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Old 17.01.2011, 14:12
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Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

Trouble ahead for Julius Baer?


BBC article

Quote:
A former Swiss banker is set to pass on data containing account details of 2,000 prominent people to Wikileaks.
The data - which is not yet available on the Wikileaks website - is held on two discs to be passed on by Rudolf Elmer at a press conference in London.
Mr Elmer, who has given data to Wikileaks before, was fired from Swiss bank Julius Baer in 2002.
He is scheduled to go on trial in Switzerland on Wednesday for breaking bank secrecy laws.
The Guardian

Quote:
- The offshore bank account details of 2,000 "high net worth individuals" and corporations – detailing massive potential tax evasion – will be handed over to the WikiLeaks organisation in London tomorrow by the most important and boldest whistleblower in Swiss banking history, Rudolf Elmer, two days before he goes on trial in his native Switzerland.
Have any of our resident Banking/Finance heads any input as to what effect this could have on Swiss banking in general?
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Old 17.01.2011, 15:08
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

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Trouble ahead for Julius Baer?


BBC article



The Guardian


Have any of our resident Banking/Finance heads any input as to what effect this could have on Swiss banking in general?

Recent agreements dictate that data on named persons can be handed over. Probably long after the bank has advised their client and transferred investments elsewhere.
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Old 17.01.2011, 15:17
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

I wish someone at Orange Julius would leak some info about how they make their Rasberry Crush smoothie...

http://www.orangejulius.com/sec_smoothies.html

...never hear of Julius Bär...well, I saw their signs, but I only thought of smoothies ...and bears...
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Old 17.01.2011, 15:18
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

Old stuff.
The guy was fired in 2002 and the split was acrimonious (they say).
Hence more than a do-good-whistleblower this is more of the case of someone intent on exacting his bitter revenge (over the course of the years he sent death threats, and other assorted niceties).

Of course at the end of the day this doesn't change a thing for the customers who will be trust into the spotlight.

P.
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Old 17.01.2011, 15:20
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

I doubt that this will have the same knock on effect as it would have had 10 years ago. There's this myth about Swiss banking laws. Although Switzerland would not freely give away back information about account holders to other nations, the domestic set up was far less rigid. Basically, unless you held a safety deposit box stuffed with cash, what you held in your accounts wasn't a secret. If the Swiss authorities had reason to suspect that monies had been accrued through illegal means the holding bank was (and still is) obliged to divulge client information.

The broader context of individuals releasing customer confidential bank account details to Wikileaks needs to be addressed. At what point does this information really belong in the public domain? There's a bunch of rich people keeping the wheels of industry turning and negative publicity will just have them shift their assets around to banks that have a better security system with no known whistleblower cases. Of course, Joe Public would love to rubberneck some famous celebrity's financial statements, but is that really something that is going to move mankind onwards and upwards? I see a lot of potential unrest and turmoil brewing if Wikileaks doesn't filter what they release. Accusing nations of crap foreign relations and bungled spying stories and under the table arms deals is one thing, but focusing on high net worth individuals is tampering with a delicately balanced machine.
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Old 17.01.2011, 15:54
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

At the press conference a few hours ago, they did mention that these details (allegedly) come from the Cayman Islands, so it is not necessarily covered by Swiss law.

He is accusing the bank of knowingly laundering money and actively assisting people and Corporations in evading taxes, so although the customers can move their funds, the bank could be done for illegal activities*, yes?

* if the accusations hold water, obviously
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Old 17.01.2011, 16:00
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

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the bank could be done for illegal activities*, yes?
a) if the illegal activities happened in the Caymans, I guess it would be under their jurisdiction, right? ....Well...

b) the only threat would be if they are traded in the US and broke some of the weird US stock laws. A full fletched SEC action could cost billions.
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Old 17.01.2011, 16:30
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

this is the absurdity with this wikileaks idiot. first, expose civilian casualties in iraq. ok fine, it's right to keep the military resopnsible.

next, reveal sensitive diplomatic cables that don't uncover any real misbehavior or nefarious conduct. leak for the sake of leaking, to stay in the spotlight.

now, point out bank account details for persons who are potentially violating the very tax laws of the countries (or Country, as wikileaks only really has one target) whose government and policies you oppose? wait, whose side are you on anyways?
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Old 17.01.2011, 17:08
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

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wait, whose side are you on anyways?
I know this might be a bit difficult to understand, but some people are not fighting "on a side" as "I am pro-US no matter what crimes the military comits". While I do not agree on his execution of the entire "let's leak online" idea with him in the spotlight, his motives are rather simple: He wants transparency. His point is: If the world would be fully transparent,
- the military would not murder civilians without the fear to get punished for it.
- politicians could not play many of their dirty games. There were actually some fairly interesting examples in the cables that hardly made it into the press... and there are surely more to come.
- if we agree that tax fraud is essentially theft of public money, transparency - or even only the fear of a future leak - helps the entire society. It reduces tax fraud and taxes are paid not only by the middle class, but also the HNWIs who before would find willing helpers for their theft at banks.

