August 19, 2009

What about the “lucky” 47.000?

Sir Joanna Chung reports that most probably UBS will hand over to the US tax authorities a list of about 5.000 tax-dodging clients of theirs, out of 52.000, “150 US clients of UBS investigated”, August 19.

My question is simple how do you pick out the 5.000? Lottery, profiling? Is there any auctioning out of the 47.000 not picked slots? If there is one who does the auctioning and to whom do the proceeds go… or are they split fifty-fifty? I mean, knowing this sort of information would be helpful in order to predict future USB profits or the path of the US fiscal deficit. Are these the innovative exit mechanism some big public spenders have been talking about lately?

No matter how guilty I might have felt were I among the 52.000, which I am not, phew, I am sure I would be extremely upset about finding myself among the 5.000 without understanding the how come.

Now for all the others out there, are these 5 out of 52 the odds they should include in their financial and tax models, or do you believe these odds will vary much depending on who are the negotiators and on whose behalf they are negotiating?