Tag Archive: Politics

Credit Suisse freezes $5 billion in US-Russia sanctions move

The Swiss Credit Suisse bank froze some CHF5 billion ($5 billion) of assets linked to Russia earlier this year in an effort to toe the line with US sanctions levied against Moscow. The bank froze the funds in the second quarter of 2018, according to Reuters, in response to sanctions introduced by Washington in April.

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Swiss Trade Unions to Boycott Talks on EU Labour Negotiations

Switzerland’s largest national trade union centre has refused to participate in discussions led by Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann on easing measures for wages and working conditions as part of framework negotiations with the European Union (EU).

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Majority favours later retirement for women, according to survey

In Switzerland, the official retirement age for women is 64, a year earlier than it is for men. A poll by gfs.bern shows that around two thirds are in favour of raising the retirement age of women to 65. Only 16% are against the idea, with a further 18% somewhat against it. Men (78%) are more in favour of the change than women (54%), according to the newspaper 20 Minutes.

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review

This will be a fairly quick update as I just posted a Mid-Year Review yesterday that covers a lot of the same ground. There were, as you’ll see below, some fairly positive reports since the last update but the markets are not responding to the better data. Markets seem to be more focused on the trade wars and the potential fallout. I would also note that at least some of the recent strength in the data is related to the tariffs.

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Fribourg – moves to axe government pensions for life

Switzerland’s government is working hard to find ways to fix a looming state pension shortfall. Two politicians in the canton of Fribourg have decided to seek savings by attempting to cut lifetime government pensions granted after short stints in the job, according to the newspaper 20 Minutes.

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Italy Defies Gravity and Risk to Fiscal Rectitude

Italian asset markets continue to fare better than many expected. The political uncertainty following the March election has been followed by confidence that the Five Star Movement and the (Northern) League will be able to put together a government in the coming days. If so, Italy would have taken half the time Germany did to cobble a government together after inconclusive elections.

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Internships – Switzerland’s Young Socialists caught preaching one thing and practicing another

In collaboration with the Swiss union Unia, Switzerland’s Young Socialists have launched a protest against the exploitation of interns. To get on the career ladder, many young people feel compelled to take internships offering little or no pay. The Young Socialists are demanding interns be better paid. Recent data from the Federal Statistical Office shows that 23% of young workers (15-24) are on short-term contracts, 41% of them interns.

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Swiss median monthly wage exceeds CHF6,500 ($6,506)

A government survey analysing wage structures in the Alpine nation found that the median salary for a full-time job in 2016 was CHF6,502 ($6,509) for the entire Swiss economy. The bottom 10% of Swiss earners had a salary of less than CHF4,313 ($4,317), while the best paid 10% earned more than CHF11,406 ($11,418) a month.

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Swiss share tax data with 41 nations

For the first time, Switzerland’s Federal Tax Administration (FTA) has sent details on advance tax rulings to its partners in the spontaneous exchange of information deal. The FTA announced on Tuesdayexternal link that it had transmitted a first batch of 82 reports to a total of 41 states, including Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia. Some reports were exchanged with several partner countries.

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Raising Switzerland’s retirement age – like death and taxes

Last week, State Councillor Peter Hegglin (PDC/CVP) withdrew his motion demanding Switzerland’s retirement age automatically rise with life expectancy. He argues that Switzerland urgently needs to find a way to ensure the financial health of its pension system and raising the retirement age is the main way to do this.

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Call for pensions paid abroad to be taxed at source

A proposal to tax at source the old-age pensions of Swiss retirees living abroad has been made in parliament. The aim is to prevent differential treatment of pensioners based on where they live. On Wednesday, Christian Democrat senator Peter Hegglin tabled an interpellationexternal link in parliament to address unequal treatment between pensioners who reside in Switzerland those who opt to spend their twilight years abroad.

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Bi-Weekly Economic Review: The New Normal Continues

There has been a lot of talk about the economic impact of the recent tax reform. All of it, including the analyses that include lots of fancy math, amounts to nothing more than speculation, usually informed by little more than the political bias of the analyst. I am guilty of that too to some degree but I don’t let my personal political views dictate how I view the economy for purposes of investing.

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Global Asset Allocation Update: Tariffs Don’t Warrant A Change…Yet

There is no change to the risk budget this month. For the moderate risk investor the allocation to bonds is 50%, risk assets 45% and cash 5%. We have had continued volatility since the last update but the market action so far is pretty mundane. The initial selloff halted at the 200 day moving average and the rebound carried to just over the 50 day moving average.

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Tax ‘total meltdown’ averted

More than 84% of voters have renewed the government’s right to tax its citizens and companies for another 15 years. This is a unique feature of Switzerland’s political system of direct democracy and federalism. Live results of March 04 2018 ballot: Licence fee for public broadcasters and Federal taxes 2021.

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FX Daily, March 05: Italian Election Weighs on Italian Assets, but Little Systemic Risk Seen

The US dollar is narrowly mixed. The Japanese yen remains firm. The dollar appears stuck in a narrow range. Near JPY105.20 the seems to be some short-covering pressure in front of JPY105. On the top side, the greenback is encountering offers in front of JPY105.80. Sterling is firm against the dollar as it recovers against the euro. Before the weekend, the euro reached GBP0.8950, its best levels since last November. The euro is testing GBP0.8900...

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Vaud – vote on divisive dental tax and care plan

On 4 March 2018, voters in Vaud will vote on a plan to provide basic universal dental care funded by a tax on salaries. The initiative entitled: Reimbursement of dental care, Pour le remboursement des soins dentaires in French, claims that 10% of the population avoid the dentist because of the cost. They also claim links between poor dental health and cancer, diabetes and premature births. Their plan envisages the creation of a network of...

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Economics minister praises Swiss tax system

Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann has downplayed concerns that Swiss-based American firms might relocate to the United States in the wake of tax reform. Speaking in Davos ahead of a visit by US President Donald Trump, Schneider-Ammann said that if he were head of an American company he would think twice before such a relocation, since there is no guarantee the tax breaks will still be in place a few years from now.

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Swiss president says Trump meeting was productive

Swiss President Alain Berset says his meeting with US President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos was productive and frank. Trump took credit for making Switzerland “even richer”. "You have a lot of our stock in the United States so I have helped to make Switzerland even richer," Trump said shortly after the meeting. He said a booming US economy was good for Switzerland.

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New poll on vote to axe Swiss broadcast fee suggests rejection

A poll run by the media group Tamedia shows a clear majority in favour of rejecting the initiative, dubbed “No Billag”, which aims to end Switzerland’s broadcasting fee. This poll follows one done in December 2017, which showed a majority in favour of the initiative.

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