This sounded principled and anti-establishmentarian on its face. Modern banking, based upon the fractional-reserve system, is wholesale fraud. Beyond specific issues of Swiss banking law, privacy and bank secrecy, a person claiming to be able to expose some of the scandalous elements of a system whose rampant fraud is based on secret-keeping sounded good. Forty or so politicians as collateral damage sounded even better.
Listening to the conference, however, gave me pause. I'm not sure I am on the same page as these WikiLeaks people now. Furthermore, I am beginning to wonder if they are at cross-purposes to myself and everyone else who is an advocate of the private property society.
Here is a short list of stand-out themes conveyed in the press conference that raised red flags for me:
- Swiss banking secrecy must end (this was a point-blank, unconditional statement made by one of the various handlers during the press conference)
- Western government public welfare systems are threatened by tax evasion enabled by bank secrecy; people ask "where is the money?" for these programs and the answer is the wealth has moved offshore to bank secrecy havens (this is a decidedly pro-welfare, statist reason for attacking bank secrecy)
- All wealth the State has arrogated to itself via tax laws rightfully belongs to the State; bank secrecy allows Swiss banks and other 3rd party regional jurisdictions to set Western government tax rates, an unacceptable circumstance (bank secrecy has no place in open, transparent and progressive democratic systems because it allows for concentrated wealth to be passed down through families by avoiding schemes like the inheritance tax)
- Regulators and legal authorities in the past have not been accommodative when accusations of criminal wrong-doing have been brought to them in the past, but the specific information contained in these leaks -- bank Julius Baer -- will be delivered to "competent legal authorities" for them to decide how to handle it, rather than made public (an obvious and inexplicable contradiction)
- Journalists can not be trusted to serve the public interest because they are often pressured and compromised by those perpetrating anti-social schemes to serve as accomplices, knowingly or unknowingly; we will use the mainstream press as our partners in leaking this information (another obvious and inexplicable contradiction)
- Today, money and capital are international, which means they can flee the tax regimes of their host States at whim-- this is a social bad (another of the handlers implied that international capital mobility was problematic for Western welfare States, where "any currency can be exchanged into any other" and the world financial system was "truly fluid" and interconnected, allowing people to move and hide their wealth beyond the reach of grasping local politicians)
WikiLeaks is sounding less and less like a freedom-oriented outfit and more and more like a bunch of well-intentioned but ultimately gullible and therefore dangerous statist dupes.
If they're not an outright fraud and a simple front for the very elites they're supposedly working against.
Below is the video embed, if the link above is no longer active: