubt Adolf cared, don’t you? However, there is one circumstance which, imo, determined the decision to endorse Swiss neutrality – it’s well-armed and well-trained in the use of arms populace. This and the fact that there were no central armories to which citizen-soldiers had to apply for their weapons to be issued. No, their weapons were in their homes and ready for use – at once. Taking Switzerland , by force, was considered too expensive in men and material for the result. Yet, Switzerland has no “2nd Amendment” as the USA does…yet, firearms and such other ordinance as is needful to war, is more readily available in Switzerland than in USA. Ah well, perhaps it has to do with that deeply meaningful statement of Adolf’s? You know: Germany is , today , the world leader in firearms registration and no longer will anyone have access to a firearm who should not. To paraphrase, by translation, Adolf’s proud boast. One can not , additionally , ignore the close ties among the industrialists and bankers of USA to the Nazi’s and their …governmental philosophy. Ah, how eventual results may be foreseen…when one remains neutral.
Strange, isn’t it, how every form of government that desires to control and rule-over a population starts by claiming , as its’ own, the sole right to the use of force. This always begins with restricting the ability of the populace to have firearms or weapons. How may they resist if they are without arms? One person , with a firearm, can and has controlled hundreds of un-armed persons. The British have effectually removed firearms from private possession and are now in the midst of trying to restrict the possession of “assault knives”,i.e., bayonets and other fixed blade edged weapons. Hmmm, perhaps they fear their populace too much? But then, perhaps they know them better than we?
Swiss Business? It would seem that it encompasses personal, financial, corporate and nation state privacy and confidentiality, concepts of personal safety and national defense, neutrality toward all non-Swiss affairs and persons – so long as no Swiss laws are violated in Switzerland. Hmmm, it was, I am told, once also this way in USA. But that was long ago and many régimes back,eh?
For now I will leave you and return to my contemplations of the strange and wondrous state of the modern world. But,…I will be back with more explications of , seemingly , befuddling situations. Let me hear from you and , if your rulers – excuse me (!) – representatives continue to permit it, come visit Switzerland. A word of advice, however, don’t fly directly into Switzerland,. This will put you on the “watch list” of your government (whichever government is yours). Go to a nice German or French – even Italian city and use ground transportation to enter the Free Nation of Switzerland.
Notice, if you will, that the Swiss tend not to “stamp” your passport…wonder why?? Hmmmm. Ah well – there you have it.