Romney’s Wife Had $3 Million in Secret Swiss Bank Account Through 2010; Not Reported in Federal Disclosure Forms

Remember how peculiar it was that presidential candidate Mitt Romney refused to release his tax returns? That was predictably a non-starter. Most voters probably assume the reason he resisted was to avoid the controversy over his strikingly low tax rate.

Another factor appears to have played into this decision. The release of the tax returns shows Romney neglected to disclose some required financial information in his personal disclosure form filed with the Office of Government Ethics last year. His team apparently timed the release of his tax records with the hope that State of the Union hooplah would dominate news coverage and result in his finances getting less attention than they might otherwise. And that appears to been correct. His failure to divulge information about 23 investments, and more important his use of secret Swiss bank accounts, has been given a free pass. As Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington director Melanie Sloan observed, “Mr. Romney says the errors are minor, but then again he also claims earning $374,000 in speaking fees isn’t much money.”

This anodyne coverage in a Los Angeles Times article from last week is typical:

Some investments listed in Mitt and Ann Romney’s 2010 tax returns — including a now-closed Swiss bank account and other funds located overseas — were not explicitly disclosed in the personal financial statement the Republican presidential hopeful filed in August as part of his White House bid.

The Romney campaign described the discrepancies as “trivial” but acknowledged Thursday that it was reviewing how the investments were reported and would make “some minor technical amendments” to Romney’s financial disclosure that would not alter the overall picture….

The campaign has emphasized that Romney has paid all required U.S. taxes on his foreign funds….

Among the assets omitted is a Swiss bank account in Ann Romney’s blind trust that held $3 million until it closed in 2010. The account was listed on a financial disclosure Romney filed in 2007, but it was mistakenly named as an asset held by the couple, not as part of Ann Romney’s trust. A campaign spokeswoman said Thursday that Romney will file amendments to both his 2007 and 2011 financial disclosures to correctly identify the bank account.

That account was at UBS. Pretty much anyone who follows the financial press known of the pitched battle between the US government and first UBS, then Swiss banking regulators, over Swiss bank secrecy. The US engaged in a series of prosecutions that led one UBS unit that catered to wealthy individuals to be shuttered as part of a deal in which UBS also turned over the names of several thousand US customers that the US suspected of engaging in tax evasion. This case effectively ended Swiss bank secrecy; the efforts of the Swiss to avoid divulging the names of its customers was front page news in the Financial Times for the better part of two years. This is the summary in Wikipedia:

UBS agreed on February 18, 2009 to pay a fine of $780 million to the U.S. government and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement on charges of conspiring to defraud the United States by impeding the Internal Revenue Service. Of the $780 million that UBS will pay, $380 million represents disgorgement of profits from its cross-border business; the balance represents United States taxes that UBS failed to withhold on the accounts. As part of the deal, UBS also settled Securities and Exchange Commission charges of having acted as an unregistered broker-dealer and investment adviser for Americans.

The day after settling its criminal case on February 19, 2009, the U.S. government filed a civil suit against UBS to reveal the names of all 52,000 American customers, alleging that the bank and these customers conspired to defraud the IRS and federal government of legitimately owed tax revenue. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) had given the United States government the identities of, and account information for, certain United States customers of UBS’s cross-border business as part of its criminal investigation in 2009. On August 12, 2009, UBS announced a settlement deal that ended its litigation with the IRS. However, this settlement set up a showdown between the U.S. and Swiss governments over the secrecy of Swiss bank accounts. It was not until June 2010 that Swiss lawmakers approved a deal to reveal client data and account details of U.S. clients who were suspected of tax evasion.

Let us stress: the US prosecutors were firmly of the view that the main purpose of these accounts was tax evasion. As the Financial Times noted:

Bradley Birkenfeld, Mario Staggl and “others known and unknown” were accused in the indictment, unsealed yesterday, of conspiring to defraud the US from at least 2001 by engaging in a scheme that included falsifying documents, helping to set up shell companies and destroying banking records…

The indictment said while marketing their services to wealthy US clients, Mr Birkenfeld and Mr Staggl claimed that “Swiss and Liechtenstein bank secrecy was impenetrable”.

That indictment was followed by the indictment of the head of the UBS’s global wealth management business.

The Financial Times provided some details on how customers who had accounts with that unit fared:

The criminal case alleged UBS had failed to prevent a handful of private bankers from helping US clients to evade tax. The evidence showed UBS had 20,000 offshore US clients holding $20bn in assets in an operation that generated revenues of $200m a year.

The disclosures included tantalising details about specially encrypted computers and training in counter-surveillance techniques for bankers before they travelled to the US. Bradley Birkenfeld, a former UBS private banker turned whistleblower, even admitted to having squeezed diamonds into a tube of toothpaste for a billionaire client determined to export assets without detection.

The UBS unit concerned, which employed 60-70 bankers, has been wound down. Clients are receiving letters informing them their accounts are being closed. While those whose holdings were declared to the IRS have nothing to fear, the rest face a bleak choice. Clients who transfer their money risk leaving a paper trail that could lead to scrutiny. Even those who sit on their funds may fear questioning. The letters advise clients to seek professional advice and consider coming forward voluntarily.

The unit was shut down in early 2009, but UBS did not settle the tax-related charges until later in the year, which then set off a battle royale between the Swiss banking regulator and the US over the secrecy of customer identities. The US sought the release of 52,000 names but settled for several thousand. An adverse court ruling in Switzerland led to further machinations, and the deal was effective in July 2010.

It appears that the Romneys kept this $3 million offshore until it was clear the secrecy gig was up (note it is not clear that their account was with the unit that was targeted in the probe). Even though it is pretty unlikely that they were among the customers whose names were turned over to the US ($3 million is chump change in private banking), Swiss accounts were no longer assured of safety.

The answers given by the Romney’s financial advisor about this account aren’t entirely satisfactory. From Reuters:

Brad Malt, who oversees the Romney blind trusts, said on the conference call that Romney’s wife’s trust had a $3 million bank account at UBS AG, the Swiss banking giant. Malt told Reuters he closed the UBS account in late 2010.

“I am aware that there have been some allegations recently that some Swiss bank accounts have been used to evade taxes – I would like to emphasize that this account is not … one of those,” Malt said.

“I decided to remove any possible source of embarrassment,” he said, adding that “taxes were all fully paid” on the UBS account and that he closed it because “it just wasn’t worth it.”

The closing of the account came amid a crackdown by the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Swiss and Swiss-style banks suspected of selling offshore tax evasion services to wealthy Americans.

The Romney campaign said on Tuesday in an emailed response to a reporter’s queries that the UBS account held by Ann Romney’s blind trust “was set up for diversification.”

The email described the account as “a passive bank account that simply earned interest. It did not make any other investments. It did not pay any bills.” The email went on to say that the account was “fully compliant with all tax laws.”

The problem is that the story does not add up. Diversification? Huh? You don’t diversify by putting money in a no-yielding cash account in Switzerland; you can hold cash as an asset class far more simply and at better returns pretty much any other way. The account earned a grand total $1.718, or .06%, in 2010; low returns were the usual tradeoff for vaunted Swiss secrecy. It might be that this $3 million was excess cash targeted for opportunistic investments and was never deployed.

So you have to assume that the Romneys did want the secrecy. After all, they were paying for it with terrible returns on their money. And if not for tax reasons, then why?

Moreover, one has to wonder whether the income from this account was reported on a current basis. The Romneys no doubt NOW paid the taxes due, query whether they paid them prior to the loss of certainty of account secrecy. The IRS launched a voluntary disclosure program in the wake of the UBS settlement, so it is possible that the relevant taxes were paid as part of that initiative, rather than on a current basis. Notice also that Romney delayed the release of his tax returns till January, and got his filings done early so he could report tax years 2011 and 2010 (I’m really impressed that someone with a tax situation as complex as his can file so early). What would his 2009 tax returns have shown? Was the Swiss account on them? (He could have amended them if they had been “missed”, but returns are seldom amended for small amounts).

