farmerIt’s an unfortunate situation, but as much as the rest of the world would like it to be different, US politics reverberates around the world and affects the lives of people in the most remote of places. As many of my readers are in the US, I’m not sure if this in news to you or not.

However, I think it is a topic worthy of mention. When the US sneezes, the rest of the world catches cold as the saying goes. So, although the issues of health care, abortion and guns are not issues at all on the agendas of any other Western democracies, the ripples from the pond do have an effect. As usual, it is a matter on money and power. As the US goes into a budget deficit too large to even comprehend, and the dollar remains at a record low value, the US in fact prospers. Why, because US goods are cheap on the world market.

When you start to look a bit deeper, you understand that this simplistic view is just that. Simplistic. Late in 2009 I saw a news article only once, before it disappeared from our screens and newspapers. It was just a report about Barack Obama playing a round of golf with the US CEO of UBS! Now, if you don’t know, UBS have been in more trouble than you can imagine through 2008 and 2009. In some quarters blamed for the subprime debacle. Sued by the US government, and losing funds and clients quicker than a newly discovered Ponzi scheme.

But surprise, surprise I read today that UBS has just posted a profit. How is that possible?

Alright, my imagination and cynicism may well be off the mark, but I really wonder about the farmer in deep Appenzell in Switzerland who has proudly banked with UBS, (United Bank of Switzerland) all his working life, feels now about his retirement investment that disappeared into a puff of smoke in 2009.

Luckily, by writing off his life savings, UBS have managed to live and prosper another day. Oh, did I forget about an innocent round of golf?

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