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Old 15.12.2014, 16:53
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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first of all, I absolutely loathe the argument that, in order to posit an independent thought regarding any subject matter, it is first necessary to demonstrate through an internet link that somebody else (ideally somebody of keen academic standing) has previously posited the same thought. you can simply look at statistics regarding the growth of foreign investment, holding companies, etc. in Switzerland and compare it with the growth in Swiss GDP over the same period, for example. not per capita GDP, of course, since the delta between the growth in Swiss GDP and per capita GDP in Switzerland may very well be part of the reason for the recent immigration initiatives.

nevertheless, hopefully this will get you started, it is focused on the period between WWI and WWII but the issues remain more or less the same:

http://www.ehes.org/EHES_No27.pdf
Well, no, you can make whatever statements you want to make, but you cannot really expect people to just believe you because you say so.
The two statements I quoted are very specific and now you are supplying a PDF concerning the era between WW1 and WW2!?
You know it's ok to just say "I have no material to backup these claims"
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  #1362  
Old 15.12.2014, 17:56
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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Well, no, you can make whatever statements you want to make, but you cannot really expect people to just believe you because you say so.
The two statements I quoted are very specific and now you are supplying a PDF concerning the era between WW1 and WW2!?
You know it's ok to just say "I have no material to backup these claims"
did you read the academic article? the interwar period is directly relevant to the tax structures that still exist today, though if you insist I am sure I can find similar academic studies covering the post-WWII period over a couple of beers this evening.



P.S. if you have an alternate theory to explain Switzerland's economic growth, I would be happy to discuss it. I think we have already agreed that immigration is a result of that economic growth, not the driver.

if you prefer, however, I am happy to amend my statements to cover the last 90+ years of economic growth in Switzerland, as opposed to simply the last 25-30 years.

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  #1363  
Old 15.12.2014, 20:12
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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did you read the academic article? the interwar period is directly relevant to the tax structures that still exist today, though if you insist I am sure I can find similar academic studies covering the post-WWII period over a couple of beers this evening.



P.S. if you have an alternate theory to explain Switzerland's economic growth, I would be happy to discuss it. I think we have already agreed that immigration is a result of that economic growth, not the driver.

if you prefer, however, I am happy to amend my statements to cover the last 90+ years of economic growth in Switzerland, as opposed to simply the last 25-30 years.


Look, here is the thing. To me when you state blankly that "the example above is the driver of Switzerland's economic growth over the last 25-30 years.", I am thinking, "Really!? That's it!? Aren't there any other drivers? And why is it then that the rest of the world was not doing the same thing with taxation .. I mean if that is all that is needed to have economic growth .. why, then the others are morons!" - or something to that nature. So I then would like to see what there is to say that this "is THE driver of Switzerland's economic growth" - not just one of the "drivers" - but "THE" one.

The other statement you made was "without your hated EU partners, there are no FTA's for Switzerland". Did you touch on that one yet?
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  #1364  
Old 15.12.2014, 20:59
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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Look, here is the thing. To me when you state blankly that "the example above is the driver of Switzerland's economic growth over the last 25-30 years.", I am thinking, "Really!? That's it!? Aren't there any other drivers? And why is it then that the rest of the world was not doing the same thing with taxation .. I mean if that is all that is needed to have economic growth .. why, then the others are morons!" - or something to that nature. So I then would like to see what there is to say that this "is THE driver of Switzerland's economic growth" - not just one of the "drivers" - but "THE" one.

The other statement you made was "without your hated EU partners, there are no FTA's for Switzerland". Did you touch on that one yet?
I'm not sure if you have realized it or not, yet, but it occurs to me that this thread has devolved to just you and me taking turns clapping with one hand. and about an issue that really is not all that relevant to the OP, especially not once we get into the history of the development of Switzerland as a tax haven. I offered my original post on the subject because I always find it frustrating to try and discuss economic, immigration or other issues regarding Switzerland with people who have virtually no broader concept of what is driving those issues.

in terms of FTA's, the EU and the impact of MEI...there won't be any. the Swiss authorities are already pushing very firmly to revise the country's tax regimes, in large part to ease some of the pressure the country has been getting from the EU. there is also a push to harmonize taxes amongst the cantons, although that one will be much trickier. so the question about the country's development as a tax haven over the last 25, or 50, or even 100 years is really not all that important to what comes next.

and now, because this thread could probably use it, I offer you a little humor. as with most humor, however, it comes with something of a message, which starts at about the 3:03 mark.

