Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday's Tages Anzeiger headline

Not sure how big the headlines were in the US, but the culmination of the US Justice Department's war against UBS and Swiss Banking Secrecy filled the first 3 pages of the Tages Anzeiger on Friday. The headline reads "Banking Secrecy: Still Only a Myth". The photo of the US Justice's bullet piercing the sealed vault of Swiss Banking is followed on page 2 by a massive bullet, destined to destroy the entire operation.

See more on the story here and here

Thursday, February 19, 2009


After a few months of grey skies, it has been very nice to see the sun. Today we lunched outside despite the temperature. The Thompsons visiting from London were also in need of the Vitamin D boost:

This lady was soaking up the sun in style:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Marshall, meet Marshall

Marshall (the twin brother) had a surprise work trip to Scotland and stopped by Zurich en route. Marshall (the boy) was quite pleased to meet Marshall (the uncle).

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A few other notable opinions...

Townes on naps:

Townes's view on breasts:

Townes's views on strolling time:
Townes's view on bear suits:

Townes on the new Keynesian economists and the view that a fiscal stimulus plan will bring relief from recessionary pressures in the short term by increasing consumer demand, thereby resulting in a higher GDP and lower unemployment:

Monday, February 02, 2009


A collection of economists' views on the fiscal stimulus plan:

Jeffery Sachs

Thomas Sowell

Milton Friedman (views on govt spending in general)

Joseph Stiglitz

George Soros

Paul Krugman

I ran into this one right before calling it quits:

Warren Buffett

For fear of falling into what one friend has called "the cult of Buffett", I offer up an excerpt from the PBS interview:

SG: But there is debate about whether there should be fiscal stimulus, whether tax cuts work or not. There is all of this academic debate among economists. What do you think? Is that the right way to go with stimulus and tax cuts?

WB: The answer is nobody knows. The economists don’t know. All you know is you throw everything at it and whether it’s more effective if you’re fighting a fire to be concentrating the water flow on this part or that part. You’re going to use every weapon you have in fighting it. And people, they do not know exactly what the effects are. Economists like to talk about it, but in the end they’ve been very, very wrong and most of them in recent years on this. We don’t know the perfect answers on it. What we do know is to stand by and do nothing is a terrible mistake or to follow Hoover-like policies would be a mistake and we don’t know how effective in the short run we don’t know how effective this will be and how quickly things will right themselves. We do know over time the American machine works wonderfully and it will work wonderfully again.

SG: But are we creating new problems?

WB: Always

The Swiss on the World Economic Forum

To keep those interested on what occasionally headlines in the Swiss newspapers (and because I've always liked that the Tages Anzeiger leads with editorial cartoons):

The headline reads "How Davos sees the world agenda". The picture is a bit small, unfortunately, but one of the guys on the end (clad in a massive fur coat and sipping champagne in the snow) is saying "I believe that we can now say, that the World Economic Forum has become more human". To the far right there is a frozen hand emerging from the snow drift with a tattered paper entitled "Human Rights".
It certainly would have been interesting to have been a fly on the wall during those closed WEF conversations. Especially to hear from some of the recent CEO's who have reduced their executive compensation to $1.00 for 2009. Also, I should note that I'm not sure if I necessarily agree with the linked editorial. Symbols have value, even if these guys have $50mm tucked away under the mattress...