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World and Press June 1 2023

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8 Switzerland June 1 2023 | World and Press Switzerland’s national pride dealt heavy blow by the merger of its banking titans BANKS ‘A monster is born’, say local press, as the takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS creates a bank twice the size of the Swiss economy. By Philip Oltermann 1 OUTSIDE Zurich Central Station, monsters snap at the feet of modern Switzerland’s founding father. The towering statue of the 19th-century industrialist Alfred Escher used to symbolise Switzerland’s calm and stability amid geopolitical storms: his back to the railway whose expansion he masterminded, his face turned to Paradeplatz Square and the bank he created to finance his ventures. But after days of turmoil that upended old certainties about the Alpine republic, it is the two snarling dragon gargoyles, restrained by chains, that ominously sum up the state of the nation. 2 On Monday evening, Switzerland’s president announced that Credit Suisse, the investment bank founded by Escher in 1856, would be taken over by its larger, longstanding rival, UBS, at a rock-bottom price. It was an emergency rescue deal designed to halt growing financial market panic unleashed by the collapse of two US banks earlier this month. While the move has, for now, calmed fears of a repeat of a 2008-style domino effect, the merger has left Switzerland with a new megabank on Paradeplatz Statue of Credit Suisse founder Alfred Escher in Zurich, Switzerland. | Photo: Olaf Krüger/imageBROKER/Picture Alliance Square. “The zombie is no more, but a monster is being born,” wrote Swiss newspaper ‘Neue Zürcher Zeitung’. 3 “What we have witnessed over the last few days is proof that Switzerland’s financial centre has gone from being a strength to being a liability,” said Cédric Wermuth, co-president of the multilingual republic’s Social Democratic Party. With total assets amounting to 1.5 trillion Swiss francs and a national GDP of 771 billion Swiss francs in 2022, the new bank will be twice the size of the national economy. “The risk that this monster bank can use its monopoly standing to blackmail the government and dictate its own regulation is enormous,” Wermuth said. “It’s absolutely too big to fail.” 4 The irony of UBS swallowing Credit Suisse is that the rescuer was once seen as the bad boy of Swiss banking. In 2008, Switzerland’s national bank bailed out UBS by guaranteeing up to billion (61 billion Swiss francs) of bad debts, after the bank had embarked on a high-risk expansion into the US market. UBS subsequently pivoted to a more risk-averse focus on wealth management advisory services, managing the money of the world’s richest. But Credit Suisse, whose headquarters are only a few metres from UBS’s, and which had survived the crash without requiring help from the public purse, stuck to its swashbuckling path. 5 In recent years, the bank – which has units for asset management, investment, and domestic banking – has come across as not just risk-taking but downright reckless. In 2018, a former Credit Suisse banker was sentenced to five years in prison for forging client signatures to divert money and make stock bets without their knowledge, causing more than 0 million in losses. Two years later, it lost its chief executive, Tidjane Thiam, over a saga involving corporate espionage, an alleged car chase, and personal vendettas. … 6 When the Credit Suisse’s top investor, Saudi National Bank, told reporters last Wednesday it would not give more money to the bank, investors and depositors started a stampede for the exit, withdrawing hundreds of millions of dollars. 7 “Credit Suisse’s solidity is much better than it is presented,” said George Sheldon, a professor emeritus at the University of Basel’s Faculty of Business and Economics. “But this has become a question of trust. What we have seen is that a bank that isn’t trusted can do nothing to stop a run.” 8 In Zurich, the fear is that the loss of trust in Credit Suisse could also translate into broader damage to the Made in Switzerland brand. Credit Suisse’s logo can be found everywhere, from the training jersey of the national football team to Zurich’s Kunsthaus Art Gallery. Roger Federer has been a brand ambassador for more than 20 years. The bank sponsors art exhibitions around the world, and its own collection comprises of over 10,000 works (a spokesperson for the bank said it was “too early to make any conclusion” whether these would be merged with UBS’s own art collection or sold). 9 Now the banking sector’s reputation has been tainted, fears are that “Swissness” as a whole could lose its value-enhancing shine. “The damage to Switzerland’s reputation is going to be enormous”, said Daniel Binswanger, a Swiss commentator and editor of online political journal ‘Republik’. “It will destroy the myth of this efficient, reliable, almost extraterritorial state.” 10 Other pillars of Switzerland’s self-image are also shaking: the war in Ukraine has caused parts of the country to question its 500-year-old principle of neutrality in foreign affairs, with a recent survey suggesting an unprecedented majority of Swiss citizens favour closer ties with NATO. Having successfully engaged with the EU via bilateral agreements rather than full membership for two decades, Switzerland’s relations with its most important trading partner have been stuck in an impasse over freedom of movement and state aid rules since 2021. 