Wednesday, May 28, 2008

John and Cindy McCain's Swiss Bank Problem

This is lightyears over my head, but there are some things even average yokels can grasp in this. (Digby explains it with rage-inducing clarity here.)

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann broke a big story last night regarding John McCain's financial adviser, former senator Phill Gramm. Gramm is another on the growing list of big money lobbyists tied to McCain, his ties going to mega-bank UBS based in Switzerland.

UBS is in huge financial trouble, having been extremely hard hit - $38 billion in losses since last year - in the mortgage crisis/scandal, something Phil Gramm is up to his eyeballs in. And they have other problems.

They've been under investigation for some time - for allegedly helping wealthy Americans evade taxes - and a UBS official was arrested detained in the U.S. just three weeks ago. And they've now advised their officials to avoid coming to the U.S.

I haven't heard it mentioned yet, but I can't help but think about Cindy rather than John McCain:

UBS, which upholds the Swiss tradition of banking secrecy, is the world's largest manager of money for ultra-wealthy investors, with $3.1 trillion in total assets.

Again: Cindy. Cindy McCain. They multi-millionaire wife of John McCain who won't release her tax returns.

A U.S. Senate subcommittee report in 2005 found that UBS had provided billions of dollars in financing for up to 150 abusive tax shelters known as Flip and Opis over 1997 and 1998. The shelters, which involved generating artificial losses that were then used to offset legitimate income, were designed and sold by KPMG.

More digging required...


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