Gadget42 Note: Just one more reason why your gold, silver, guns, ammo, and other survival supplies should be safely hidden away from the looters and their minions!
The approval averted a renewed conflict between the U.S. and Swiss governments over bank secrecy. If the deal had collapsed, Swiss banking giant UBS faced the threat of potentially crippling U.S. legal action.
Instead, the breakthrough paves the way for the Swiss government to turn over the names and account details of as many as 4,450 U.S. clients of UBS suspected of using undeclared accounts to hide income and evade taxes.
The fate of the international agreement was in limbo during the past week after the lower house of parliament initially rejected the deal and tried to put it to a national referendum, which could have delayed resolution until next year. Lawmakers agreed Thursday not to seek the referendum.
In ratifying the deal, the parliament in effect gave its blessing to a weakening of Swiss bank secrecy standards. The issue stirred deep passions in Switzerland, where bank secrecy is not just a tradition but one of the keys to the success of the nation’s economically important banking industry. The promise of privacy has helped Switzerland attract deposits from around the world. The U.S. government’s pursuit of tax dodgers has posed a threat to that system.