Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Phil Gramm Aloof UBS Vice Chair?

Senior executives at UBS were informed in 2005 of illegal offshore accounts used by wealthy Americans to avoid taxes. This led to the indictment of a UBS senior executive Raoul Weil. Surely, Raoul couldn't have perpetrated the tax evasion plot on his own given the 19,000 offshore accounts.

Plus, what did those executives do once the whistle blower came forward in 2005. Not much. This all points to more UBS top dogs being involved. The New York Times reported:

In a move that could spell bigger trouble for UBS, the indictment also referred to unindicted co-conspirators who “occupied positions of the highest level of management within the Swiss bank.” The individuals, the document said, sat on committees that oversee legal, compliance, tax, risk and other issues. The indictment also referred to unindicted senior bankers and the managers and “desk heads” who oversaw them.

What role did Phil Gramm play in this scheme? I find it hard to believe the Vice Chair of UBS remained uninvolved. American UBS investors sheltered $20 billion in assets. The scheme ran from 2002-2007. The internal whistle blew in 2005. UBS did nothing.

One month ago, Uncle Sam provided $54 billion in capital to Swiss giant UBS. This injection made this taxpayer very upset. The question remains as to Vice Chairman Phil Gramm's role in all of the shenanigans. And I'm whining that I don't yet know.