Probably not your mindset, but I would not immediately call it idiotic either.
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Old 17.01.2011, 17:11
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

I'm sure some of you are in those datas.
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Old 17.01.2011, 17:21
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

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reveal sensitive diplomatic cables that don't uncover any real misbehavior or nefarious conduct
Bear in mind that less than 1% of the purported 250,000 cables have been released so far.

I have to say, I think Assange is an egotistical muppet, but I agree with the motive of Wikileaks.

If these documents show corporations and HNWIs breaking the law to avoid paying what they legally owe, then I'm all for it. If they don't, I doubt they will be leaked. They mentioned at the press conference that they wanted to work with some Tax Equality/Transparency group (can't remember what they were called) to go through the documents. They'd have a better idea of the legality of it than the wikileaks minions, I'd imagine.
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Old 17.01.2011, 17:46
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

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Bear in mind that less than 1% of the purported 250,000 cables have been released so far.
This is so far my favourite find in the cables. All parties in Germany continued to describe the high resolution night vision cameras as a "environmental research project for natural catastrophes"... and my favourite part:

Quote:
They also show that some countries, "especially France," have tried to stop the project by every means possible.
The opposition from Paris however appears to have been brushed aside by German officials, who according to the cables, said they were sick of being "outmaneuvred by France."
"Absolutely no cooperation is planned with France or any other EU country when it comes to the HiROS project," DLR executive Andreas Eckart was quoted as saying.
Quote:
Officially, France and Germany are involved in the common Multinational Space-based Imaging System (MUSIS), along with Belgium, Spain, Greece and Italy.
In short: They build a crap system for the unimportant partners and a good one for the US and Germany... thats how you efficiently spend tax money...er... twice.
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Old 17.01.2011, 18:18
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

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I know this might be a bit difficult to understand, but some people are not fighting "on a side" as "I am pro-US no matter what crimes the military comits". While I do not agree on his execution of the entire "let's leak online" idea with him in the spotlight, his motives are rather simple: He wants transparency. His point is: If the world would be fully transparent,
- the military would not murder civilians without the fear to get punished for it.
- politicians could not play many of their dirty games. There were actually some fairly interesting examples in the cables that hardly made it into the press... and there are surely more to come.
- if we agree that tax fraud is essentially theft of public money, transparency - or even only the fear of a future leak - helps the entire society. It reduces tax fraud and taxes are paid not only by the middle class, but also the HNWIs who before would find willing helpers for their theft at banks.

Probably not your mindset, but I would not immediately call it idiotic either.
I know you're unable to engage in a discussion without insulting everybody else's intellgence, but that's because you're German.
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Old 17.01.2011, 23:04
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

I am wondering how long Wikileaks will be able to keep its .ch address?
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Old 17.01.2011, 23:20
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

They tell me that Iceland is nice
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Old 18.01.2011, 00:08
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

Well the newspaper reports that Julian Assange will be applying for asylum here don't ring true any longer.
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Old 18.01.2011, 01:59
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

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I know this might be a bit difficult to understand, but some people are not fighting "on a side" as "I am pro-US no matter what crimes the military comits". While I do not agree on his execution of the entire "let's leak online" idea with him in the spotlight, his motives are rather simple: He wants transparency. His point is: If the world would be fully transparent,
- the military would not murder civilians without the fear to get punished for it.
- politicians could not play many of their dirty games. There were actually some fairly interesting examples in the cables that hardly made it into the press... and there are surely more to come.
- if we agree that tax fraud is essentially theft of public money, transparency - or even only the fear of a future leak - helps the entire society. It reduces tax fraud and taxes are paid not only by the middle class, but also the HNWIs who before would find willing helpers for their theft at banks.

Probably not your mindset, but I would not immediately call it idiotic either.
i came to the same conclusion too. transparency is a good thing. why should governments hide things from their own people?

the leaked cables was a PR stunt gone badly wrong, IMO. but then again, there's no such thing as bad publicity. but when you look at the other stuff released by wikileaks, this has to be a good thing. e.g. trafigura.
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Old 18.01.2011, 16:55
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Re: Swiss Banking Whistleblower hands over data to Wikileaks

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I know you're unable to engage in a discussion without insulting everybody else's intellgence, but that's because you're German.
R u shure? I thought that wuz the French?
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