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  #1365  
Old 15.12.2014, 21:40
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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look, I usually like your posts, but acting like an intellectual tough guy is just plain silly.
This is nothing personal. I like a great share of you posts as well, but asking for sources is hardly "acting like an intellectual tough guy".

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what I posted is hardly rocket science,
This is just yet another iteration of "it's common knowledge". If this is the case, it must be painfully simple to produce adequate sources.


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it is part of what I do for a living and the principal reason I am living in my second European tax haven in the last 5 years.
If you were working for the BFS or the OECD that would be something else. If you are, on the other hand, not a specialist on the macroeconomic influence of these regimes, but are otherwise involved in that industry, it would make your, unsourced, information and observations rather less valuable because the higher risk of being influenced by observation bias.

It's the same reason why PWC is about the worst possible place to ask for such information. Living in the car park doesn't make one an expert on the number of cars in the world or their distribution.

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if I have to cull all of the available public information to demonstrate to you the use of tax-efficient capital structures in countries like Switzerland before having a discussion
No, not the use. The use is completely irrelevant. And "like Switzerland" is completely offtopic. The only thing of relevance here is the influence of such structures on a macroeconomic level in Switzerland. And that is not even one of the core questions. The core questions are:

  1. How (if at all) will the MEI be implemented?
  2. Will the EU take any steps against Switzerland based on what happens in 1?
  3. What will these steps be?
  4. How will this influence Switzerlands economy?
You are currently at step 4.



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then there is candidly no point in trying to have a discussion - the issue is just plain that obvious.
There is candidly no point in having a discussion without hard, cold facts.

Let me lead by example and back that up with a source (its only Wikipedia though ):
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A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability, that is, whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to experience. Standard reference works are often used to check facts. Scientific facts are verified by repeatable experiments.
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unfortunately, permanent establishment issues are different in the Cayman Islands than in Switzerland or Luxembourg, otherwise I would be trying to figure out a way to move there where the weather is a little nicer.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegDat...74_REV1_EN.pdf

EDIT: here is a Bloomberg article regarding Caterpillar, there are also other articles available which describe in somewhat greater detail the capital structure used b Caterpillar. it's important to note, of course, that nothing Caterpillar did was illegal, and I would hardly even consider it unethical, immoral or anything else, since there is nothing wrong at all with minimizing tax obligations - either for businesses or for individuals.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-0...-maneuver.html
This is, again, another example. Anecdotal evidence is really of no use here.
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Last edited by 11HoursInTheTinPan; 15.12.2014 at 21:48. Reason: typo
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  #1366  
Old 16.12.2014, 11:25
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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This is nothing personal. I like a great share of you posts as well, but asking for sources is hardly "acting like an intellectual tough guy".


This is just yet another iteration of "it's common knowledge". If this is the case, it must be painfully simple to produce adequate sources.



If you were working for the BFS or the OECD that would be something else. If you are, on the other hand, not a specialist on the macroeconomic influence of these regimes, but are otherwise involved in that industry, it would make your, unsourced, information and observations rather less valuable because the higher risk of being influenced by observation bias.

It's the same reason why PWC is about the worst possible place to ask for such information. Living in the car park doesn't make one an expert on the number of cars in the world or their distribution.



No, not the use. The use is completely irrelevant. And "like Switzerland" is completely offtopic. The only thing of relevance here is the influence of such structures on a macroeconomic level in Switzerland. And that is not even one of the core questions. The core questions are:

  1. How (if at all) will the MEI be implemented?
  2. Will the EU take any steps against Switzerland based on what happens in 1?
  3. What will these steps be?
  4. How will this influence Switzerlands economy?
You are currently at step 4.




There is candidly no point in having a discussion without hard, cold facts.

