Tag Archive: Politics

Parliament approves extra CHF14.9 billion for Covid relief

A further CHF14.9 billion ($15.5 billion) has been agreed by parliament to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Most of it will go towards unemployment insurance, which finances short-time work compensation.

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An unexpected blow to the ECB

Since the beginning of the year, the corona crisis has come to monopolize the news coverage to the extent that a lot of very important stories and developments either went underreported or were ignored altogether. One such example was the very surprising ruling out of the German Constitutional Court in early May, that challenged the actions and remit of the ECB.

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National Bank snubs calls for more coronavirus money

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has dismissed demands to increase its payout to help the economy cope with the costs of the coronavirus pandemic. Governing board member Andréa Maechler an additional financial contribution would counteract monetary policy.

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SNB’s swollen balance-sheet poses risk to ‘credibility’

When the Swiss National Bank (SNB) followed last year’s $50 billion (CHF48.6 billion) profit with a record $39 billion first-quarter loss, it was a stark illustration of the volatility created by a decade of unconventional monetary policy.

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Hard talk with Václav Klaus: “The people should say NO to all of it.”

As we get deeper into this crisis and we get used to our “new normal”, it’s easy to focus on the daily corona-horror stories in the media or the latest shocking unemployment numbers, and lose track of the bigger picture and of what is really, fundamentally important. Even as the lockdown measures begin to get phased out, the scale of the economic damage is unimaginable and the idea of returning to “business as usual” is no longer tenable.

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Coronavirus called a ‘decisive test’ for the UN system  

The pandemic is testing the limits of the United Nations system, say Geneva and New York-based experts, amid funding challenges and an ongoing blame game between the United States and China. The UN is marking its 75th anniversaryexternal link this year. What could have been a year of celebration is becoming a year of crisis.

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Nothing Is What It Seems

My latest interview about Corona, Liberty, Private Property, Authoritarism, and a fear-mongering global media campaign, which I call borderline criminal [embedded content]

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Is gold still a safe haven?

There have been moments in recent months when many gold owners, myself included, have asked themselves whether gold might have lost its safe haven status, at least in the western world. Was it enough for two generations, who grew up in a paper money system, to forget the history and the 5000-year-old status of gold as real money? 

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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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