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Switzerland Prepares Hedge Fund Wall Street

Geneva is preparing to run away with the New York financial district’s mantle. As Wall Street melts down, liquidating tens of thousands of jobs, Geneva is positioning itself to take a large slice of the action.

Specifically, Geneva covets the business of hedge funds management, which generates lots of tax revenue and provides loads of jobs for financial and banking professionals who manage the investments.

While the Geneva financial community – particularly the insular world of independent portfolio managers – is reeling from the exposure to the Madoff swindle (which will probably cost Geneva investors close to $10 billion), the government is busy drafting new regulations that will make Geneva an attractive domicile for funds management.

The Swiss federal government has been successfully lobbied the past few years by bankers and financiers to bring about new financial regulations and tax laws making Switzerland in general an attractive place for funds managers to set up shop.

With the crises blowing through the New York financial district, Geneva’s hedge funds managers are already rubbing their hands in anticipation, counting on the fact that the new tax laws will combine with the stricter Swiss surveillance and regulation to create an environment much more competitive for investment funds, now that confidence is at a historic low point and reference points of sobriety, integrity, and honesty seem hard to find.

Other commentators point out that if the author of such a fraud could come from a former president of a major stock exchange, whose funds were audited left and right, then can anyone, anywhere, who invests in funds they don’t fully understand, ever be safe ?

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