"No one in Youngstown, Ohio has a Swiss bank account"…Except for Maybe That Big New Swiss Employer in Town?



Another day, another economically illiterate bleat by a Democratic politician about Swiss bank accounts. Bra-vo, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio):

"No one in Youngstown, Ohio has a Swiss bank account. Or Akron, or Cleveland, or down the Ohio River, or in the Appalachian part of Ohio," Ryan said. […]

"So I think it's gone too far -- that's why you're seeing these very high levels of inequality," he added. "Hopefully, there will be an appreciation for speaking to that. And then governing that way too, that your focus is going to be on people in Akron and Youngstown, Ohio, and what can be helpful to their quality of life, not just how many houses in the Hamptons can you have."

Really? No one in Youngstown has a Swiss bank account? That might come as news to executives at this new local job-creator:

YOUNGSTOWN - Another major player in the oil and gas industry has decided to set up shop in the Mahoning Valley, bringing about 150 jobs with it.

Geneva, Switzerland-based Weatherford International Ltd. plans to put a "multipurpose operations facility" into a building it bought April 20 at 1110 Performance Place in Youngstown's Salt Springs Industrial Park.

The company said it will employ about 150 at the facility, which tentatively is scheduled to start operating in late September.


Remember: Because of the populist, economically illiterate Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, Swiss citizens working in the United States at American-job-creators like Weatherford are being unceremoniously dumped by their banks back home. Imagine for a moment going to your ATM to pull out money, and seeing the message "account closed." I have talked to multiple Swiss expatriates and bankers alike who say that that's now commonplace.

Why should we care about a bunch of goddamned fondue-eating Novartis executives? Switzerland was by several accounts the largest source of foreign direct investment into the United States in 2010 [PDF], and is consistently among the top foreign investors in the presumably Ohio-friendly field of manufacturing. The Swiss government estimates that Swiss companies employ a half-million Americans.

So we are now actively infuriating not only some of the roughly five million American expatriates who are seeing their bank accounts shuttered all over the globe, but also the very type of job-creating Swiss investors and executives to whom a prudent country might be a tad more welcoming. As this Congressional Research Service report [PDF] puts it, "Foreign direct investments are highly sought after by many state and local governments that are struggling to create additional jobs in their localities." Do tell.

Like the January statement from Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) that "There is no such thing as an ordinary Swiss bank account," Tim Ryan's claim that "No one in Youngstown, Ohio has a Swiss bank account" is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, precisely because of consequence-oblivious millionaire Democratic politicians like Carl Levin and Barack Obama. And it's cities like Youngstown that stand to suffer most.

I wrote last week on "The Dark Side of Anti-'Swiss Bank Account' Politics."

NEXT: A.M. Links: Romney Hits Back at Obama, Clinton in Israel, North Korean Military Chief Relieved, Fierce Fighting in Damascus, Democrats Willing to Go Over "Fiscal Cliff"

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  1. so Weatherford International is a candidate for POTUS?

    i mean i know libtoidz are corporatists, but advocating a corporation for president?

    now that's an SEC filing too far...

    1. Er moron, you read the article ? Any mention of a president there ? No, its about a xenophobic shit like you that openly pontificates against foreigners while at the same time getting part of his pay from these same foreigners.

      1. matt cites weatherford, not me. do try to keep up

        1. ""No one in Youngstown, Ohio has a Swiss bank account."

          Does not say "No one running for President," does it, dipshit?

  2. Just when I think American electoral politics can't get any more retarded, we get vilification of the Swiss.

    1. Well, "Blame Canada" was getting to be pass

    2. It makes sense, though. Since it appeals to bigotry against both foreigners and rich people, we're accomplishing twice the bigotry in the same amount of time.

    3. I can't stand Romney, but it's like the Democrats are trying to make me like him. Their biggest line of attack against him now seems to be, "He made money."

  3. And it's cities like Youngstown that stand to suffer most.

    Where you see bug, the Administration sees feature. Suffering is the goal; makes it easier to then troll for new food stamp enrollment or tell states they can ignore pesky provisions of welfare reform.

    1. Holes in their cheese? Hot chocolate?

      I don't blame him.

    2. You got a problem with that, Belgium?

  4. Another Monday, another week of wealth-envy bullshit from Democrats.

  5. If I ever come into a large amount of cash, I'd certainly consider an offshore account for some small portion of the money. It makes sense for a number of reasons.

    1. If I ever come into a large amount of cash, I'm going to invest it in strippers' g-strings.

      1. Oh, you mean a government-style investment plan? LOL

    1. No fucking kidding. The casual acceptance of xenophobia is pretty disturbing.

  6. What's so fucking evil about having a Swiss bank account?

    I want one of this country's so-called journalists to ask these pinheads--including the Top Pinhead, Barack The Great--that question.

    1. The statist hate it for 2 reasons:

      1. They think (mistakenly and very stupidly) that Americans can still hide money from the IRS in Swiss banks. The idea of anyone not paying taxes on the interset of savings of earnings already taxed is anathema to them.