Whether or not Romney has something to hide, the failure to include the Swiss account in his Federal ethics filing has him acting as if he has something to hide. Even if there was nothing technically amiss with what Romney did, having a large stash in a secrecy jurisdiction does not pass the smell test. It speaks of an intent to skirt the law even if that never actually took place.

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  1. tawal

    I can’t find a link to the actual tax return. Where are our 4th estate getting their information from? We should tax wealth(rather than *income*) before debt (no way to leverage up your assets to cheat the tax man). That would change the parameters of a lot of the inequality here in the US of A. Say, 100% over $1 billion. (Can’t not have our token billionaires, can we.)

      1. JamesW

        Thanks for mentioning Bradley Birkenfeld, who was quickly ushered into court and off to jail, under the Obama Administration, continuing the Bush agenda, needless to say!

        No doubt Phil Gramm, as vice-chair at UBS, was personally overseeing the Romney tax-evasion account?

      2. tawal

        Thanks Yves. Any idea were we can get the full return, with all the schedules? How were they able to tease out how much his donations were (Mormon church, etc.) from just the first two pages.

  2. bmeisen

    If B of A can have 53 trillion in derivative exposure and keep it off-balance then Ann can have a few million stashed in a Swiss bank account. They’re both personhoods.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Please do your homework. The Swiss Franc rose by roughly 7% in 2010, and the gain took place before the end of the year. This was stated as a dollar account and the minimal profit is consistent with it being a dollar denominated account.

      And you do not need to have a SECRET account in Switzerland to have Swiss franc exposure. You can do it much more cheaply via futures.

      1. JamesW

        Thanks for the sage and current info, plus (ROTFL) you could do the same through banks’ selling CDs in those currencies, which has become fairly common in American banks since 2007 or so.

      2. MT

        Tell that to the MF Global clients.

        Romney is a crony capitalist menace, but you are naive to think there are no legitimate reasons to hold cash (not futures) outside of the ever rising walls of this police state.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          This was pre MF Global. No fund manager in 2010 would have questioned the use of futures, and as JamesW pointed out, you could even use bank CDs. No reason to use a Swiss bank account to get Suisse exposure, and this was almost certainly not an account in SFr.

  3. Andreas Moser

    My question will give away that I have no idea (and why I am not a millionaire myself), but what’s the point of a Swiss bank account, as secret as it may be, if the return is 0.06 % ?

    Just putting it into a 1 % account would be a better deal, even if the tax rate on the earned interest was as high as 94 %.

    1. JamesW

      Untaxed money. Hidden money for future purposes.

      Read Nicholas Shaxson’s Treasure Islands to get the full lowdown on those 95 offshore finance centers and the purpose for their existence, then look into the background of the father of the American tax haven, Marshall Langer.

      (While you are so occupied, also look into the reason behind Dick Cheney’s godson, DJ Gribbin IV, seeking to privatize every toll road in America — something to do with those Koch brothers, I suspect?)

    1. James

      That’s Mitt Romney we’re talking about here, not Knute Rockne, right? Although I’m sure he gives a very good “Let’s win one for the Gipper” speech in what passes for the shallow Republican Party faithful’s minds, since that’s now an article of faith among the true believers.

  4. RueTheDay

    The real story is probably simpler, though no less infuriating to mainstream America – he has so much money he just can’t keep track of it. His campaign estimates his net worth at between $190 million and $250 million. With that kind of net worth, and an income of $21.6 million last year, it’s not surprising that he brushes off $374k in speaking fees and forgets about $3 million he tucked away in a Swiss bank account a few years ago as armageddon insurance. When certain politicians talk about shared sacrifice for the middle class and the need to go easy on the wealthy “job creators”, people should keep this situation in mind.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I beg to differ. Anyone who can file his taxes (and remember, he has lots of dough in funny foreign investments and partnerships) in less than a month after the year end has his finances VERY well under control. He seems to have thought he could get away with a false Federal disclosure filing because he was not going to release his tax returns. Even if the doesn’t remember the details, he has hired people to keep on top of that for him. And there is therefore no excuse for getting official filings wrong.

