I have vivid memories of watching western movies with my father. For a boy, seeing John Wayne get his way brought certainty: it was clear that, with enough firepower, might would prevail. Switzerland and its banks were slow to recognise this simple truth. The price to pay is now uncomfortably high.
In recent years, US authorities have taken an aggressive stand against Swiss bank secrecy on the grounds that US clients are using it to evade tax. Several years of convoluted negotiations between the two nations were characterised by Bern clinging desperately to the belief that the anonymity of alleged tax refugees could be preserved. Read more