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Switzerland

Why Swiss Banks Might Not Want Your Money Anymore

A new tax agreement signed with Germany, Britain and Austria has the smaller Swiss banks thinking about "phasing out" customers from these countries, while bigger banks like UBS and Credit Suisse are rubbing their hands with glee.

Swiss Kantonalbank (Emerald Ann Bonzi)
Swiss Kantonalbank (Emerald Ann Bonzi)

ZURICH - Swiss financial institutions are starting to think about which foreign clients are worth keeping – and which ones aren't.

If clients aren't rich enough, or the potential number of clients in a certain country is too small, it may not be worthwhile for banks to keep them on. Switzerland has signed agreements with Germany, Great Britain and Austria to levy taxes on undeclared assets held in its banks as well as a withholding tax on future client income. These new rules could cost banks as much as $518 million according to the Swiss Bankers Association (SBVg).

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Geopolitics

The Days After: What Would Happen If Putin Opts For A Tactical Nuclear Strike

The risk of the Kremlin launching a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine is small but not impossible. The Western response would itself set off a counter-response, which might contain or spiral to the worst-case scenario.

An anti-nuclear activist impersonates Vladimir Putin at a rally in Berlin.

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARISVladimir Putin could “go nuclear” in Ukraine. Yes, this expression, which metaphorically means “taking the extreme, drastic action,” is now literally considered a possibility as well. Cornered and humiliated by a now plausible military defeat, experts say the Kremlin could launch a tactical nuclear bomb on a Ukrainian site in a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

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In any case, this is what Putin — who put Russia's nuclear forces on alert just after the start of the invasion in late February — is aiming to achieve: to terrorize populations in Western countries to push their leaders to let go of Ukraine.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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