11 Even Switzerland’s unique and feted model of direct democracy has been tarnished by the banking scandal. Swiss voters have over the past 12 months had a chance to vote in referendums on everything from factory farming to film funding. They did not have a say in Sunday’s rescue deal, however, which will see the state support the banks with three tranches of liquidity and loans, as well as a pledge to absorb up to nine billion francs in potential losses. … © 2023 Guardian News and Media Ltd UBS chairman Colm Kelleher (left) speaks with UBS CEO Sergio P. Ermotti. | Photo: Michael Buholzer/EPA/Picture Alliance 0 TO DEALa blow e-n Schlag versetzen — merger Fusion — banking titan Bankgigant — takeover Übernahme — (national) economy Volkswirtschaft 1 to snap at nach etw. schnappen — founding father Gründervater — towering gewaltig; hoch — industrialist Industrielle(r) — to mastermind federführend planen — venture Unternehmen — turmoil Turbulenzen — to upend (fig) auf den Kopf stellen — certainty Gewissheit — snarling zähnefletschend — gargoyle Wasserspeier — to restrain bändigen — ominously unheilverheißend 2 – 3 rock-bottom price Tiefstpreis — to halt stoppen — to unleash auslösen — liability Belastung — total assets Bilanzsumme — trillion Billion — GDP = gross domestic product Bruttoinlandsprodukt — to blackmail erpressen — to dictate diktieren 4 to swallow schlucken — banking Bankwesen — national bank Zentralbank — to bail out retten — to guarantee bürgen — bad debts uneinbringliche Forderungen — to embark on etw. beginnen — subsequently daraufhin — to pivot to umschwenken auf — risk-averse risikoscheu; vorsichtig — wealth management Anlageberatung und Vermögensverwaltung für sehr vermögende Privatpersonen — advisory Beratungs- — public purse öffentliche Hand — swashbuckling draufgängerisch 5 unit Sparte; Geschäftsbereich — asset management Vermögensverwaltung — domestic banking h.: Privatkundengeschäft — downright regelrecht — reckless leichtsinnig — to forge fälschen — to divert abzweigen — stock bets Wetten auf Aktien — chief executive Konzernchef(in) — corporate espionage Wirtschaftsspionage — alleged mutmaßlich 6 – 8 investor Anleger(in); Aktionär(in) — depositor Einleger(in) — stampede for the exit (fig) Massenflucht — to withdraw abheben; abziehen — solidity Stabilität — run h.: Bank-Run — to translate into zu etw. führen — brand ambassador Markenbotschafter(in) — spokesperson Sprecher(in) — conclusion abschließende Entscheidung — to merge zus.führen 9 – 10 to taint beschmutzen — value-enhancing wertsteigernd — editor Chefredakteur(in) — extraterritorial extraterritorial — pillar Säule — foreign affairs Außenpolitik — unprecedented nie da gewesen — to favour befürworten — trading partner Handelspartner — impasse Sackgasse — freedom of movement Freizügigkeit — state aid rules Regelungen zu Staatshilfen 11 feted gefeiert — to tarnish beeinträchtigen — factory farming Massentierhaltung — tranche Tranche — liquidity Liquidität — loans Kredite — pledge Zusage

World and Press | June 1 2023 Authorities reinstate alcohol ban for Aboriginal Australians Australia 9 AUSTRALIA The reaction to a rise in crime has renewed hard questions about race and control, and about the open wounds of discrimination. mit Audiodatei By Yan Zhuang in Alice Springs 1 GEOFF SHAWcracked open a beer, savoring the simple freedom of having a drink on his porch on a sweltering Saturday morning in mid-February in Australia’s remote Northern Territory. “For 15 years, I couldn’t buy a beer,” said Shaw, a 77-year-old Aboriginal elder in Alice Springs, the territory’s third-largest town. “I’m a Vietnam veteran, and I couldn’t even buy a beer.” Shaw lives in what the government has deemed a “prescribed area,” an Aboriginal town camp where from 2007 until last year it was illegal to possess alcohol, part of a set of extraordinary race-based interventions into the lives of Indigenous Australians. 2 Last July, the Northern Territory let the alcohol ban expire for hundreds of Aboriginal communities, calling it racist. But little had been done in the intervening years to address the communities’ severe underlying disadvantage. Once alcohol flowed again, there was an explosion of crime in Alice Springs widely attributed to Aboriginal people. Local and federal politicians reinstated the ban late last month. And Shaw’s taste of freedom ended. 3 From the halls of power in the nation’s capital to ramshackle outback settlements, the turmoil in the Northern Territory has revived hard questions that are even older than Australia itself, about race and control and the open wounds of discrimination. A sign welcoming visitors to Alice Springs, Australia. | Photo: Nico Smit/Unsplash For those who believe that the country’s largely white leadership should not dictate the decisions of Aboriginal people, the alcohol ban’s return replicates the effects of colonialism and disempowers communities. Others argue that the benefits, like reducing domestic violence and other harms to the most vulnerable, can outweigh the discriminatory effects. 4 For Shaw, the restrictions are simply a distraction – another Band-Aid for communities that, to address problems at their roots, need funding and support and to be listened to. “They had nothing to offer us,” he said. “And they had 15 years to sort this out.” 5 The liquor restrictions prohibit anyone who lives in Aboriginal town camps on the outskirts of Alice Springs, as well as those in more remote Indigenous communities, from buying takeaway alcohol. The town itself is not included in the ban, though Aboriginal people there often face more scrutiny in trying to buy liquor. 