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SWITZERLAND’S HOLCIM TO CUT 3,300 JOBS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 17, 2009

22:39:00 01/15/2009

Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’ (Philippines)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER’ (Philippines)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, CEMENT, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, SWITZERLAND, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE WORK MARKET, UNEMPLOYMENT, USA | 1 Comment »

ANTI-SEMITIC THREATS UP IN GERMANY AND SWITZERLAND

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 9, 2009

Jan 7, 2009 23:14

by Benjamin Weinthal – Post Correspondent in Berlin

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE JERUSALEM POST’ (Israel)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE JERUSALEM POST’ (Israel)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, GERMANY, HOUSING CRISIS - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, MILITARY CONTRACTS, PALESTINE, RECESSION, SWITZERLAND, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, WEAPONS | 5 Comments »

LIBYA DEMANDS SWISS AUTHORITIES TO PUNISH THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR VIOLATING RIGHTS OF LIBYAN DIPLOMATS – PAY COMPENSATION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 1, 2009

01/01/2009 01:35:00

The Tripoli Post

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TRIPOLI POST’

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, HATE MONGERING AND BIGOTRY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, LYBIA, RECESSION, SWITZERLAND, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE MEDIA (US AND FOREIGN) | Leave a Comment »

EU APPROVES SWEDISH BAILOUT OF TROUBLED INVESTMENT BANK

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

16 Dec 2008 – 15:35 hrs IST

AGENCIES

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SWITZERLAND, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

DOLLAR LOWER, GOLD FALLS IN EUROPEAN AFTERNOON TRADING

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

December 15, 2008 – 11:10 AM

Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

LONDON – The U.S. dollar was lower against other major currencies in European trading Monday afternoon. Gold fell.

The euro traded at $1.3650, up from $1.3371 late Friday in New York.

Other dollar rates:

_ 90.67 Japanese yen, down from 91.12

_ 1.1599 Swiss francs, down from 1.1767

_ 1.2341 Canadian dollars, down from 1.2432

The British pound was quoted at $1.5303, up from $1.4969.

Gold traded in London at $826.00 per troy ounce, down from $826.50 late Friday.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in CANADA, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EURO, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, GOLD, INTERNATIONAL, POUND (Britain), RECESSION, SWITZERLAND, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, UNITED KINGDOM, USA | Leave a Comment »

SWISS BANK UBP: CLIENTS RISK MADOFF LOSSES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 15, 2008

December 15, 2008 – 12:57pm

by Alexander G. Higgins – Associated Press Writer

PUBLISHED BY ‘WTOP’ (USA)

GENEVA (AP) – Swiss bank Union Bancaire Privee indicated Monday it had hundreds of millions of dollars in client assets invested under the management of Bernard Madoff, who has been accused by U.S. authorities of investment fraud of at least $50 billion.

The Geneva bank, one of Switzerland’s largest, did not disclose a total amount invested in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, which collapsed Thursday after the arrest in New York of Madoff, but did say the exposure of its clients “represents less than 1 percent of the total assets under management of the bank.”

Earlier this year, the bank said it had 126.7 billion francs ($107.8 billion) in assets under management as of June 30. Less than 1 percent could still be just over $1 billion.

UBP’s announcement Monday follows weekend disclosures by Swiss banks Reichmuth & Co of Lucerne, Benedict Hentsch of Geneva and Neue Privat Bank of Zurich that they had millions of dollars worth of client assets at risk in the case.

UBP said its exposure was limited to client assets and that it had none of its own funds invested in the Madoff group.

“The bank’s financial robustness is of the highest order,” the Geneva-based bank said, adding that it has twice as much reserves as legally required.

Clients of the Hyposwiss Private Bank in Geneva have $150 million directly and indirectly invested in Madoff funds, the bank said Monday. And the Geneva money manager Genevalor Benbassat said it was still examining the investments it was managing but didn’t yet have a figure for the amount linked to Madoff.

The investment firm Horizon21 in Pfaeffikon near Zurich said it had exposure of $1 million.

Banque Benedict Hentsch & Cie SA, which said it was acting immediately to protect its clients’ interests, said Monday it had canceled its three-month merger with Fairfield Greenwich Group, a U.S. investment fund linked to Madoff.

“The founding shareholders of the bank have terminated their partnership with the Fairfield Greenwich Group,” Benedict Hentsch said a statement.

Benedict Hentsch, which linked with Fairfield Greenwich in September, disclosed Friday that it had 56 million Swiss francs ($47.5 million) of client assets at risk in the Madoff affair.

At the same time Fairfield Greenwich said it had 20 years of experience in working with Madoff and currently had $7.5 billion in investments linked to him, about half its total $14.1 billion under management.

