No offence, but …

First of all, “no offence, but” is just like saying, “with all due respect,” or “I don’t like to complain, but” …

Which is to say, I am about to be offensive.

The Swiss. I find them dodgy. Because I don’t have any Swiss friends I get away with my half-joking, tiny bit serious suspicions about the Swiss. These suspicions are that the Swiss are not to be trusted and I base this accusation on 5 things which strike me as inter-related evidence of dodgy-ness:

  1. Long-standing & extremely successful armed neutrality during the World Wars, despite being right smack in the middle of an intersection with Germany, France and Italy. 
  2. Extreme wealth and a totally secret banking industry
  3. World-renowned chocolatiers who make sure they stay thin by exporting the vast majority of their chocolate
  4. Spooky tidyness and orderliness of mountain villages and country towns and entire cities (probably something to do with their excellence in clock-making)
  5. Inventors of the Swiss Army knife (and, OK, OK … The Red Cross … but still)

This pristine, control-freakery coupled with the hoarding of secret money while giving the rest of the world a sugar-rush suggests to me that we should all pay a lot more attention to the potential dangers of the ever-so-quiet Swiss.

I bring this up today because my assignment is to investigate offshore banking. I don’t actually think this has anything at all to do with Switzerland, but I know there are tax advantages to having offshore accounts and that they are harder to track down, so it reminds me of Swiss banking.

Also, it seems a little WEIRD to me that I got this assingment right after the tax card I pulled last week. Spooky…


4 thoughts on “No offence, but …

  1. The Swiss are much to be admired.
    Finding themselves in a tiny landlocked mountainous country smack in the middle of belligerent neighbours they choose to build an economy which for the past two hundred years has had one of top ten GNP per capita statistics for their tiny ( 5 million ) population by choosing world class excellence in three areas…..instead of opting for mediocrity in many things like so many other small countries choose. Banking, timekeeping, and milk based foods…not just chocolate but also cheese, yoghurts etc.
    When other European nations lost their manufacturing industries to the cheaper and more innovative Far East in the 1970s and 80s……cameras, motorcycles, television sets etc, the Swiss reacted differently when they saw their global market share of watches decline from 50% to 15% in the decade of the 70s and through the Swatch not only recaptured 60% of the global watch market but also sold their Swiss quality components to the Japanese and Taiwanese watchmakers.
    The white cross on a red background Swiss national logo is associated all over the world with one thing……quality!!
    You may not want the Swiss as neighbours….nor are they particularly interested in you becoming their neighbour…… since they are not the “have a nice day” types associated with an American view of good neighbours…….but their products and their quality are indeed to be trusted.

  2. In an even more spooky coincidence, assuming your plans haven’t changed, you will be seeing you soon-to-be-a-swiss-home-owner friend this friday 😉

    1. Excellent! It’s the last thing I do before boarding my flight back to Ireland for Xmas. Perhaps a Swiss restaurant? Oh wait … they don’t exist!

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