      2. Submit to us motherfucking peasant.

      There are still places in the world you can hide money from the IRS - the Kennedy's account in Fiji are a good example of how to do it right.

      1. That's another thing I'd like to see directly challenged: the notion that citizens are morally obliged to arrange their financial affairs so as to pay the maximum possible taxes. Based on what?

        That's before we even get to the screaming hypocrisy involved. I don't believe for one second that anybody screeching about Swiss bank accounts deliberately tries to pay as much tax as possible.

        1. Sure they pay as much in taxes as they can - except for all of them.


      2. The real reason to have a foreign account isn't to hide from taxes (there are big fines for not reporting foreign account, even inadvertently), it's to have some money accessible if Big Brother decides to seize your assets, or if the US banks go down in flames and can't be bailed out fast enough.

        1. But, but, but don't you trust the FDIC? I mean, the FSLIC worked so well during the Savings Loan collapse. Don't you trust Uncle Sam to insure your money?

  7. There have been stories around of various Obama staffers and Dem bigwigs with overseas bank accounts (some of them a lot shadier than a Swiss account).

    If Romney had a brain in his head, he would issue a challenge:

    "I understand that the Democrats have been making a big deal about how you can't trust people with overseas bank accounts. Rather than get bogged down in why this is nonsense, I'm going to make the following offer:

    We have published on our campaign website a list of Obama staffers and other Democratic figures who have overseas bank accounts. When they close their overseas accounts, I will close mine."

    1. The economy is moribund, the government overreaching, the people are restless, and we're listening to a debate on whether it matters that a guy who earned money legally keeps a small bit of it in a Swiss bank.

      This class warfare shit is simply not going to work this time, as only a complete idiot thinks the economy will get better if we kill all the rich people. Or whatever it is the left wants.

      1. Oh, I agree completely. I'm just proposing a way for Romney to end the conversation about overseas bank accounts, so we can get back to some other irrelevant trivia.

        The same thing could work on the outsourcing issue, as well:

        "I understand that the Democrats have been making a big deal about how you can't trust people from companies that outsource jobs. Rather than get bogged down in why this is nonsense, and how my company didn't outsource jobs on my watch, I'm going to make the following offer:

        We have published on our campaign website a list of Obama appointees and supporters who have outsourced jobs. When the administration repudiates these people and removes any appointees from their positions, we can talk."

        1. No, that works for me. I'm just annoyed that the politicians keep acting like it's just another election and nothing has changed.

        2. RC,
          I am with you. Enough with the political tennis about dishonesty and apology begging; just smash the gauntlet and drive on.

      2. So the real question is - how many really stupid voters are there? 48% or so should do it.

        1. It's 47% to 47% in the latest Obama-Romney poll, so I'm gonna go with 94% of the voters being really stupid.

    2. I agree but I'd be quite startled if Romney actually did this. This country's polical process seems to prize mealy-mouthed politicians, and applies labels like "kook" to anyone who dares to speak in a straightforward fashion.

  8. Those are employers, not voters. What good are they?

  9. if you have a 401k ,or 403b you have money invested over seas.The worst part is to complain about investing there yet loving other countries companies who invest here ,Obama is a fool,his middle out ,bottom up comment show this

    1. I have some overseas stock. You know, to diversify my portfolio. They made a big deal of that in my finance classes for some reason. Something about eggs in a basket?

      1. Since investing in Swiss currency apparently is anti-american and disqualifies you from the presidency, I assume my Swiss Franc ETF disqualifies me, right?

        Just making sure, so no one drafts me into the stupid job.

  10. It works both ways if US politicians want to stop people from moving money outside, then the outsiders should return the favour and block money moving into America.

    1. Like Honda in OHIO?

  11. I know they are just hammering on this to win their little red/blue, who-gets-to-loot-the-dying-empire contest but it still scares me a little. Whenever the political scum start talking about capital controls, they are pretty much admiting failure and that the gloves have to come off.

    Best case is the various south american countries who have tried to control capital flows as their currency tanks. Worst case is gassing jews and starving kulaks who are undermining the Great Leader's 5 year plan.

    I'm not rich enough to stash money overseas and I'm too old to emigrate. So last week a bought a couple thousand in gold and silver coins - try to steal that bitches (and they will).

  12. What a maroon.

    I'm from Canton, and I personally know people with swiss bank accounts. My stepfather had one until he passed.

    1. I heard that pretty much everybody in cantons has a Swiss bank account.

      1. Lol very punny.

  13. Sorry, but this is very misleading. Weatherford is a Houston-based oil services company. They are domiciled in Switz, but only for tax purposes. If you dig a bit deeper, you will find that they have no more than 20 employees located in Switzerland, out of their 61,000 total employees.

    1. Gee, I wonder why?

  14. I don't know anybody with a Swiss Bank account.

    I also don't know anybody that when they were unable to get a loan to buy the house of their dreams got a real estate developer dependent on this person for future business to jump in and buy a portion of the property as a stand alone purchase so that this person could later, when he/she had the funds, buy the stand alone property from the real estate developer. More succinctly, I don't know anybody engaged in Tammany Hall style corruption.

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