      1. Beat1119

        I think all this talk is very interesting. Of course Mitt has accountants that are very aware of his finances, and file his returns for him. The think I can’t understand is how forgetful people are depending on the party.

        I seem to recall a certain appointee of the President… I think his name was Timothy Geithner. He was touted as one of the most amazing financal minds, but he hadn’t filed taxes on his overseas income for 6 years because he didn’t know he had to.

        Mitt was born to a wealthy family. If you we as a people are supposed to be opposed to wealthy people. Then we should be looking very closely at Washington DC, and Hollywood Ca.

        Also, is you think that Mitt received a lot for speaking? I would like to see the Clinton’s income for speaking last year or anyone else that is a politico.

        1. JamesW

          “He was touted as one of the most amazing financal minds..”

          Sorry, but you may be a little confused, Beat1119.

          Geithner was reappointed to Treasury, first appointed during the Geo. H.W. Bush administration, probably because his granddaddy (on the Moore side) was the campaign manager for several generations of Romney politicians.

          (You might derive some pleasure from looking into Geithner’s family history and researching what previous Treasury secretary he’s descended from. Hint: the one with the administration just prior to FDR’s.)

          1. Kunst

            Yes, both parties are corrupt financially. The Republicans break the tie by being morally corrupt as well.

        2. James

          Always with the counterpointing to the democrats! Look around. I doubt you’ll find too many people here defending the democrats either – Clinton , Obama, or whomever. In fact, most see right through that two party bullshit as the cheap theater that it is.

          1. Smellslikechapter11

            While there is not much to choose btwn the parties, it does matter with the Supremes (and other judges) look at Bush v. Gore (no war in Iraq) or Citizens United ( no super PACs)

      2. L Goodmang

        he doesn’t want to release 2009 because he probably has such a large loss carried forward the effective tax rate is south of 5%

      3. Smellslikechapter11

        Yeah Bill gets a lot more but at least he was elected president twice and is an interesting speaker.

  5. Boston Scrod

    It’s hard to escape the irony that the Swiss Bank account belonged to the wife of the man whose central campaign slogan is “Believe in America.” Will anyone challenge him on this? (Of course, a realist would acknowledge that advertising exists for the sole purpose of distorting accurate impressions of reality and, as such, anyone with his eyes wide open would rhave ealized from the start that Mittens believes only in himself — and his church — but not his county.)

    1. James

      Ahh, go easy man. The man obviously had enough reserve belief built up that he had some left over for Switzerland too, that’s all. Wonder how much spare belief one could find rattling around under the Romney’s couch cushions on any given day? Nice problem to have as the upper crust say.

      1. James

        One of the distinguishing characteristics of 21st century capitalism is that the corporation and its plutocrats pay allegiance to any particular state only to the degree that any particular state first pays allegiance to it. No surprise then that both immediately go to work to infiltrate and capture their hosts (essentially leveraged buy outs, as there are of course promises and obligations to be met and/or repudiated in the aftermath), as if to say who’s your daddy now, bitchez? If Romney wins we might as well just kiss our asses goodbye officially. With Obama, we’ll get the same result of course, we’ll just have a political sideshow surrounding the main circus. Either way, game, set match. The corporate capture is a fait accompli for now at least. No amount of reform of the system will overturn the status quo now. We’re ALL corporate capitalists now, like it or not.

        1. F. Beard

          We’re ALL corporate capitalists now, like it or not. James

          Except that corporatism is based on an unstable money system and thus is unstable itself. It contains the seeds of its own destruction. There will one day be a boom-bust cycle too many if this present one is not it.

    1. CSMBarr

      the US economic problems begain because bush and him starting two wars and bailing out the banks to a toon of 5.7 trillion dollars borrowed from China. Where were you tea baggers while he was doing that? It seems easier to just blame all the US’s proplems on Pres. Obama. Remember this recession started in 2007.

