Tag Archive: Politics

Swiss pension funds ended 2018 in the red

Pay-outs by Switzerland’s main state pension plan, which comprises old age insurance and other schemes, far exceeded income last year. Overall, the old age pension scheme recorded a deficit of CHF2.2 billion ($2.2 billion) in 2018 compared with a surplus of CHF1.1 billion the previous year, according to compenswiss, the Federal Social Security Funds.

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Swiss leaders upbeat after talks in US on tax and trade

Obstacles to implementation of a revised double-taxation agreement between Switzerland and the United States may soon be removed, according to Swiss president and finance minister Ueli Maurer. Maurer was speaking after a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Saturday in Washington, where he is attending the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.

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Income inequality declines in Switzerland

In 2016, before the effects of taxes and welfare, the highest earning 20% of Swiss households made on average 40.8 times what an average household in the bottom 20 percent made, an inequality measure known as the S80/S20. However, after taxes and welfare, including low income support, health insurance subsidies, pensions and disability benefits, the same income ratio fell to 4.4.

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Swiss likely to vote on capital tax reform plan

The leftwing Young Socialist group has handed in the necessary signatures to force a nationwide vote on its proposal to increase tax on capital revenue in Switzerland. The initiative intends to tax dividends and interest on wealth by a factor of 1.5 compared with regular income tax.

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Sound money: A Biblical perspective – Part I

In today’s world, it is obvious that the competition of ideas is under serious threat and with it, the much-needed discussions on how to deal with certain topics or try to understand the world we live in. That is particularly worrying, especially when one considers that the western world went through the process of Enlightenment roughly 200 years ago. In the words of Immanuel Kant:

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Parliament sets conditions on further EU payments

Switzerland should only make another billion-franc “cohesion” payment to the European Union if the EU doesn’t discriminate against Switzerland, parliament has agreed. The House of Representatives on Monday approved the CHF1.3 billion ($1.3 billion) that will help reduce the economic and social inequalities between old and new EU countries over the next decade.

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US lobbies Switzerland to drop Chinese telecom giant Huawei

The US has expressed concern over the use of Chinese technology in Switzerland, suggesting it may be used for espionage, reports the Sonntagszeitung newspaper. Sonntagszeitung cited the Swiss foreign ministry as saying that the US embassy in Bern had conducted “an exchange of views on this subject at diplomatic level.”

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Why there is so much egg pasta in Switzerland

Strolling through the pasta aisle of a Swiss supermarket, someone new to Switzerland might conclude that the locals prefer egg pasta over the eggless variety. And, while that might to some extent be true, there is another reason.

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ECB: running out of runway – Part II

Overall, under Mr. Draghi’s watch, the ECB’s balance sheet has ballooned to a previously unimaginable scale and aggressive policies like the extensive QE program and negative rates have encouraged the accumulation of debt and heavily distorted market mechanisms.

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ECB: running out of runway – Part I

At the end of January, only a month after the official end of the QE program of the European Central Bank (ECB), its President Mario Draghi told the European Parliament’s committee that the central bank could resume its bond purchasing, in a questionable effort to assuage concerns over the impact of the policy change.

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Ministers make the case for tax and pension reform package

The Swiss government has launched its campaign in favour of the upcoming national vote on a reform of the corporate tax and pension systems. Ministers for health and finance, Alain Berset and Ueli Maurer, presented their case at a press conference on Monday, urging citizens to vote ‘yes’ on May 19.

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Socialism, Keynesianism, and Fascism

The American political discourse has changed since the 2018 midterm election. Enthusiasm and passion were to be found on the left-wing of the Democratic Party. A new sense of hope and mission replaced the defeatism and cynicism seen in 2016. Some identified with democratic socialism, but in the political rhetoric the broad brush of “socialism” has been used to paint the entire party

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China: Harbinger of Global Economic Decline

The latest numbers released by China’s statistics bureau fueled widespread concerns about the outlook of the global economy, as the Asian superpower reported its slowest growth rate since 1990. The figures showed a 6.6% growth for 2018, confirming the view that the growth engine of the world economy is running out of steam.

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Monthly Macro Monitor – January 2019

A Return To Normalcy. In the first two years after a newly elected President takes office he enacts a major tax cut that primarily benefits the wealthy and significantly raises tariffs on imports. His foreign policy is erratic but generally pulls the country back from foreign commitments. He also works to reduce immigration and roll back regulations enacted by his predecessor.

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Swiss and Italian leaders discuss cross-border tax deal

By spring, the Italian government is expected to clarify its position on a new tax system for cross-border commuters between Italy and Switzerland. “It is a delicate issue that must be digested sufficiently, with both administrative and political evaluations. It takes time, but spring is not far away,” Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi told Swiss Foreign Affairs Minister Ignazio Cassis in Lugano in southern Switzerland on...

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Living In The Present

It’s that time of year again, time to cast the runes, consult the iChing, shake the Magic Eight Ball and read the tea leaves. What will happen in 2019? Will it be as bad as 2018 when positive returns were hard to come by, as rare as affordable health care or Miami Dolphin playoff games? Will China’s economy succumb to the pressure of US tariffs and make a deal?

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EU needs more flexible negotiation tactics: UBS chairman

The European Union should stop dictating terms to Switzerland and start negotiating an acceptable compromise if it wants to find agreement on future ties, says UBS chairman Axel Weber. In an interview with the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, Weber said the current EU demands are unlikely to be approved by the Swiss people should they be put to a referendum.

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Poll finds majority for greenhouse tax on plane tickets

An overwhelming majority of people in Switzerland appear to be in favour of introducing a tax on plane tickets to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An online poll, published by the SonntagsZeitung newspaper, showed that 70% of respondents said they were prepared to pay between CHF12 to CHF50 ($12.2-$50.8) towards a CO2 tax depending on the duration of a flight.

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Swiss foreign minister defends proposed EU deal

Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis has rejected criticism of the results of negotiations with the European Union about a framework accord, encompassing all aspects of political relations between Switzerland and the 28-nation bloc.

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Bern corporate tax cuts flop at ballot box

Voters in canton Bern have rejected a proposal to lower corporate taxes, dealing a surprise blow to the government and parliament trying to give the canton a competitive edge. Nearly 54% of voters on Sunday came out against a planned lowering of tax rates for companies headquartered in the canton meeting certain criteria.

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