"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

UBS 'fesses up, pays up and the IRS are looking for 19,000 tax evading clients whose details they have subpaeon'd. Swiss ignore US demands

UBS (UBS) will turn over the names of around 250 clients as part of a $780M settlement with U.S. prosecutors over a wide-ranging tax-evasion probe. This (so far) unique agreement marks the first time Swiss financial regulators have allowed a Swiss bank to reveal the identity of account holders.

The bank's chairman, Peter Kurer, said UBS accepted "full responsibility" for helping its U.S. clients conceal assets from the Internal Revenue Service.

This has upset the secretive swiss authorities who claim swindling and associated secrecy is OK , and opening up could ruin the country's That's the Swiss multi - cultural neutral core of EU swindling) banking industry.

Switzerland's Federal president, 66 year old Hans-Rudolf Merz, (elected Dec 10th 2008) said his country will not relent in defending its treasured tradition of confidential bank accounts.

"Banking secrecy, ladies and gentlemen, remains intact," Merz told reporters. Hmmmmmmmm.

In his youth, like Lord Patel President Merz was a Boy Scout.

UBS' agreement will settle the criminal case against the bank. An outstanding civil case filed by U.S. tax authorities in Miami involves subpoenaes requiring UBS to turn over the names of 19,000 clients believed to be avoiding taxes ( anumber changed without explanation later to 52,00).

According to todays (Thursday) filing, the thousands of accounts in question held about US$14.8 billion in assets in the past decade. The clients, filed false tax returns that omitted the income they earned in their secret offshore Swiss accounts, according to the court papers.

Merz show a characteristic and very robust resistance to Bussels interfering with swiss tax / banking laws when he met EU President Jose Manuel Barroso in December (see pic) More here. More on Widmer -Schlumpf here & here who took over from Cristoph Blocher when he (sensationally) retired just prior to this meeting.

A lady to be reckoned with.

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