Benedict Hentsch said its move to regain “its complete independence” is conditional upon approval by the Swiss Federal Banking Commission.

Reichmuth said it has 385 million Swiss francs ($327 million) at risk in the case, representing about 3.5 percent of the 11 billion francs under the bank’s management.

And Neue Privat Bank said it had invested about $5 million, less than 1 percent of the client assets it is managing, and a further $250,000 of its own assets in a certificate linked to Madoff.

Madoff, a former chairman of Nasdaq stock market, was arrested Thursday in New York hours after the collapse of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘WTOP’ (USA)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SCAMS, FRAUD, INTERNATIONAL, RECESSION, STOCK MARKETS, SWITZERLAND, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

SWISS BANK SECRECY IN TOUGHEST TEST SINCE NAZI GOLD

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 12, 2008

December 11, 2008

by John O’Donnell – Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MIRROR’ (Cyprus)

More than a decade after holocaust survivors won compensation from Swiss banks for emptying Jewish accounts that had lain dormant since the war, the pressure is on again to dismantle Swiss banking secrecy.

This time, the tax collector is leading the charge.

With Washington joining Germany to press for an end to a code they believe helps tax dodgers, many see it as only a matter of time before the Swiss lift the cloak guarding the secrets of the world’s wealthy.

“The challenge to bank secrecy is a thunderstorm which has been brewing since the holocaust money,” said Sebastian Dovey of consultancy Scorpio Partnership. “It is a hot potato and I don’t think the heat is going to be turned down.”

Nearly one-third of wealth kept abroad globally is in Swiss banks: the Swiss Bankers Association and consultants estimate this at $2.2 trillion, making the Alpine state the globe’s biggest offshore centre ahead of Britain and Luxembourg.

But its code of secrecy — which local myth inaccurately claims was introduced to protect fleeing Jews — is as controversial as it is protective.

Laid down in a 1934 law, it has spawned plots for bestselling thrillers, but also real-life intrigues such as that of Gizella Weisshaus.

Shortly before her father was murdered by the Nazis during the war, he told his children about gold coins and jewellery he had stowed away as Germany’s army marched towards their home in Romania.

“I found the money and his gold watch hidden in the roof of my house,” she told Reuters by telephone from New York. “And there were some pieces of paper. It didn’t mean anything to me.”

Decades later, the Auschwitz survivor was still trying to unravel the riddle of those long-discarded papers which likely contained the numbers of Swiss bank accounts.

But like many others who travelled to Zurich to trace her father’s money, she was turned away repeatedly.

She later became central to a series of legal actions taken against the banks and in the mid-1990s under pressure from Washington and Jewish community group the World Jewish Congress, they finally paid $1.2 billion for accounts they had sucked dry.

Now Switzerland faces its toughest assault since. In an escalation of a U.S. investigation into its biggest bank, Raoul Weil, head of UBS’s wealth management business, was recently charged with helping Americans hide billions.

“With the UBS case, Switzerland is under huge international pressure and pretty much back in the situation it was then,” said Swiss Social Democrat party official and historian Peter Hug.

“Holding onto bank secrecy is not going to work in the long term. Switzerland is small and it cannot afford to help tax evasion in its neighbouring countries.”

POLITICAL PRIORITY

Germany, which at the start of the year paid an informant for the names of tax dodgers who parked money at LGT bank in smaller hideout Liechtenstein, is also pushing for change.

“In the end, Switzerland will have no way around declaring who its foreign bank account holders are,” said Hans Eichel, who as German Finance Minister between 1999 and 2005 tried to tackle offshore havens.

“This is a business based on a criminal activity — dodging tax in a neighbouring country.”

The Swiss have already made some concessions: introducing, for example, a tax on income earned by European Union citizens in Swiss accounts.

Stuart Eizenstat, U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton, said the dormant accounts case he helped negotiate prompted the Swiss to cooperate on other fronts.

“I do think it had a catalytic effect of making the banks more open,” he said. “They became strong supporters, for example, of the anti-terrorist financing measures. It did spur them to become more open on money-laundering.”

But with demands from Germany that Switzerland be blacklisted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, pressure is rising for more.

“The Americans said that if you do not cooperate, then we will make sure you cannot do business here,” said Eichel. “European neighbours of Switzerland such as Germany have to consider similar measures.”

Many believe an agreement between Liechtenstein and the United States this week to drop bank secrecy in cases of tax evasion could force Switzerland into similar concessions.

Prince Nikolaus, the brother of Liechtenstein’s ruling monarch and the country’s ambassador to Brussels, said UBS’s problems and Germany’s probe of his family’s bank, LGT, sent a clear message to offshore havens.