  6. Capititalist

    After reading the comments, this site should be the Naked Socialism. While I would expect the non-investing class to attack someone for having a swiss bank account I wouldn’t have expected it from the investors. Is this really the new test???

    If you are wealthy and pay your taxes, you can’t be President. While if your a corrupt Chicagoan who runs crony capitalism from the west wing, the crony is qualified??

    Swiss bank account?? Any one have an ipad built in China??

    1. James

      How ironic that a self-proclaimed “Capititalist” can spell Socialist perfectly well, but the word Capitalist evidently not so much? Freudian slip? Couldn’t get your fingers to do the dirty work your egalitarian mind demanded them to?

      Socialism is already the new capitalism for the much of the 99% anyway, whether or not most of it is government sponsored. The new socialism will be actual people taking care of other actual people, instead of soulless roboticons taking care of their f***ing portfolios.

      1. MacCruiskeen

        Is there a place one can go to study capititalism? That sounds like a form of economics worth having a firm grip on.

    2. Fraud Guy- Also

      Let’s review some of the main drivers of Romney’s fortune made from his vaunted “free enterprise” career at Bain:

      1) He raised billions of dollars from government pension funds and sovereign wealth funds that comprised a major portion of his investment capital;

      2) A meaningful part of his carried interest profit flowed directly from his ability to have portfolio companies avail themselves of the corporate tax deduction for debt service that he forced upon them;

      3) A meaningful part of the “increased efficiency” he brought to portfolio companies came from increased “tax efficiency”, which means deploying sophisticated tax lawyers to push the portfolio companies’ tax posture as far as the law would allow and, in some cases, into what is euphemistically referred to as “unsettled” areas of tax law. (see #2 above for another element of increased tax efficiency).

      Private equity is one of the business activities that is most closely intertwined with government. The idea that it is some kind of reasonably pure form of capitalism just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

      1. JamesW

        While nicely articulated, Fraud Guy-Also, I saw this elsewhere on the Web and think it might sum it up a bit better:

        Welcome to the (Romney) Matrix

        Mitt Romney’s individual contributors (please see end for list of financial institution contributors)

        John Paulson, hedge fund manager, Bob Mercer, Renaissance Technologies, Bill Koch, member of Koch family, and various other hedge fund managers and private equity LBO firms, etc.

        John Paulson was the hedge fund manager who made an estimated $5 billion one year betting on the economic meltdown thanks to a supertanker-sized amount of insider information. (Remember that when Alan Greenspan left his position as chairman of the Federal Reserve, he went to work for Paulson at his hedge fund.)

        To illustrate the direct wealth transfer in action: Paulson buys a credit default swap (CDS) for $1.4 million, which later pays out $100 million — and he does that any number of times.

        Paulson and the other banksters and hedge fundsters, now have their billions and A.I.G. and Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, et al., “must” be bailed out by the taxpayers — who later lose their jobs and homes or residences, and must go on “austerity” programs because Paulson and Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase and GE bought those CDSes and AIG and the others who sold them didn’t have any capital on hand to back them up.

        Bob Mercer’s Renaissance Technologies is an institutional investor in the major banks and oil companies which were heavily involved and responsible for the global meltdown as they speculated – or financially manipulated – the prices of oil, energy and commodities – jacking up the paper market price of oil to 13.8 times higher than the actual physical market by May of 2008 by super-selling oil futures to each other, forcing the price upwards.

        They used the same scheme to jack up the prices of refinery-involved chemicals and oil transportation costs (using forward freight futures to raise the price of supertanker rental and bulk carriers, etc.)

        Mitt Romney’s Fortune

        Born into wealth, Romney would accumulate even more by selling debt, loading companies with debt and more debt by taking out loans against companies in leveraged buyout deals to reward himself.

        He accumulated even more money by avoiding taxes; utilizing offshore finance centers in the Caymans, Switzerland, and other locations. (The leveraged buyout structure itself is predicated on tax avoidance and shifting the burden of taxation onto the workers due to the tax deductibility of debt payments.)

