Tag Archive: Politics

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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Venezuela: when fiat money reaches its intrinsic value

Over the last years, Venezuela has become a modern poster child for the failure of socialism and with good reason. It offers an abundance of lessons and stern warnings for many western nations, but it also provides a very insightful and relevant reminder for individual investors too.

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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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Home-care services increase, nursing home stays stagnate

Better at home than in a home: almost 350,000 people made use of assistance and home-care services (Spitex) last year, 10,000 more than in 2016. In contrast, the number of residents of old-age and nursing homes remained constant at 149,000, 15% of them for a short stay. Spitex, a Swiss non-profit organisation that provides in-home nursing services like changing bandages and administering medicine, chalked up nearly 16 million hours of home care and...

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Switzerland signs up to ‘Paris Call’ for a safer internet

In Paris on Monday, several hundred governments and tech companies – and Switzerland – signed a new charter for trust and security online. In the so-called ‘Paris Call’, launched by French President Macron at the UNESCO Internet Governance Forum in Paris, signatories pledged to support “an open, safe, stable, accessible, and peaceful cyberspace” where international law applies, and individual rights are protected.

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Investigating suspected welfare cheats – where to draw the line

On 25 November 2018, Swiss will vote on whether to accept laws allowing detectives to uncover welfare fraud. Currently, there is nothing specific in Swiss law covering the practice. In the past, investigators have been used to gather evidence on disability and accident beneficiaries. Between 2009 and 2016, detectives were used on around 220 investigations a year, of which around two thirds were found guilty of fraud.

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Tax System Problems Result in CHF 1.8bn Shortfall

The Federal Tax Administration’s IT project Insieme was a financial disaster and its replacement isn’t much better, according to the Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO). Systems are unreliable and underperforming, with billions in tax demands still outstanding.

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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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