In early August, Swiss bank UBS gave in to demands by the United States to divluge the names of over 4000 accounts. Normally this would be in violation of Swiss banking secrecy laws, but somehow Secretary of State Hillary Clinton convinced the Swiss government to allow this. The Swiss reported that UBS had no real choice in turning over the names.
The mystery is why the Swiss give in. Yes, diplomatic relations between the United States and Switzerland, but the Swiss have a well-deserved reputation for neutrality and any damaging of relations is more likely to hurt the reputation of the United States than it is to hurt Switzerland. Any overt action against Switzerland by the United States would be greeted with condemnation, even if those measures were on a lower level such as economic sanctions or condemnatory UN resolutions.
In a possibly apocryphal story, a Nazi commander asked a Swiss soldier what their 500,000 man militia would do if faced with 1,000,000 storm troopers. The solder replied "shoot twice and go home." While this conversation might not have actually happened it certainly captures the essence of the Swiss resistance to threats.
Then why would the Swiss give in to demands by the IRS? What could Hillary Clinton have said to cause the Swiss to give in?
The Swiss were also in the news in June as two Japanese individuals were caught attempting to sneak bonds into that country but were captured by Italian police. The bonds were of sufficient denomination to represent a full quarter of the Japanese holdings of United States debt. These bonds were later proven to be forgeries - high quality obvious forgeries. A true forger would want to make bonds as realistic as possible, and as a result not make such a blunder.
Forgeries of this nature are unlikely to be the work of any independent criminal. They are much more likely to be the work of a government engaging in economic warfare, and having the operative get captured is the warfare equivalent of a "shot across the bow".
Could it be that the United States government was behind the forged bonds? Could Secretary of State Clinton have told the Swiss that next time the bonds would be indistinguishable from the real thing - because they'd be made by the same printing press?
What would be the advantage of the United States government distributing forged United States treasury bonds in Switzerland? Once the forged bonds are snuck in and sold, the new owners would try to redeem these bonds. The United States would decline because "some bonds from Switzerland are forgereries". Following the discovery would be an announcement by the U.S. government that any bonds in Switzerland must be verified by the U.S. government in order to be redeemed. Given how much of the rest of the world holds their wealth in dollars, and how much of it may reside in Switzerland, that would freeze the hidden wealth of most of the world and damage the Swiss banking system. Millionares world-wide would be forced to reveal hidden assets, often to their own detriment, or lose those hidden assets.
It would be a nuclear option. Did Hillary Clinton threaten Switzerland with a nuclear option?