The U.S. vs. UBS

by Derek Loosvelt | March 04, 2009

Michigan Senator Carl Levin (who I remember as more of a Teddy Bear than grizzly when he visited my fifth grade class back in the Great Lake State in which I was reared) just took it to UBS, spending about 15 minutes of the Senate’s hearing (more of a cordial grilling, really) on the bank’s tax evasion schemes to make sure UBS’s Mark Branson verbally admitted, on behalf of his Swiss banking behemoth, to helping thousands of wealthy U.S. clients create sham corporations to avoid paying taxes—the same wrongdoing UBS admitted to in writing when paying the U.S. $780 million in fines.

Levin has also been trying to get other public admissions out of Branson, but so far Branson has been tight-lipped or, as Levin said minutes ago, “needlessly evasive.” Indeed, to say the least, Levin does not seem pleased with Branson's testimony thus far, so expect the Senator not to stop until he gets his names. Not today, of course, but sometime in the near future, Combover Carl will, I have little doubt, get what he wants: UBS to reveal the names of thousands of their U.S. clients.

Other banks beware: there have been hints by inquirers other than Levin during the hearing that additional Swiss entities (hint: Credit Suisse) will be questioned at some point for similar wrongdoings.

Filed Under: Finance


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