February 2, 2010 - Phil Hodgen

More on Germans and stolen Swiss bank information

Yesterday I posted about the German government looking to acquire stolen bank data from Switzerland.  A friend from Germany emailed me with some interesting additional information, and with his permission, here it is:


According to the news yesterday Angela Merkel supports buying the stolen data offered to the German government. There’s the usual slobber in the direction of the Swiss about mutual cooperation, respect, good relations, blah, blah, blah but the bottom line is they are prepared to pay to play. (The fact that crucial German mid-term elections in a heavily working-class state are coming up in May no doubt helped Angie & Co. overcome the ethical qualms raised by their (most well off) constituents about the unseemliness of buying stolen goods.)

In the meantime, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reports today that, according to information available to it, the Swiss bank from which the data was stolen was not HSBC’s Geneva branch, as the Financial Times Deutschland was speculating yesterday but rather, Credit Suisse.

Since it was the FAZ that broke the story over the weekend about the offer to sell the CD with 1,500 potential German Steuersünder (“tax sinners”), I would be prepared to bet that CS is it.

And, if it’s CS, odds are pretty good that there will be some saleable US names on that CD as well.

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