Final Word from Wednesday, December 9, 2015

To paraphrase a movie line, Swiss bankers love their money more than their children, and they love their children very much. A customer takes a distant third, and a non-customer might as well be a smudge on the wall. It wasn't always this way. Customers were treated as royalty until the U.S. forced the Swiss to violate their own bank-secrecy law and to rat out some Yankee tax dodgers. Some people say it was this turn of events that led Swiss prosecutors to go after Czechs in the MUS case. As we noted at the time, the unwillingness of the Swiss to part with their first love (money) probably also played a big role. The Kč 12bn in MUS money was stolen from Czech taxpayers, but the Swiss are the ones who kept it. We don't mean to excuse the Swiss misadventures of MEP Miloslav Ransdorf, but when he says that he likely stepped on the toes of someone in the powerful Swiss banking sector, it's worth giving the possibility some consideration. [Czech Republic United States of America Communist Party KSČM evasion Switzerland]

Glossary of difficult words

smudge - a blurred or smeared mark on the surface of something;

to rat someone out (or to rat on someone) - to inform on someone to a person in a position of authority;

tax dodger - a person who practices tax avoidance or tax evasion;

to go after someone - to pursue or prosecute someone;

misadventure - an unfortunate incident or mishap;

to step/tread on someone's toes - to offend someone by encroaching on his or her area of responsibility.

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