Tag Archive: Politics

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste – Part I

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” -Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff from 2009 to 2010. Only a couple of weeks ago, if anyone told you that your entire country would be basically shutting down, that events and public gatherings would be outlawed, that you’d be looking at empty shelves in your local supermarket and that the global...

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Credit Suisse linked to list of 12,000 Nazis found in Argentina

A list of 12,000 Nazis who are said to have lived in Argentina from the 1930s onwards has been found in Buenos Aires. Many of the Nazi sympathisers reportedly paid money into one or more accounts at Schweizerische Kreditanstalt, which later became Credit Suisse.

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Swiss National Bank to distribute 4 billion francs of profit

In 2019, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) made a profit of around CHF 49 billion. These profits came mainly from the rising value of the assets on the bank’s balance sheet. In 2019, the value of its holdings of foreign currency and gold rose substantially. When combined with interest, dividend income and gains on shares total profits for the year were CHF 49 billion.

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Transport operators told to pay back millions in state subsidies

Two more Swiss state-owned transport companies have been ordered to pay back more than CHF50 million ($51 million) in wrongly claimed subsidies. The authorities are also looking into the possibility of criminal prosecutions in connection with the worsening subsidies scandal.

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Modern Monetary Theory is an old Marxist Idea

Modern Monetary Theory, or “MMT”, has been getting a lot of attention lately, often celebrated as a revolutionary breakthrough. However, there is absolutely nothing new about it. The very basis of the theory, the idea that governments can finance their expenditures themselves and therefore deficits don’t matter, actually goes back to the Polish Marxist economist, Michael Kalecki (1899 – 1970). 

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Gold is the 7th sense of financial markets

Claudio Grass (CG): Looking at the interest rate policy of the last years, it would seem that central banks are backed into a corner. They cannot hike borrowing costs without risking a domino effect, as both government and corporate debt have reached record highs, encouraged by the central banks’ own NIRP and ZIRP policies. In your view, is there a “safe” way out of this vicious circle?

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Tax on legal weed repealed

The Swiss Federal Court has ruled that cannabis – the legal, low-THC version – should not be subject to the tobacco tax. Responding to the complaints of three cannabis production companies, the court found that there was no legal basis for a 25% tobacco tax on the sales price of cannabis. The tax will be dropped immediately.

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Former Swiss defence minister denies knowledge of Crypto-CIA links

Was former Swiss cabinet minister Kaspar Villiger aware that the Swiss firm Crypto AG was controlled by the CIA? Swiss media say newly released CIA documents support this claim, but the ex-defence minister vehemently denies it. The CIA records are “not correct”, the former defence minister (1989-1995) told Swiss public television, SRF, in a statement published on Wednesday.

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Investigation opened into Swiss encryption firm linked to CIA

The Swiss government has opened an investigation into a decades-old spying affair involving Swiss firm Crypto, following reports by Swiss public broadcaster SRF, German broadcaster ZDF and The Washington Post. The government confirmed on Tuesday that it had opened an investigation into the reports that Crypto, a Zug-based communications encryption firm, was secretly used by the CIA and West German intelligence services for decades.

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Poverty rate falls slightly in Switzerland

In 2018, the percentage of the population in Switzerland living below the poverty line fell from 8.2% (2017) to 7.9%, returning to the same level as it was in 2010. Most affected by poverty were those aged under 18 (9.6%) and those aged over 64 (13.7%).

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Das Internet – die dezentrale (R)Evolution

Menschen werden durch unterschiedliche Motive angetrieben. Die einen sehen das höchste Glück in der Ansammlung von materiellen Werten, und andere sind von geistigen Werten angetrieben. Eine Idee kann genauso wie eine Rolex Glücksgefühle und Ansporn auslösen. Mich persönliche treiben Ideen an.

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Swiss Economics Minister wants to move US trade deal forward

Talks with US President Donald Trump this week at WEF were useful, says Swiss Economics Minister Guy Parmelin, who is cautiously optimistic about moving trade negotiations forward. “Trump had questions for me. He asked me about trade,” said Parmelin in an interview with the Sonntagszeitung newspaper. “I also informed him about Swiss investments in the United States.

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Switzerland remains world’s most attractive country for skilled workers

Switzerland continues to lead the world in talent competitiveness, having held the number one spot since the annual Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) was launched in 2013. According to the 2020 indexexternal link, the three main reasons for Switzerland’s top position are the country’s high quality of life (interesting jobs, high salaries and good career opportunities), its dual education system which combines education with vocational...

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How Zurich Airport prepares for Trump visit to Davos

American secret service agents have been granted access to Zurich Airport’s control tower as they prepare for US President Donald Trump’s visit to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the NZZ am Sonntag reports. WEF, which starts in the Swiss mountain resort on Monday, attracts wealthy, high-profile business and political figures, along with academics and other leaders of society.

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Investing in crypto the sound way!

I have long been fascinated by the far-reaching consequences and the great potential of the wave of new technologies and ideas that emerged with the crypto revolution. While most of us first came into contact with these concepts in 2017, this tectonic shift that is only just beginning has been in the making for nearly a decade. Now, we begin to see the basic ideas and tools take shape and give rise to endless exciting possibilities that can affect...

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‘Yes to an initiative promoting moderately-priced housing’

The free market in Switzerland has built housing units that remain empty because they are too expensive, or in out-of-the-way places, says Marina Carobbio Guscetti. The Social Democrat senator believes that the initiative "More affordable housing" will fix these problems. It will help the middle class and the less well-off.

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Signatures collected for vote on tax deduction for parents

Opponents of a proposal to increase tax deductions for parents have succeeded in collecting enough signatures to force a referendum on the subject. On Tuesday the leftwing Social Democratic Party submitted the necessary signatures required to trigger a referendum. The party is opposed to a “tax bonus for rich parents” and collected 60,000 signatures in two-and-a-half months to force a nationwide vote on the reform, approved by...

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The owl has landed: Lagarde’s new vision for the ECB

On December 12, Christine Lagarde introduced her goals and vision in her first rate-setting meeting as the new President of the ECB. On the actual policy front, there were no surprises. She remained committed to the path set by her predecessor, Mario Draghi, and kept the current monetary stimulus unchanged.

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Mnuchin to head US delegation to Davos

The US delegation at the upcoming World Economic Forum (WEF) gathering in Davos will be led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. It is unclear whether President Donald Trump will again attend the annual event.

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Number on welfare in Switzerland falls for first time in 10 years

In 2018, the number of people receiving social welfare in Switzerland fell from 278,300, or 3.3% of the population, to 272,700, 3.2% of the population. The last time the number fell was in 2008 when it dropped from 3.1% (233,500) to 2.9% (222,600) of the population.

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