BERNE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Switzerland will hand over details of about 4,450 UBS AG bank accounts to U.S. authorities, settling a tax dispute that has threatened Swiss banking secrecy, the two governments said on Wednesday...It seems to me that turning over customer records to the IRS threatens bank secrecy in much the same way that a successful career as a stripper threatens modesty. The existence of one pretty much means the other is a facade.
"This announcement today should send a signal ... [that] the IRS is willing to pursue both the institution and the individual," Internal Revenue Service commissioner Doug Shulman told reporters.
But I've always been a little dubious of the value of bank "privacy" and Swiss bank accounts in particular anyway, since if your wealth is on paper it can be tracked, and if it can be tracked, Uncle Sam will find it. Americans who expect that the government of Switzerland will protect them from their own government are a wee bit foolish, IMO. And you know that one about a fool and his money: they both end up in Obama's health care postal system.