Eric in Switzerland says
September 25, 2016 at 2:42 pm
It might be a novel but it sure isn’t fiction.
I could write a short book myself about lives turned upside down here in Switzerland. My elderly parents (American father/ Swiss mother) had their account shut down for a time by UBS. My American sister who only lived in the US until she was eight years old and her successful French husband went through FATCA hell in Geneva until she renounced out of desperation on their lawyer’s advice. FATCA wanted her French husband to cough up “back taxes” for the sin of sharing an account with his American wife…but you guys know all this.
I’ve had friends lose their house mortage, credit card accounts etc. I know an American couple who lived and prospered here since 1972 and were forced to sell everything and retire in the US although they had prepared for years to retire in Switzerland. FATCA made that Swiss retirement totally impossible. They spent a small fortune trying before just giving up.
I cannot speak for other countries in Europe but the Swiss banks are enforcing FATCA with a rare zeal. I am almost prepared to believe that they are collectively saying “You bloody American bastards want FATCA, well then we’ll give you FATCA even if it means chasing every goddam US citizen out of the country.”
I’m half Swiss. I have Swiss uncles, aunt’s, cousins, nieces, nephews and a Swiss half-brother from my Swiss mom’s first marriage. I know the Swiss. I have lived and worked and married into Switzerland since 1985. The Swiss are polite but they are definitely not docile. Above all they hate being pushed around; especially like this, and especially when it’s a foreign power doing the pushing.
The US used the carrot and the stick to force the IGA signing but really, in the end, all there was was the stick. The Swiss know this and they are very bitter.
I had lunch with my half-brother about two months ago. He is a very honest, wealthy, clever and hard working businessman based in Geneva. He’s mainly into real estate. He owns a dozen apartment buildings, restaurants, a tourist hotel near the Cornavin train station and who knows what else. He has never lived or worked in the US. He just turned seventy last July. So we were having lunch and he told me that he deeply resented having to fill out a new form for his bank stating that he had no dealings with any Americans in the form of partners,investors, etc. He told me that he called up his bank and said “what is this bullshit”!?. They just told him (politely of course) to fill it out and sign it or we’ll have to suspend all your banking activities until you do. They also said, again very politely, don’t get pissed at us and change banks because there’s no escape. All Swiss banks are doing this.
You can multiply this outrage by every single business account holder in Switzerland.
Oh congratulations Chuck Schumer D/NY. Oh job well done Charlie Rangel D/NY. Sterling idea there Carl Levin (ret.) D/MI. And finally, bravo mister president Barack Hussein Obama, you thick c%ç*. You have successfully pissed off the entire international business world and have made them puke at the very idea of getting an American “person” even remotely involved with their enterprise in any way, shape or form. Brilliant, just f&%*ing brilliant!
I am a proud US Navy veteran. I volunteered in 1974. The Navy launched my career in aviation maintenance which eventually took me all the way to working for Swissair. It makes me so sad to say that I never thought I would harbor so much hatred for my own country. It makes me cry to think that short sighted and insatiable greed has replaced every noble principle that America was originally founded on.