The arrogance that has sunk UBS

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UBS is fighting for its survival, not just in the US, but quite possibly around the world following the exposure of the corporate corruption at the heart of its tax practise in the USA. But in the Observer today a senior UBS official is quoted as saying:

It does look bad. Everyone is pretty upset.

The Swiss government will not allow its wealth management to be badly damaged by this. I think the US government has to be very careful how it deals with foreign companies... The US, of all countries, needs foreign investment. It won't shoot itself in the foot. A lot of shareholders in UBS are US funds.

It is staggering that in the face of unambiguous evidence that UBS has been deliberately undermining the taxation revenues of the US that some of its senior management still believe that they can hold that country to ransom and get away with the crimes they have committed as a result.

I will have a lot more to say about this over the next few days, but in a separate article in the Observer today, this one with regard to the hearings of the Treasury Select Committee on tax havens which start on Tuesday I was quoted as saying:

As banks have become more powerful the core issue is: do tax havens have the ability to regulate them? Clearly they don't.

In fact, it would seem many in bank management believe they are entirely beyond the regulatory process, anywhere, and can hold anyone to ransom to secure the commercial advantage they want irrespective of the law. I think that they are in for a rude awakening, and soon.