(N.Morgan) The Swiss Bank has helped the ultra rich avoid
taxes for many years. The bank has up until this point, avoided
prosecution. Since taxes are unconstitutional, I think the Swiss Bank is
doing a service of sorts. In the video below, is an interview with Bill Black.
He’s an associate professor of economics and law at the University of
Missouri-Kansas City, white-collar criminologist, a former financial
regulator, author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One, and he’s a regular contributor to The Real News. I’ve included the transcript of the interview below.
NOOR: So, Bill, we want to get your
response to this Senate subcommittee report about Credit Suisse. And in
addition, the CEO, Dougan, claims only a handful of rogue employees were
involved in tax evasion. But the Senate investigation says as many as
1,800 employees were involved. That doesn’t sound like a handful of
BLACK: No. Sadly, it’s the usual story.
The Senate is very upset–and appropriately–at Credit Suisse and its
management. But it’s also very upset at the Swiss government, which has
pretended to cooperate but actually helped stall things at every point.
But probably most, the Senate expressed its disgust that the Department
of Justice has simply let this twist slowly in the wind. And, once
again, it’s the story that the really large banks and their senior
officers get to create massive violations of the law and they do so with
NOOR: And so Credit Suisse claims they
have, you know, acted within the full extent of what’s allowable in
Swiss law–that’s according to a statement they released. And, you know,
touching on a point you just mentioned, this Senate subcommittee, it was
critical of U.S. prosecutors on relying on Swiss courts rather than
U.S. subpoena law to get the names of these clients. Give us your
response to both of those.
BLACK: Sure. So the game that’s being
played by Credit Suisse is to say, oh, I would love to give you the
records, but, hey, I’ve been sued by the Americans of evading taxes,
their lawyers in Switzerland, and they say it would be violating Swiss
law on bank secrecy. So, you know, listeners and viewers who have seen The Bourne Identity,
well, you know, parts of that were true. And so they get enjoined,
Credit Suisse gets enjoined by the Swiss courts and say, you can’t turn
the information over under Swiss law. And by that time, two years had
gone by, and nothing has happened. And this has happened multiple times.
So by now, depending on the particulars, two years to seven years have
NOOR: And talk about the bigger picture
here. The Senate is obviously going after Credit Suisse because of this,
because this money is being protected from U.S. taxes. How big of a
problem is this? And talk about how this is hurting, how–putting
pressure on other U.S. taxpayers and how this is hurting revenue and the
BLACK: Well, that’s actually much more
complicated, ’cause in truth we don’t fund the government with tax
proceeds. I know everyone thinks we do, but that’s not in fact how we do
it. So that isn’t really the issue. The issue is one of fairness and,
of course, of integrity.So one group of folks get to avoid much of their
tax liability, and we call that group the ultra wealthy. And then the
rest of us don’t get to do that. And the huge banks that make this
possible in Switzerland, Credit Suisse and UBS, plus over 100 smaller
banks that do this, become wealthy by doing so. And guess who bailed out
the huge Swiss banks when they were insolvent during the crisis, and
indeed made it possible for the Swiss central bank to survive? Well,
that would be the United States of America.
NOOR: Bill Black, thank you so much for joining us.