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.
That is an awesome way to present FATCA to the Swiss people. Any idea how many signatures the petition has garnered so far? I wish our Swiss friends the best and also wish that Canada had a referendum system too. I understand that referendum results are binding on the Swiss government, right? I don’t want to think too far ahead though (petition first) but I really do admire the democratic aspect of the Swiss way. Go Switzerland and good luck!
The anti-FATCA Swiss are going to have to counter the fear factor of the Swiss banking industry. The banking lobby will push for FATCA by smearing the anti-FATCA with fear of job losses, job security, and the end of the world. The Swiss need to stand up to FATCA for their own sake.
@Don: I do continue to encourage participation in the signature collection for anti-FATCA referendum in CH (not much time left as said) and in past months due to my health and that when I could work I have been chasing people for signatures and as to IBS suffering more than a bit of writer’s block for the situation appears bleak here in CH and there is much generation of fearfactor. People are either oblivious (which I can sometimes overcome by talking to them unless they are complete dimwits) and/or fearful (ability to educate them may depend upon their background, current situation, etc) or just think that the FATCA/FBAR/DC (FATBARDT COMPLEX) its a fait accompli and tell me to F* off and tell them something more interesting (like where I am going on vacation next, as if I had money to do so.)
FATCA-schmatca, the clear and present danger at this hour for hapless minnow USPs in CH is the so-called “program for Swiss banks”, read and suffer: http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/7532013829164644664074.pdf. Our traitor Federal Council has encouraged this program and a lot of Swiss banks have already signed up, or announced that they will do, including PostFinance, and many Cantonal banks, although the Post and Cantonal banks argue that they never actively sought USPs as clients (which I do sincerely believe)— go to their websites bcge.ch, bcv.ch, postfinance.ch, etc and look for press releases.
Read the PDF I cited above and tell me if you think they close all USP accounts they discover or only if they bother to ask at their discretion if under USD 50k.
As I have always said, the Swiss Constitution provides for a mandatory referendum in such cases. As far as I am concerned, prostration to FATCA constitutes adherence to a supra-national body or organisation. I wrote SIF, copy IBS months ago, and the response we got back was that it was not (bullshit!). I have since heard that SIF was advised by inter alia a German lawyer who was not versed in Swiss constitutional law or tradition and who now works for a Swiss bank in the department that works on FATCA implementation (carpetbager). Don’t ask me more, this is a confidential source that wants to remain so… but I find it scandalous and if I could get my hands on… I’ll stop here….
I have once again urged my Swiss friends who live in Geneva to sign the petition and to circulate it!
I wonder if Mopsick is still working with ACA?
Hello Flaherty? Harper? Shoom? Are you watching?? Reading???
@Jefferson D. Tomas
Welcome back. I was wondering the other day, where you had disappeared to. Thanks for this translation. The “What’s that?” term is similar to the one I picked up from an Israelis publication a couple years back. They just collectively called FATCA and FBAR, the Fwhat? forms, which we now affectionately call FuBar and FATCA$$
As for Mopsick, I think he is still part of the advisory council, but don’t know that that means much. Don’t know if they ever call on him or not.
Trojan Horse is exactly what Fatca is. Once signed, hidden in the pages is a worm that never stops in our private bank records. I wonder if the US plans to “graph” Canadian business trends with the FBAR results by looking at all the Business bank records they will receive…..
@Jefferson D Thomas
Thank you for the post. I wish those canvassing for signatures great luck in meeting the required numbers. There has been a fair bit of conversation on the “American Programme” here on Brock, at least on a couple of threads:
I hope I’m wrong but I feel “as Switzerland goes, so goes the rest of the world.”
@Em, yes referendum results are binding on the Swiss government, but like everything else it’s not just a case of saying yes or no to something and that’s it. The Swiss government has to work out how best to “do the will of the people” without upsetting the apple cart as it were. Usually it means some new legislation has to be drafted and approved so it can be several years between a referendum result and actual implementation. In this case it would probably mean the goverment going back to the US to renegotiate because we all know the US isn’t giving up on this unless they drop CBT completely. Or the Swiss goverment cuts loose the banks and they’re completely on their own trying to stand up to the US – which also wouldn’t go down very well with the Swiss public.
If the US insists on keeping to its deadline then what are the banks supposed to do? Refuse the US and face prosecution there or hand over data and face prosecution here. If a referendum did go ahead and the public voted no to FATCA it could make it even more difficult for Americans here to have access to banking facilities. America will continue to penalise banks it considers are helping hide US tax payers so the only thing the banks could do is dump every American client they have.
(sigh) Once again we have to lower our expectations. 🙁
Lets not forget that the outcome of the Swiss referendum will fly over the pages of a lot of papers and likely hit the media. The world is watching carefully and the outcome will likely be part of any other country’s decision to sign on. Other countries know this is going to either destroy them financially or weaken their own economies and this will not be an option. The world WILL decide the fate of Fatca, fines or not, they will all get together and take on another currency. For all we know, this might be in the works now. Don’t give up hope, instead, look to a “reasonable” future for the rest of the world as they will decide. Until the Swiss destruction, no other large country has had the full Fatca effect. The Swiss people, when they finally take the time to learn the hidden agenda of Fatca, will turn lovers of the US into haters easily, just like the rest of the world…… you’ll see!!
the following comes from voltairenet.org
FATCA, an extraterritorial law, violated the sovereignty of Switzerland
Is this the link?
Canada should listen up.
Thank you @Patricia for the heads up to this article, and @bubblebustin for the link re;
‘Sovereignty of Switzerland and other countries violated to a high degree:
Interview with National Councillor Lukas Reimann, Switzerland’
http://www.currentconcerns.ch/index.php?id=2584&print=1&no_cache=1 heads up
Some very astute observations that are relevant in every country:
“….That means that, if we adopt FATCA, we will be obliged to adopt all further developments and amendments to this agreement without being able to say a word on it. The USA can amend this agreement freely, and we will then “be permitted” to dutifully implement it.”
…..”What people come into focus by the agreement?
Not only the US citizens who live in Switzerland, but also, if for example you visited a US high school or studied at a university in the USA for a year, or if the spouse is a US citizen, you will be affected by this agreement. It’s extremely broadly defined who can be targeted by the authorities….”