Tag Archive: Politics

Paper reports new surveillance case involving Credit Suisse executive

A senior Credit Suisse human resources executive was tailed by private investigators in February, the Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) newspaper reported on Tuesday. The Swiss bank was rocked by a highly damaging spygate case earlier this year involving the surveillance of former wealth management boss Iqbal Khan.

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Retail digital franc remains taboo for Switzerland

Switzerland has ruled out the possibility of a central bank-issued digital franc for the general public in the foreseeable future. The government has backed up the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) fears that this would lead to financial instability. Responding to a parliamentary question, the Federal Council on Friday said an ongoing project to produce a digital franc that is restricted for use by financial players was a more sensible option than a...

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The destruction of civilization – implications of extreme monetary interventions

When I was asked to write an article about the impact of negative interest rates and negative yielding bonds, I thought this is a chance to look at the topic from a broader perspective. There have been lots of articles speculating about the possible implications and focusing on their impact in the short run, but it’s not very often that an analysis looks a bit further into the future, trying to connect money and its effect on society itself. 

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The ECB’s “mea culpa”

Economists, conservative investors and market observers have been issuing stern warnings for years regarding the severe impact of the current monetary policy direction. In a recent statement, ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos warned of potential side effects and risks to the economy resulting directly from the central bank’s policies.

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Federal Council paves way for VAT refund on Billag fee

At its meeting on 27 November 2019, the Federal Council set out its plan for the refund of value-added tax (VAT) on Switzerland’s radio and television licence, formerly known as Billag. Between 2010 and 2015, VAT was charged on Swiss television and radio licences.

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Swiss president continues on his ‘autocrat world tour 2019’

Ueli Maurer, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, was set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday. It is Maurer’s fourth foreign visit this year that has raised eyebrows in Switzerland.

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French-speaking cantons biggest winners from next year’s fiscal transfers

The amount of money paid by “rich” cantons to “poor” ones will rise by CHF 61 million to CHF 5.3 billion in 2020, according to a recent government press release. The only French-speaking canton paying will be Geneva. All of the rest will see the sums they receive rise compared to 2019. In 2020, Geneva will pay CHF 275 million, down slightly from the CHF 300 million it paid in 2019.

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“We don’t have to behead the king if we can just ignore him” – Claudio Grass

“Negative interest rates are unsustainable and once investors decide to stop paying for the privilege of holding government debt, a banking crisis could result, says James Grant.” Returning SBTV guest, Claudio Grass, speaks with us about the unsustainable pensions, crumbling fiat currencies and a looming financial crisis in a world of insane central bank monetary policies.

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Demobilising Swiss merchant navy to cost another CHF100 million

Switzerland will incur a further CHF100 million ($101 million) loss as it continues to reduce its merchant shipping fleet. The ongoing bill for selling off ships and meeting their debt obligations has now risen to an estimated CHF300 million, the government has admitted.

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QE by any other name

“The essence of the interventionist policy is to take from one group to give to another. It is confiscation and distribution. “ – Ludwig von Mises, Human Action In less than a year, we have witnessed an unprecedented monetary policy rollercoaster by the Federal Reserve, which began with a momentous U-turn in the central bank’s guidance in January, and has continued to escalate ever since.

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The Growing Opposition Against the ECB

Few investors and market observers were really surprised when Mario Draghi announced the ECB’s next massive easing package in mid-September. Cutting rates further into negative territory and the revival of QE were largely expected sooner or later, as the “whatever it takes” outgoing ECB President is now faced with a wide economic slowdown in the Eurozone.

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Raising Switzerland’s retirement age – big differences of opinion

Switzerland’s government has long discussed the importance of raising the retirement age to ensure the financial viability of the pension system. However, it is not clear whether voters would support such a plan. According to a survey by Deloitte, an accounting and consulting company, raising the official retirement age might not find majority support among Swiss voters. Some groups are firmly against the idea.

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A buying opportunity in precious metals

After a remarkable run over the past few months, gold and silver now appear to have entered a period of consolidation. Many speculators and short-term focused investors have sold their positions fearing a correction, while mainstream market commentators fuel these fears, with analyses that proclaim “the end of the road” for gold and silver.

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Swiss upper house calls on executive to end marriage tax penalty

In Switzerland, some married couples pay more tax than unmarried ones, something referred to as the marriage tax penalty. The issue has been doing the rounds of the halls of Switzerland’s government for around 30 years. On 28 February 2016, a vote to change the current system was narrowly rejected by 50.8% of voters.

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Swiss are skilled but not so dynamic, finds ranking

Switzerland has slipped down a slot in the annual Global Competitiveness Index from the World Economic Forum (WEF). Having come in fourth in 2018, Switzerland now follows Singapore, the United States, Hong Kong and the Netherlands. The index covers 141 countries. The world economy is not ready for a major slowdown, warns WEF.

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Vaud’s 2020 budget – higher spending, higher taxes

The Swiss canton of Vaud has managed to balance its 2020 budget with a small surplus of 76,000 francs. This is the 14th time in row that the canton’s budget has been in the black. At the same time planned spending is up by 2.43%, well ahead of Swiss inflation – prices were lower in September 2019 than they were in September 2018.

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A turning point in the bond market?

We’ve recently seen a lot of coverage and even more “expert analyses” on the state of the bond market, to the extent that the average investor, or the average citizen for that matter, is likely to be overwhelmed and very confused about what it all means. Experts from the institutional side and defenders of the current monetary direction argue that it is all the result of policy choices, that’s it’s all under control and that we really shouldn’t...

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Geneva’s 2020 budget 590 million francs short

Next year the canton of Geneva plans to spend CHF 9,143 million. However, forecast revenue is only CHF 8,553 million, leaving a shortfall of CHF 590 million, according to a cantonal government press release. The canton’s finances have been hit hard from both sides.

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“The Eurozone faces the worst combination of economic and systemic risk”

The past few months have been an exciting time for gold investors, as the precious metal has seen a spike in demand after serious economic concerns and geopolitical tensions unsettled the markets. Many mainstream analysts have pointed to a number of recent events, from the US-China trade war escalations to the inverted yield curve, to explain the recent gold rally.

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THE FED’S CAPITULATION: WHAT IT MEANS FOR GOLD INVESTORS

After the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy U-turn earlier this year and the central bank’s decision to cut interest rates for the first time in a decade, mainstream investors and analysts believe that holding rates lower and for longer will help keep stock markets afloat and the economic expansion alive.

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