Let me lead by example and back that up with a source (its only Wikipedia though ):

This is, again, another example. Anecdotal evidence is really of no use here.
i have to agree with crazygringo, it is no secret that the success of switzerland is founded on banking secrecy and tax avoidance.

anyone with a moderate interest in this should be able to educate themselves quite quickly. i find it surprising that one of the hottest topics in EU-Swiss relations seems to have passed many of you by:

https://www.walderwyss.com/publications/1337.pdf

Numbers are much more secretive, but many some are announced publicly:

http://www.fr.ch/ww/de/pub/functions...l&NewsID=49088

others can be reverse engineered from the inter-cantonal payments, or inferred from the number of companies re-domiciling to benefit from favourable tax regimes (take a look at schaffhausen).
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  #1367  
Old 16.12.2014, 11:28
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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And why is it then that the rest of the world was not doing the same thing with taxation .. I mean if that is all that is needed to have economic growth .. why, then the others are morons!" - or something to that nature.
I can tell you the answer to that, but you could probably work it out for yourself if you took some time to think about it. Clue: look at which countries have a successful business as tax havens and see what they have in common.
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Old 16.12.2014, 11:36
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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i have to agree with crazygringo, it is no secret that the success of switzerland is founded on banking secrecy and tax avoidance.

anyone with a moderate interest in this should be able to educate themselves quite quickly. i find it surprising that one of the hottest topics in EU-Swiss relations seems to have passed many of you by:

https://www.walderwyss.com/publications/1337.pdf

Numbers are much more secretive, but many some are announced publicly:

http://www.fr.ch/ww/de/pub/functions...l&NewsID=49088

others can be reverse engineered from the inter-cantonal payments, or inferred from the number of companies re-domiciling to benefit from favourable tax regimes (take a look at schaffhausen).
About "anyone with a moderate interest in this should be able to educate themselves quite quickly. i find it surprising that one of the hottest topics in EU-Swiss relations seems to have passed many of you by:"

Sadly I am not surprised

There seems to be some people in EF who are isolated from the real world; luckily not the majority
Sorry I cannot quote a source for this observation
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  #1369  
Old 16.12.2014, 11:38
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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I can tell you the answer to that, but you could probably work it out for yourself if you took some time to think about it. Clue: look at which countries have a successful business as tax havens and see what they have in common.
Please do enlighten me ... what do these all have in common ... ? http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/06/tax...ium_slide.html
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Old 16.12.2014, 11:43
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Please do enlighten me ... what do these all have in common ... ? http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/06/tax...ium_slide.html
it states it right in the introduction - lack of banking transparency and a favorable tax regime.

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  #1371  
Old 16.12.2014, 11:44
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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There seems to be some people in EF who are isolated from the real world;
You know what? - For me the "real world" consists mostly of my wife, kids, extended family, my friends, my work, day-to-day life etc ... Not in the intricacies of global or International finance! So while I may not be part of YOUR "real world" that does not legitimize you as having some sort of one-up on me - as I am sure in my line of work I could just as well say to you that you too are "isolated" from my "real world"!!
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  #1372  
Old 16.12.2014, 11:47
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it states it right in the introduction - lack of banking transparency and a favorable tax regime.

Wow - isn't that kinda stating the obvious!?
And how does that answer my question ... if that is all that is standing in the way of economic growth, why don't other nations adopt less "banking transparency" and more "favorable tax regimes"?

If the solution to economic growth is simply and purely this - why haven't many more nations gone along with this!?
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Old 16.12.2014, 12:07
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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Wow - isn't that kinda stating the obvious!?
And how does that answer my question ... if that is all that is standing in the way of economic growth, why don't other nations adopt less "banking transparency" and more "favorable tax regimes"?

If the solution to economic growth is simply and purely this - why haven't many more nations gone along with this!?
About "Wow - isn't that kinda stating the obvious!?"

Well you did ask so presumably you did not see the obvious?
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  #1374  
Old 16.12.2014, 12:22
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

Nevermind - I give up on this for now ... the nature of my question is very plain and should be obvious - but I get that some here might want to beat around the bush. Waste of time.
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Old 16.12.2014, 12:32
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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Wow - isn't that kinda stating the obvious!?
And how does that answer my question ... if that is all that is standing in the way of economic growth, why don't other nations adopt less "banking transparency" and more "favorable tax regimes"?

