The Gnu Gnomes of Zurich

Posted On: Saturday - March 25th 2023 1:12PM MST
In Topics: 
  Genderbenders  Humor  Global Financial Stupidity  Economics  Big-Biz Stupidity

It was at least 15 years ago when I read a book that was just called Money, I'm pretty sure, but maybe with a subtitle. This interesting book had a chapter about some of the big financial dealings that have been going on for centuries in Switzerland, a country known for chocolate, clocks, precision machinery, neutrality, and big Finance (the latter 2 of which may clash on occasion.) That chapter in the book about money was called "The Gnomes of Zurich".

I didn't figure they are real gnomes, because I guess there's gno such thing*. However, one can picture these guys in little caves in the mountains, deciding the fates of many with their Big Finance wheeling and dealing. I'd figured they're kind of like elves, but without the free-spending ways of, say, Santa's ones.

If you've been keeping up with the latest banking crisis, with more to come, there's commentary about whether focusing on the DIE initiatives may have just slightly distracted the big cheeses at Silicon Valley Bank and others from concentrating on the actual point of their business, screwing over the little guy , errr, coming out ahead from the borrowing and lending of money. Well, the house of cards is all coming down anyway, as Peak Stupidity has been maintaining for 6 1/2 years. It's interesting to see what/who is important to these Big Biz fools though.

Gnomes, Bitchez!!

There's this big global investment firm that's been around for 167 years called Credit Suisse. They've been having problems lately too. Besides the silver and gold bars that are minted by these money-men, I don't know too much this outfit. However, knowing of their being headquartered right there in Zurich, Switzerland, I picture some of those Gnomes of Zurich employed at the place, per my imagination and that one book, gnome sayin'?

Regarding the travails of Credit Suisse, Steve Sailer posted a hilariously titled post a few days back regarding one of this company's head honchos, Don't Worry: Credit Suisse Is in Strong, Exquisitely-Manicured Hands. What he and John Derbyshire** also (partly) were commenting about was one high-level manager named Pippa Bunce. "Pips Bunce is Head of Global Markets Technology Core Engineering Strategic Programs at Credit Suisse."***

The thing about Pippa is that he is gender-fluid. He is a she part of the time, likely based on odd/even days of the month.

I’d always pictured gnomes as looking a lot … well not like this at all!

That is Pippa Pig Bunce, Credit Suiesse's CRO. In this case, CRO doesn't stand for Chief Risk Officer, as one might think. It just sounds the same to our non-German-speaking ears, but Peppa Bunce, looking here more like a gnu than a gnome, is the Chief Risqué Officer.

Thank you, thank you! We'll be here all week. Oops, that's till now, so look for more Stupidity goodness next, week, still at a sporadic level for now. Enjoy the Spring.

* There are real gnus, aka wildebeests, however. I do not refer to the good open-source software people in the title though.

** The writer John Derbyshire used to work at the very place, not as a gnome, but as a geek. and, no, they are not exactly the same thing. He posted his thoughts on the DIE banking programs in As A Former Credit Suisse Risk Management Shlub, I Ask: Is DEI Bringing Down the Banking System?

*** There is zero engineering going on there, so they ought to drop the use of the word - one of my pet peeves.

Tuesday - March 28th 2023 6:03AM MST
PS: Thanks, Alarmist, for that reply. I used to read the ZH commenters (and Mr. "Durden") on this stuff 12 years back. The US is farther gone now, so I could see both more a reason to be an ex-pat and less of a reason to return. (There's family, but if not that, America is not quite the safe haven it used to be.)
The Alarmist
Tuesday - March 28th 2023 1:17AM MST

Uncle Schmeul insists he is entitled to tax US citizens and permanent residents on income earned (or unearned) anywhere in the world. He “generously” allows a credit for taxes paid on the same to foreign governments, but despite treaties being named “for the prevention of double taxation,” the allowed credit is often limited to some extent such that a US person almost always is double taxed to some degree.

It is a big incentive to lose one’s citizenship that, at least in the past, was offset by the privilege to flee back to the safety of the US when TSHTF abroad, a privilege that is being degraded every day by the Potomac Regime and all their Woke minions at the State and local government levels.
Monday - March 27th 2023 5:20PM MST
PS: "Uncle Schmeul assumes its citizens abroad are either embassy or consular staff (euphemism for spooks) military, or can otherwise only be poor language teachers or surf bums with no major bank accounts to sweat." There are those ex-pats too that come to many foreign countries for retirement. I think I'd try to get the money out in cash and then just END the whole thing. No need to officially give up citizenship if you're not planning on coming back to visit.

Start working over there, and Uncle Schmeul wants a cut too. Isn't it the case that you must be out of this country for all but 30 days or something? I was looking into this at some point.
The Alarmist
Monday - March 27th 2023 2:36PM MST

Yes, FATCA screwed many Americans living abroad for some time. The threat of being locked out of the US financial markets was enough to get the Swiss to cave, but before they caved they literally made American tax-cows persona non grata. Once they coerced foreign governments to sign up to the intergovernmental data-sharing agreements, the local banks grew a bit more comfortable taking American subjects.

The joke is that the European governments caved to Uncle Schmeul’s demands to keep access to the US markets, but Uncle still went about cutting the legs off European banks with fines and penalties galor. You will bend your knee to JPM and Goldman Sachs.

