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BANKING

Banking on a Swiss roll

Grand Hotel Baur au Lac, Zurich, Switzerland



Only Holey Buckett can roll into my office with the notion that a Swiss bank is in play, and even Holey only after lunch, and as to the notion that he and I can pick it up and play with it, well, it just goes to show how salesmanlike Holey can be, but how I wish he saves this for the customers. He plunks these certificates down on my desk, with a design on them featuring cuckoos and gnomes and gothic lettering which makes me figure it is German, then he waits for me to look impressed, this (he says) is the stock of the Union Bank of Switzerland, my friend Martin collects it, and if we help him fill his hand he remembers who his friends are.

Sure, he is welcome to bet on his chances but if he hopes to scoop up UBS he must have a better chance of scooping up the Matterhorn, I figure if anyone attempts this Switzerland declares war, with the top UBS guys in command of the army, for them the bank is just a day job.

Never mind, Holey says, this is just a civil war or maybe an inter-cantonal conflict, Martin is Swiss and runs an investment fund there, he skirmishes with UBS for years, all about special votes for Swiss citizens and the status of the bearer stock, but now he figures he can see the winning-post, old Senn is standing down as chairman and Robert Studer prepares to step up, but Martin can think of a far better chairman, meaning him.






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