If the solution to economic growth is simply and purely this - why haven't many more nations gone along with this!?
I never said it was the solution to economic growth, I simply said it was the solution chosen by Switzerland (and also Luxembourg and increasingly Ireland).

for starters, look at the population size of Luxembourg, Switzerland and Ireland as compared to Germany. with 80+ million people, Germany cannot possibly provide employment for its citizens solely by relying on the government, banking and service sectors. it also, historically, has had a very strong manufacturing sector, and as a result its economic policies have developed differently. and purely from a policy perspective, countries like Germany don't want to race Switzerland to the bottom on tax rates, they would rather pressure Switzerland into greater transparency and cooperation on cross-border tax issues (which is already happening).

banking secrecy is something different altogether, and it will be going away in Luxembourg and Switzerland anyway (to the extent it has not already).

fyi, if you read the interwar academic study I linked to, I believe it also offers some theories as to why tax and other economic policies developed differently in Switzerland.

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Old 16.12.2014, 12:39
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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for starters, look at the population size of Luxembourg, Switzerland and Ireland as compared to Germany.
ding! ding! ding! we have a winner!
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Old 16.12.2014, 12:54
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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for starters, look at the population size of Luxembourg, Switzerland and Ireland as compared to Germany. with 80+ million people, Germany cannot possibly provide employment for its citizens solely by relying on the government, banking and service sectors. it also, historically, has had a very strong manufacturing sector, and as a result its economic policies have developed differently. and purely from a policy perspective, countries like Germany don't want to race Switzerland to the bottom on tax rates, they would rather pressure Switzerland into greater transparency and cooperation on cross-border tax issues (which is already happening).
Sorry, but I've been out of loop and have not read all the posted links. Is it your thesis that Switzerland's economy is mainly due to its banking secrecy and taxation? And most of its people are employed by the government, banking and service sectors? People chose to operate from Switzerland because it is considered a safe haven, predictable and reliable. Are you attributing this all to government policies? Do you think ANY country can implement the same exact policies and achieve the same results?
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Old 16.12.2014, 13:13
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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Sorry, but I've been out of loop and have not read all the posted links. Is it your thesis that Switzerland's economy is mainly due to its banking secrecy and taxation? And most of its people are employed by the government, banking and service sectors? People chose to operate from Switzerland because it is considered a safe haven, predictable and reliable. Are you attributing this all to government policies? Do you think ANY country can implement the same exact policies and achieve the same results?
The Swiss economy is not mainly due to banking and taxation, but I think the cream on top that allows for better public services while keeping income taxes low comes from it.

Being able to offer these financial services to the EU is therefore important to keep the CH of today going. Though many people dismiss concerns about the bilaterals failing as doomsday scenarios, if they failed, I think this cream on top would start to disappear, especially with the greater scrutiny given to tax structures these days.

Depending on your point of view, would standards of living falling to that of Bavaria or Baden-Würtemmberg be doomsday?
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Old 16.12.2014, 13:30
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

I understood banking is about 10% of Swiss GDP, and manufacturing is more than twice its size. Nevertheless, it would all get affected by cancelling the Bilateral. But I don't see anyone in their right minds calling for the cancellation of the Bilateral, just renegotiation of it. It would hurt both sides to outright cancel it.

Now is not a very good time to move on this issue, but not to say it should be completely forgotten. It may take 5 or more years to find the right opportunity with the right leverages.

In regards to MEI, the key contention is Schengen. Should there be any reconsideration of Schengen regulation across Europe, I understand Switzerland can opt out. With Britain and Germany starting to grumble, the work could be done by other countries on Switzerland's behalf.
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Old 16.12.2014, 13:35
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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In regards to MEI, the key contention is Schengen. Should there be any reconsideration of Schengen regulation across Europe, I understand Switzerland can opt out. With Britain and Germany starting to grumble, the work could be done by other countries on Switzerland's behalf.
Britain is not in Schengen.

As for German grumbling, I've heard a lot of German grumbling about the EU etc, but not much about Schengen in particular.
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