Looks like UBS struck a deal with US authorities that includes (1) payment to Uncle Sam for his troubles ($780 million) and (2) disclosure of private info on American clients who thought they were just out of the Tax Man’s reach. And then they’re going to close the offshore accounts of their American clientele, you know, for shits & giggles.
This raises such a lot of operatic questions – is the fat lady belting out her final aria and is she nearing the last note that signals the end of a banking era being the two most heard in these parts. Such drastic, far reaching moves by UBS has undoubtedly raised the specter that the traditional role of Swiss banking as a haven for those chasing financial anonymity may not be long for this world.
It’s easy for me to sit here and say “good riddance” because I don’t have the kind of funds that would make a non-interest bearing account in the middle of Europe an attractive proposition. Were I on the other side of the table as a full-fledged member of the financial patricians, my feelings might not be so plebeian.
But I’m not, so they are.
Plus, and this to me is the really important part, it sets a precedent for The Hague to go after the funds accumulated by all the corrupt Third World rulers (and some in the First and Second, too) who have stashed their ill-gotten gains in Swiss accounts while simultaneously giving their people the finger.
I, Hambricscurvus Maximus say: “Let The Games Begin!!!!!!!! Release the Lions!!!!!”