The Vaud League (cosponsor organisation for the Anti-FATCA Referendum) has a very telling article on its website entitled “FATCA Kesako ?”
Kesako is an abbreviation for a phraselet in old southern French (to wit Occitane, see fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/kesako) meaning “What’s that?”, and I have prepared a quick translation of the first part of the article here. Much of what is said in the article could have come from an IBS or Maple post, and I think that such does show that our message has gotten to people that otherwise would not have had knowledge of our issues:
You might think you are not affected? Another one of these barbarian abbreviations that refers to Lord knows what nutty invention coming from the domain of high finance. Completely true, without doubt, because it is indeed a barbarian invention. But do not be deceived because first of all it could be that you are affected even if indirectly, and secondly it is one of the most facinating developments of the last twenty years that one must absolutely know about in order that we not be caught sitting with our arms folded while being ripped off by none other than Uncle Sam. And when I say “us” I am talking not only about Switzerland but also numerous other countries that are also targeted by FATCA.
You might think that I exadurate, probably to convince you to read this completely, or to rally you to some obscure conspiracy theory that I concocted in my spare time. In that case, do nothing, don’t sign the anti-FATCA referendum and don’t bother reading what follows. Wait calmly that your bank transmits your name to the American tax authorities in order that they demand 27.5% (best case) or 3 times (yes you read correctly) the amount of your Swiss bank capital, including your 2nd and 3rd pillars [read as company and IRA pension savings]. All of that under pain of criminal prosecution for money laundering.
Unless you are neither American, nor holder of a Green Card, nor born in the US, nor having a vacation home in the US, nor having an American telephone number, nor born of American parents, nor married to an American nor have never had any connection to an account held by somebody who fits into the above categories (as a power of attorney, wealth manager, lawyer etc.)… Well, if not [good] go about your business, it’s not your time yet. And further, that which you just read could shock you or have stirred up in you, by solidarity, the sentiment that it is your duty to defend certain fundamental principles [??].
Why didn’t our leaders get angry about this?
Other reasons must have prevailed for our elected officials when our government signed the FATCA [IGA] last February and when our Parliament ratified it on 23 September 2013. In their defense, one could always convince oneself that they did not understand the real extent of what was signed in favor of the US Treasury. In effect, the text requires a certain bit of decipering which I will attempt to undertake in order to save you from tedious reading. The good news is that there is still time to react, because a referendum has been raised. The unique thing about a Trojan Horse is that one generally doesn’t notice it or notices its effects too late. The Americans who have made us used to thinking that they are merely noisy cowboys from a John Wayne [western] that we could hear coming [a mile away] have proven themselves more sneaky than we would have thought in face of what is at stake here. What is at stake is enormous by the way, because it has to do with nothing less than the American debt and the who refinancing system that it depends upon…
The article goes on to expose the history of FBAR which it says existed but was dormant since 1980 (I think that is wrong, it dates from the 70’s if I remember correctly?). The draconian penalties and examples of unsuspecting victims and what OVDP penalties might mean for them are discussed.
The article of course urges one to sign the Swiss referendum (http://www.stop-fatca.ch/?lang=en) against FATCA, which I would urge all of you to push if you are a Swiss Citizen or know of Swiss Citizens (even resident abroad) to sign it. Remember, one sheet per voting jurisdiction. There are only a few weeks left, and practically speaking the last sheets should be sent in the mail before end of December. But if you get a few signatures after, go ahead and send them in up through the 1st week of January. They must be sent by normal postal mail to CP 6297, 1002 Lausanne, Switzerland.