        This is what plutocracy looks like!

        (And his Super PAC individual donors)

  7. bob

    “If you are wealthy and pay your taxes, you can’t be President”

    The whole point of a swiss account is to not pay taxes, try again..

  8. The Hube

    my recollection is that he filed his 2010 return and an estimate for his 2011 return. No way his 2011 return is done this early. There are too many other entities feeding into it-partnerships, which no doubt have other partnerships feeding into them, would almost certainly not be done by now. I remember noting when I loked at the 2010 return that it was signed by the preparer on October 15, 2011, the last allowable day for filing with extensions.

    As to that Swiss account, the only reason you set up an account like that is to hide something. What I would like to know is when did the money go in and what was the source.

  9. Norman

    How grand it is to be a multi-millionaire in this country, you can do what ever your heart desires and probably get away with it. No wonder we’re in the toilet.

  10. Fraud Guy- Also

    And what about the Romney campaign admitting in the NYT that the disclosed return contains an inaccurate statement to the IRS, where the 83(b) election states the he “performed services” in return for receiving a new profits allocation from Bain X in 2010? Here the campaign is admitting that he lied to the IRS on his return, since it would be very problematic to be telling the public now that Romney was working behind the scenes for Bain as recently as a year ago. Yet the talking point is, “The lie doesn’t matter because it didn’t change his tax liability.” Do you believe that? Come on, highly expert tax lawyers at Ropes and Gray don’t file 83(b) elections for nothing, especially when they know that to achieve the safe harbor that they are seeking, they need to lie about their client’t employment status in a material way. I predict that this thread, when pulled on, will unravel in a very damaging way for Romney.

  11. Ed

    I’m also paranoid, but my paranoia is taking a somewhat different direction.

    It seems to me that this stuff and the record at Bain Capital makes Romney unelectable. Even if people really want to vote out the incumbent (mainly due to high unemployment), they are going to replace him with someone who made tons of money firing workers and then hid (some of) the money in Swiss bank accounts? Surely senior people in the Republican Party are aware of this too, but they are apparently going to nominate him anyway.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Sure looks like a setup doesn’t it, Obama’s insurance policy? Put up an opposition troupe of manifestly unelectable clowns, villains, and theocrats, all with attention-seeking-ego-disorders, and thus guarantee the reelection of Wall Street’s consummate Trojan horse. The puppet masters keep their stealth emperor while maintaining the illusion of democracy with the equivalent of bread and circuses at the media coliseum.

  12. Bj Lind

    US aw requires that a form called an FBAR be filled listing all foreirgn financial accounts. This is irrespective of whether any tax is owed. Mr Romneys advisors have worded their statement in such a way as to not reveal if this form was filed failure to file by itself is subject to substantial civil penalties and can even result in criminal prosecution. Can anyone verify if the Romneys have complied with this reporting requirement?

  13. Bj Lind

    US aw requires that a form called an FBAR be filled listing all foreirgn financial accounts. This is irrespective of whether any tax is owed. Mr Romneys advisors have worded their statement in such a way as to not reveal if this form was filed failure to file by itself is subject to substantial civil penalties and can even result in criminal prosecution. Can anyone verify if the Romneys have complied with this reporting requirement?

  14. Schofield

    Let us not forget that Mitt Romney made his fortune in part by luring in American tax evasion money from foreign tax havens for investment in the States. Romney is a specialist tax evasion cheater. God Save America if it elects this looter as President.

      1. farang

        Unless you can offer proof or verification that the serial hanging-chad state’s vote count (F-L-A) is on the up and up, I submit we don’t have a clue who wins what where.

  15. frank c

    The real question is how much was deposited into the account, when it was deposited and what were the sources of those funds?

    I am less concerned with their current interest earnings.