6 One recent day at Uncle’s Tavern, in the center of Alice Springs, patrons – almost all of them non- Indigenous – drank beneath palm trees strung with lights. In the town of 25,000, it seemed as if everyone had a friend, relative, or neighbor who had been the victim of an assault, a breakin, or property destruction. As night fell, Aboriginal people who walked the otherwise empty streets were separated from the pub’s patrons by a fence with tall black bars, like something out of a prison. Sometimes, those outside pressed up against the bars; children asked for money for food, and adults for cigarettes or alcohol. The pub’s gate was open, but there were unspoken barriers to entry for the people outside. 7 Many Aboriginal people travel into town for basic services from the remote communities where they live, in conditions more akin to those of a developing country. Some Indigenous leaders in and around Alice Springs attribute the spike in crime to these visitors. 8 In the daytime, they were often the only people sitting in public spaces, with nowhere to go to escape the blistering heat. One Aboriginal visitor to Alice Springs, Gloria Cooper, said she had traveled hundreds of miles for medical treatment and was camping in a nearby dry creek bed because she couldn’t afford a place to stay on her welfare income. “Lots of people in the creek,” she said. “Lots of children.” 9 The roots of the 15-year alcohol ban were a national media firestorm that erupted in 2006 over a handful of graphic and highly publicized allegations of child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory. Many of the allegations were later found to be baseless. But just months before a federal election, the conservative prime minister at the time used them to justify a draconian set of race-based measures. Among them were the alcohol restrictions, along with mandatory income management for welfare recipients and restrictions on Indigenous people’s rights to manage land that they owned. 10 Now, the debate has flared up again at another politically charged moment, as Australia An Indigenous Australian man prepares a fire for a smoking ceremony as protesters demand more than just a voice in Parliament in January. | Photo: Rick Rycroft/AP/Picture Alliance begins to discuss constitutionally enshrining a “Voice to Parliament” – an Indigenous body that would advise on policies that affect Aboriginal communities. Opponents have used the Alice Springs debate to argue that the proposal distracts from practical issues facing Indigenous communities. Supporters say that such a body would have allowed more consultation with affected residents and prevented the problem from escalating. 11 Indigenous leaders say that the roots of the dysfunction in their communities run deep. A lack of job opportunities has left poverty entrenched, which in turn has exacerbated family violence. Soaring Indigenous incarceration rates have left parents locked away and children adrift. Government controls on Aboriginal people’s lives, imposed without consultation, have bred resentment and hopelessness. Add alcohol to the mix, and the problems only mount. 12 “We’ve never had our own choice and decision-making; our lives have been controlled by others,” said Cherisse Buzzacott, who works to improve Indigenous families’ health literacy. Because of this, she added, those in the most disadvantaged communities “don’t have belief changes can change; they don’t have hope.” … © 2023 The New York Times Company This article originally appeared in The New York Times. 0 – 1 AUTHORITYBehörde — to reinstate wieder einsetzen — race ethnische Zugehörigkeit — wound Wunde — to crack open a beer e-e Bierdose öffnen — to savor genießen — porch Veranda — sweltering drückend heiß — elder Ältere(r) — prescribed area Verbotszone — to possess besitzen 2 to expire enden — in the intervening years in der Zwischenzeit — underlying zugrunde liegend — to attribute to s.o. jdm. zuschreiben 3 halls of power (fig) Machtzentrum — ramshackle baufällig — settlement Siedlung — turmoil Turbulenzen — to dictate vorschreiben — to replicate wiederholen — to disempower s.o. jdn. seiner Macht berauben — domestic violence häusliche Gewalt — the most vulnerable die Schwächsten — to outweigh gegenüber etw. überwiegen 4 – 6 restriction Beschränkung — distraction Ablenkungsmanöver; s.w.u. to distract — Band-Aid Pflaster — liquor Spirituosen — scrutiny Kontrolle — patrons Gäste — assault Überfall 7 – 8 to be akin to etw. ähneln — developing country Entwicklungsland — spike Steigerung — blistering glühend — creek bed Bachbett 9 to erupt (fig) s. entladen — to publicize publik machen — allegation Anschuldigung — child sexual abuse sexueller Missbrauch von Kindern — baseless haltlos — to justify rechtfertigen — mandatory verpflichtend — welfare recipient Sozialhilfeempfänger(in) 10 to flare up entbrennen — charged aufgeladen — to constitutionally enshrine in der Verfassung verankern — body Gremium — consultation Beratung 11 – 12 dysfunction h.: Probleme — to entrench s. festsetzen — to exacerbate verschlimmern — to soar sprunghaft ansteigen — incarceration rate Inhaftierungsrate — adrift ziellos; verloren — to impose auferlegen — to breed resentment Unmut verursachen — to mount weiter zunehmen — health literacy Gesundheitskompetenz

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