February 12, 2015

For access to confidential private Swiss banks accounts, why not “wealth asylum”, something like political asylum?

Sir, John Gapper writes “there are decent reasons apart from tax evasion, or even legal tax avoidance, for the wealthy to put money in Swiss banks”, yet he with reason asks “the rich”, whether that is “any way to behave”, since doing so they will “resemble money launderers”, “Private banks must be more than laundries” February 12.

But Sir, why should a rich have to give up his private Swiss bank account if his reasons are decent?

It seems that what could be needed is something like a Swiss government office where a person can go and request “wealth asylum”. He would there of course have to present reasonable evidence of his source of wealth not being illegal.

If granted, such asylum would offer special confidentiality rights, which would be guaranteed for as long as the Swiss government does not receive substantial proof that shows the application contained major falsehoods.

If Robin Hood could hide in Sherwood Forest why can’t wealthy hide in private banks? I mean let us be frank; there are many bad Sheriffs of Nottingham out there.

If persons are allowed to carry guns against bandits, why not, in these Piketty days, can the wealthy carry private Swiss bank accounts against some overly greedy government bureaucrats?

And sometimes even if its not all "legal": If a poor North Korean managed to evade paying taxes and escape with some money, should not his capital have right to anonymous asylum?

But why on earth should you think about putting the burden to decide about what’s decent and what’s is not, on a small bank clerk who might rarely been out of his country?

PS. Am I wealthy? No! But just like for instance a shoe-artisan in Milan knows it, I know that the higher the number of wealthy around me, the more likely I am to be better off… and so, sometimes, though not too frequently, I also have to think a bit about how to keep the wealthy wealthy. If you have to be a servant, then most often, though not always, you are better served having to serve a wealthy master.

I am very suspicious of those who seem wanting to promote shared poverty… because quite often it sounds like their populist business plan for trying to become very wealthy themselves. And I do oppose the redistribution profiteers

PS. But then, now and again, I get hit by the thought: "If the wealthy could not safeguard their wealth in other countries, then perhaps they would make a stronger stance and defend their wealth more in their own country". And that sometimes could be what is really most needed.