Two years ago when the US bailed out UBS and Switzerland from a brief but potentially terminal liquidity crisis, it succeeded in extracting a historic pound of flesh: it forced UBS to declassify thousands of bank accounts of US tax evaders which was the first nail in the centuries-old concept of Swiss bank secrecy. Today, Rudolf Elmer, a former COO of one of the biggest Swiss banks, Julius Baer, may have just nailed the last, and with that set off a chain reaction that will force a huge outcry against pervasive global tax fraud (but likely achieve nothing ultimatel). According to the Guardian, tomorrow Elmer will hand over details of 2,000 "high net worth individuals and corporations" to WikiLeaks which will make him "the most important and boldest whistleblower in Swiss banking history." And since among those exposed will be "approximately 40 politicians" expect all hell to break loose as photos of Assange having a underage orgy with Al Qaeda members are suddenly made public to diffuse what is bound to be another huge (if brief - after all human kind cannot bear very much reality).
From the Guardian:
British and American individuals and companies are among the offshore clients whose details will be contained on CDs presented to WikiLeaks at the Frontline Club in London. Those involved include, Elmer tells the Observer, "approximately 40 politicians".
Elmer, who after his press conference will return to Switzerland from exile in Mauritius to face trial, is a former chief operating officer in the Cayman Islands and employee of the powerful Julius Baer bank, which accuses him of stealing the information.
He is also – at a time when the activities of banks are a matter of public concern – one of a small band of employees and executives seeking to blow the whistle on what they see as unprofessional, immoral and even potentially criminal activity by powerful international financial institutions.
This is interesting: after all it was Zero Hedge that about 18 months ago suggested that all financial professionals should be very concerned: after all, all it takes is one sloppy firing, or one departure without the appropriate non-disparagement and non-truth telling clause, and all hell could break loose as those who were part of the inner sanctum suddenly find themselves on the outside... and wanting revenge. Elmer is just first of many. In the meantime, we hope that every single hedge fund, starting with that particular one in Stamford and going all the way down, has made plans regarding termination of its employees. All it takes is one person who believes they may have been wrongfully terminated to approach the SEC themselves, or, even worse, some blog or alleged terrorist organization with a penchant for disclosing the truth...
More on what will soon be the biggest case of exposed international tax fraud:
Elmer says he is releasing the information "in order to educate society". The list includes "high net worth individuals", multinational conglomerates and financial institutions – hedge funds". They are said to be "using secrecy as a screen to hide behind in order to avoid paying tax". They come from the US, Britain, Germany, Austria and Asia – "from all over".
Clients include "business people, politicians, people who have made their living in the arts and multinational conglomerates – from both sides of the Atlantic". Elmer says: "Well-known pillars of society will hold investment portfolios and may include houses, trading companies, artwork, yachts, jewellery, horses, and so on."
"What I am objecting to is not one particular bank, but a system of structures," he told the Observer. "I have worked for major banks other than Julius Baer, and the one thing on which I am absolutely clear is that the banks know, and the big boys know, that money is being secreted away for tax-evasion purposes, and other things such as money-laundering – although these cases involve tax evasion."
Below is Elmer's more verbose explanation of why the game of mutual assured secrecy works...until it doesn't.
"Once you become part of senior management," he says, "and gain international experience, as I did, then you are part of the inner circle – and things become much clearer. You are part of the plot. You know what the real products and service are, and why they are so expensive. It should be no surprise that the main product is secrecy … Crimes are committed and lies spread in order to protect this secrecy."
What is interesting is that Elmer has penetrated not only onshore Swiss accounts, but offshore ones, anmely those located in the Caymans, which as everyone knows is the primary base of operations for tax evading "offshore" hedge fund LPs:
That first crop of documents was scrutinised by the Guardian newspaper in 2009, which found "details of numerous trusts in which wealthy people have placed capital. This allows them lawfully to avoid paying tax on profits, because legally it belongs to the trust … The trust itself pays no tax, as a Cayman resident", although "the trustees can distribute money to the trust's beneficiaries".
Now, Blum says, "Elmer is being tried for violating Swiss banking secrecy law even though the data is from the Cayman Islands. This is bold extraterritorial nonsense. Swiss secrecy law should apply to Swiss banks in Switzerland, not a Swiss subsidiary in the Cayman Islands."
Yet just like with cablegate, the end result of all this imminent disclosure will be merely the confirmation of what everyone has already long suspected: that nobody rich pays taxes, and all US, and world, politicians are massively corrupt. And therefore, no criminal charges will be filed against anyone. Expect of course Assange, who will soon be branded a threat to US national security.
Unfortunately, US society, having lost all forms of checks and balances. has gotten to a point where no incremental information will do anything to even dent the ponzi lie. After all, the simplest observations is that Madoff is in jail for life, while sacrifices are made on Ben Bernanke's altar each and every day. And they say gold is a religion...