    What if only $100,000 was originally deposited and it mushroomed to $3,000,000. Was any cap gains tax paid? What was that underlying investment?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes, I didn’t want to go there, but the usual reason to use foreign accounts is to not report income. As in you’d assume the $3 million or a portion of it was offshore earnings they didn’t want to report. I should have made that a passing comment in the post rather than omitting that.

      The fact that they got so weird about an account with a mere $1700 in income does not add up.

      1. Carla

        Yves: “Yes, I didn’t want to go there, but the usual reason to use foreign accounts is to not report income.”

        Why didn’t you want to go there?

  16. Tim

    Well hey, when you’re worth $272 mil it’s easy to overlook what went on with a mere three million you’re wife was playing around with. I’m not being sarcastic here.

    I’m sure he wishes she never had that account at this point, since it’s likely to cost him more than they ever advantaged from it in the past. I can imagine him yelling at his wife “DIDN”T I TELL YOU TO USE THAT MONEY TO BUY A HOUSE IN DAVOS!? BUT NOOOOOOOO, YOU NEVER LISTEN DO YOU?!!!”

  17. Crazy Horse

    There is a physical law in politics that is as absolute as the law of gravity in physics: If the lips are moving the politician is lying.

    President Obama is an incredibly skilled practitioner of the art, serving his masters well while soothing liberals and other fools with platitudes of hope and justice. However he does have a problem. After four years in which every position and promise was a lie, it becomes increasingly difficult to sell yourself as a born again man of the people, and the fat cats that control your purse strings don’t like being called fat cats in public even though their hedge fund accounts are being further stuffed with loot.

    Romney has a different problem which stems from the fact that he is a cyborg attempting to masquerade as a human. The programers who wrote its software were perfectly capable of scripting Diebold voting machines in Ohio to produce the desired result for Lil bush, but the Romney program is clearly beyond their grasp. How else to explain the continual glitches in the lying module that let statements like “I don’t care about the very poor” come out?

  18. Douglas

    Get your bearings straight. Bradley Birkenfeld was the UBS whistleblower who started all of these investigations into UBS. Birkenfeld voluntarily initiated contact with the IRS, DOJ, SEC and Senate in 2007 and gave them the inside information that resulted in exposing this UBS operation. The DOJ and IRS weren’t even investigating UBS before Birkenfeld came to them in 2007 and told them to open an investigation.

    To understand why the Bushies at DOJ targeted Birkenfeld while secretly giving immunity to the UBS kingpin, Martin Liechti, you first need to understand how they politically corrupted the investigation from Day One.

  19. Hugh

    Taxes, like laws, are for the little people. As Romney keeps reminding us, he is not little people.

    People, even big important crooked people like Romney don’t act randomly. They do things because they have a reason to. Now there are reasons other than secrecy and tax evasion as to why someone would open a Swiss bank account and stick $3 million in it. But let’s be real. None of those reasons would have applied to Ann Romney. Let us also be real about blind trusts. If you are rich enough to have money to put in a blind trust, it doesn’t take a lot of smarts to know where it is going. Just the choice of who will manage the trust will tell a lot about where it is going even without all the winks and nods. Blind trusts just seem to me so much razzle dazzle for the rubes.

  20. Robert Piatt

    it is perfectly legal to have a swiss bank account if you file a foreign bank account report and pay taxes on the income.

    if it is a disclosed account it is perfectly legal.

    we are still free in this country are we not.

  21. Robert Piatt

    after lehman fell, citigroup would have collapsed, bank of america would have collapsed, merrill went belly up. pnc bank, 53rd bank, all needing bailouts, and hundreds of small bank failuressince 2008, 2009, and the whole u.s. financial system on the verge of collapse in 2008. fdic insurance only covers 250,000. most brokerage accounts up 5 million and only less in cash. after what happened, it actually is good to have a small percentage of your fortune if your romney in one of the safest most stable banking systems in the world convertible to swiss francs and not futures, how idiotic, at a moments notice if the whole u.s. financial system implodes.
    so the guy is smart and as long as he disclosed it on his foreign bank account report perfectly free and legal to do so.

    are we in the u.s. or russia here.

    sounds like some commies here.

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