“It was these two banks — the biggest in their respective countries — which were turned into a big case,” he told Reuters by telephone from Brussels. “It has symbolic value. It shows the political priority.”

AIR THINNING FOR ELITE

The pressure from Washington is unlikely to let up. As a senator, U.S. president-elect Barack Obama introduced legislation early last year to make it easier to probe and prosecute tax dodging in offshore locations.

As president, he will need to fund an economic stimulus plan that analysts estimate could cost at least $500 billion.

Hug believes Liechtenstein’s move shows the air is also getting thinner for the Swiss elite. And he sees the first cracks appearing in the country’s usually unshakeable facade.

“There is a conflict of interest between Swiss industry and the banks,” he said. “Industry wants compromise on bank secrecy so that the country’s image is not spoilt.”

Switzerland’s banks — the liabilities of its two largest are more than seven times the country’s Gross Domestic Product — have been talking up the services they offer beyond hiding customer identity.

“This is not all we have,” said Urs Roth, Chief Executive of the Swiss Bankers Association. “We do have a number of traditional advantages, like the economic, monetary and social stability.”

Ultimately, however, it may not be the industry but Swiss pride that is the biggest hurdle to dropping bank secrecy. A nationwide vote would likely be needed to change the rules.

Few speak out publicly on the subject. No major Swiss bank wanted to discuss it with Reuters.

“The Swiss are so brainwashed, that the bank there is untouchable,” said Maram Stern, who as Deputy Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress oversaw negotiations with the Swiss banks about dormant accounts.

“This was what the normal person on the street was not capable of understanding. There were people asking me: how can you question the bank?”

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MIRROR’ (Cyprus)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, HISTORY, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDAISM, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, RECESSION, SWITZERLAND, TAX EVADING, THE EUROPEAN UNION, USA | Leave a Comment »

SUÍÇA PROPÕE AO BRASIL INTERCÂMBIO NA ÁREA TRABALHISTA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 13, 2008

12/11/2008

Brasília – Conhecer as políticas na área trabalhista e fortalecer o intercâmbio entre Brasil e Suíça. Este CARLOS LUPIforam os principais objetivos da reunião entre o ministro do Trabalho e Emprego, Carlos Lupi, e o embaixador da Suíça no Brasil, Wilhelm Meier, que aconteceu na tarde desta terça-feira, em Brasília.

Durante o encontro, uma das preocupações apresentadas pelo embaixador referia-se à atual crise econômica e financeira mundial. “Sabemos que todos estão passando pela mesma situação, mas gostaria de saber como o Brasil, e especialmente a pasta do Trabalho, está encarando a crise”, perguntou Meir, lembrando que o país segue firme na geração de empregos. Até setembro deste ano, o Brasil já tinha conquistado mais de 2 milhões de trabalhadores com carteira assinada, um recorde para o período.

“No tempo globalizado em que vivemos, ou o mundo se integra ou ele descobre que não há como captar isoladamente alegrias e tristezas”, lembrou o ministro Lupi ao enfatizar a importância de trocas de experiências entre as nações. Carlos Lupi reforçou ainda que o país está tomando as medidas econômicas cabíveis, inclusive com liberação de recursos para o setor produtivo; e lembrou que o Brasil é muito extenso territorialmente, o que faz que cada região possua particularidades em sua economia. “Isso amplia as nossas capacidades de enfrentamento da crise. Não iremos continuar crescendo como gostaríamos, mas também não haverá queda de empregos e, sim, uma pequena desaceleração”, afirmou Lupi.

Dentre os temas sugeridos pelo ministro do Trabalho e Emprego como primordiais para o intercâmbio entre as duas nações, estão a qualificação, a intermediação de mão-de-obra e a fiscalização dos ambientes de trabalho. Vale lembrar que na ocasião do encontro o ministro se prontificou a preparar um roteiro com as políticas públicas vigentes no âmbito do MTE para ser apresentado em reunião futura – que ocorrerá possivelmente na Suíça, visto que em maio do ano que vem acontecerá no país a Conferência de Genebra da Organização Internacional do Trabalho.

Assessoria de Imprensa do MTE

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PUBLISHED BY ‘PORTAL DO GOVERNO FEDERAL’ (Brasil)

Posted in BRASIL, CIDADANIA, COMBATE AO TRABALHO ESCRAVO E INFANTIL, COMBATE À DESIGUALDADE E À EXCLUSÃO - BRASIL, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, EDUCAÇÃO - BRASIL, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INTERNATIONAL, MINISTÉRIO DO TRABALHO E EMPREGO, O MERCADO DE TRABALHO - BRASIL, O PODER EXECUTIVO FEDERAL, ORÇAMENTO NACIONAL - BRASIL, SWITZERLAND, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »