By Tim Devaney – One of Switzerland’s signature industries, Swiss banking no longer has the same allure it once did and could be in for tough times in the years ahead, analysts say, as it struggles to cope with a changing regulatory environment in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Most of Swiss banking is stuck in the past,” said Scheherazade S. Rehman, an international business and finance professor at George Washington University. “One of the fears is that there could be a slow death for Swiss banks down the road. A lot of Swiss banks have disappeared, really you just have a few left.” more> http://tinyurl.com/c7ldwdb
By Nathan Lewis – It doesn’t matter too much to me where the first gold-based parallel currencies emerge. It might be a small company in Idaho, but it could also be the government of Panama or Switzerland.
It could be the Hong Kong Bank of China, a private commercial bank, which is already issuing dollar-linked banknotes in Hong Kong, which circulate alongside banknotes from the government and other private banks. If you just substitute “gold-linked” for “dollar-linked,” you would have a new gold-based currency in Hong Kong, complete with small-denomination banknotes and coins, bank accounts, checking, wire transfers, credit cards, and all the other features of a modern monetary system. more> http://tinyurl.com/bwap2wp
By Elena Logutenkova – When UBS AG (UBSN) celebrated its 150th anniversary in Zurich last month with 600 guests dining on Ossetra caviar and Wagyu beef, there was no jubilation in the executives’ speeches.
Trust “cannot be tied to a far-dated founding year; trust constantly has to be won anew,” Chairman Kaspar Villiger told guests at the dinner prepared by Philippe Rochat, the Swiss chef whose restaurant is one of two in the country to earn three Michelin stars. “Reputation is the most important capital for a bank. It takes just a thoughtless action to lose it and the sweat of thousands to rebuild it.”
Switzerland is the biggest manager of offshore wealth in the world, with about a 27 percent share, according to the Boston Consulting Group’s 2011 Global Wealth report. Clients from Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and France make up about 42 percent of all offshore wealth managed in the country. more> http://tinyurl.com/74evop9
Posted in Banking, Business, Economy
Tagged Boston Consulting Group, Capital, Credit, Financial crisis, Industrial economy, Saudi Arabia, Super regions, Switzerland, UBS, Zurich
By John Heilprin – The 10-million-franc ($11-million) satellite called CleanSpace One—the prototype for a family of such satellites—is being built by the Swiss Space Center at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology in Lausanne, or EPFL.
The U.S. space agency NASA says over 500,000 pieces of spent rocket stages, broken satellites and other debris are being tracked as they orbit Earth.
Swiss Space Center’s director, Volker Gass, said it hopes to someday “offer and sell a whole family of ready-made systems, designed as sustainably as possible, that are able to de-orbit several different kinds of satellites.” more> http://is.gd/ld1rLf
Posted in EARTH WATCH, SPACE WATCH, Technology
Tagged École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Earth, Geocentric orbit, Industrial economy, Lausanne, NASA, Satellite, Space debris, Swiss Space Center, Switzerland
By Emma Thomasson and Ben Hirschler – The Occupy movement, which went global after protests against Wall Street last year, is camping in igloos to bring its argument with the super-rich “1 percent” to Davos.
“The economic and financial concentration of power in a small, privileged minority leads to a dictatorship over the rest of us. The motto ‘one person, one vote‘ is no longer valid, but ‘one dollar, one vote’. We want to change that,” says David Roth, “Camp Igloo” organizer and head of the Swiss centre-left‘s youth wing. more> http://tinyurl.com/87gmjnl
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, Leadership, Media
Tagged Capital, David Roth, Davos, Industrial economy, Occupy Wall Street, Super regions, Switzerland, Wall Street, World Economic Forum
Reuters – Central banks from the world’s leading developed economies said on Wednesday they will take coordinated steps to prevent a lack of liquidity in the global financial system, as the euro zone attempts to find a way to stem its debt crisis.
The U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the central banks of Canada, Britain, Japan and Switzerland said in a joint statement they had agreed to lower the cost of existing dollar swap lines by 50 basis points from December 5. more> http://is.gd/sTf02E
Currency Wars, Author: James Rickards.
By Steven C. Johnson – The book reads in places more like a post-apocalyptic nightmare story than a book on international finance. In Rickards’ worst case scenario, “a person’s net worth would consist of those things she can carry on her back.”
In the book, he recounts how he conducted a war game for the Pentagon in which the Russia team moves all its gold to a bank in Switzerland and decides to only accept payment for oil and gas in a new gold-backed currency, not in dollars.
“The Fed thinks they are playing with a thermostat – the house is too cool so we dial it up a little bit, now it’s too warm, so we dial it down,” Rickards said. “In reality, they are playing with a nuclear reactor. If you get it wrong, you’re going to have a meltdown.” more> http://is.gd/5q8Rn5