I was a Material Risk Taker in a bank at the time, so I don’t know what they did to appease Uncle Schmeul, but I kept my accounts.

Uncle Schmeul assumes its citizens abroad are either embassy or consular staff (euphemism for spooks) military, or can otherwise only be poor language teachers or surf bums with no major bank accounts to sweat.
Monday - March 27th 2023 12:22PM MST
PS: Haha, Alarmist, I was about to go for the LOL button, but then I forgot where I was. I'll check out the rest of it.

Silver Shamrock, was it not the FATCO Act that took the long-time Swiss anonymity away? For Americans, that is. I some country's banks don't even want to deal with the accounts of Americans because of all the BS. But, Alarmist must know more about this than I do.
The Alarmist
Monday - March 27th 2023 12:14PM MST

In the spirit of the Risk Faerie, your daily dose of Zen from the Bee:

“Hundreds of thousands of online accounts have quickly become locked, as liberals repeatedly failed the test designed to distinguish humans from robots. "Thousands of customers have called asking what the secret is to recognizing a woman," said Bank of America executive Lacy Reynolds. "I honestly don't know how to explain it in any simpler terms. The good news is, they can't withdraw any money - so it's been a real help during this banking crisis."”
Silver Shamrock
Sunday - March 26th 2023 5:32PM MST
PS Why would the Swiss throw away that your money is always safe here after building up that reputation?
Is the Swiss Federal Banking Act of 1934 over?
Locals have those yard gnomes and a countryside home makes a mooning scarecrow in jeans and flannel with pumpkins as the posterior at Halloween time.
Honk, honk, makes morale go up like stonks!
Peak Stupidity Book Club
Sunday - March 26th 2023 11:39AM MST
PS: Good afternoon, everyone,

Der Gartenzwerg und seine Ahnen:

The Goldfinch:

Happy Sunday! ☮
Sunday - March 26th 2023 9:30AM MST
PS You run your bank your way, they’ll run their bank their way. Until it all comes crashing down.
Dieter Kief
Sunday - March 26th 2023 8:57AM MST
Aha! The Gold Finch's itchy little spellerings - - I see, Mod. - now I see - - -in hindsight we're all of us brighter, aren't we?!!
Quick consultation with the back of my head -- - - the Gold Finch is also the great novel The Gold Finch by the admirably sharp/perfect southern belle novelist Donna Tartt: Highly recommended PS book-club reading!
- And there are lots & lots of Gold Finchery itches in that book. In English, Mod.! I mean, not the German dwarf underground commernter English but real nice elaborated English - - - - code. Yep Mod., that's how the socio-linguists call that: Elaborated code, hehe. True! A Harvard thing, if that uhh - reminiscnece? - - suits me well.
Sunday - March 26th 2023 5:46AM MST
PS: Now, my typo: "It's not your country, but ..."
Sunday - March 26th 2023 5:45AM MST
PS: Good morning, Alpenflage. I like that "D-Beijing". I'll borrow that, if that's OK with you. The CBO, yes, that's what she/he is. I do recall the Ricola commercial too. I forgot to mention yodeling and Ricola - sorry for the slight, Dieter. (It's not our country, but you are there a lot, right?)

Ahaa, Alarmist, a Faerie, that's the ticket. It sounds so much better when you add the extra vowels too. "I saw a Faerie at the Apothecary Shoppe, and then she flitted over to the Bar & Grille, where she sold me 10 Credit Suisse gold bars for spot price ..."

Dieter, it sounds like you've got a nice life over there. As for Mr. Hartlaub, I cannot learn a language at this point, other than maybe some small dBase code or something... It took me a while to get "... *e*tching of a gold finch... " out of that, haha!
Dieter Kief
Sunday - March 26th 2023 5:09AM MST
PS ahh alarmist - those differentiations! Right on!

Gnomes, fairies, dwarfs, wichtel - - - one of the most important German art historians and museum's-men ever, Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub, - who made/thought up/ dreamt up - envisioned ....  Neue Sachlichkeit one of the most impressiv esuccess stories in art history in  - - -Mannheim 1920 ff. - - - wrote a (little/witty/serious nonetheless) monograph about this subject:
The Garden Gnome and his Anchestors.

I gave a speech in the Black Forest a few years back, which referred to Hartlaub's book here and there and was well received by a crowd in high spirits. The numerous kids loved my talk too.

Beautiful summer a birthday party in the house of a carpenter and flea market profi. Was given an itching of a gold-finch in return, which hangs behind our living room sofa now.
Hartlaub's Gnome-Text is online

Hartlaub, Gustav Friedrich: Der Gartenzwerg und seine Ahnen: eine ikonographische und kulturgeschichtliche Betrachtung (Heidelberg, 1962) (

Essential reading for the Peak Stupidity bookclub, hehe - brush up your German, gentlemen! nice sunday everybody - we'll soon roam with the Earl of Bodman's buffalos...
The Alarmist
Sunday - March 26th 2023 4:49AM MST

That’s not a Gnome ... that’s a Fairy.
Dieter Kief
Sunday - March 26th 2023 3:41AM MST
Maybe the two oligarchs who donated to Brandon (D-Beijing) had some money there.
How about a chief burlesque officer! (horn)

Hunter - right?!

(name's approriate too, btw. - universal hamrmony concept( - - ).
Saturday - March 25th 2023 8:41PM MST
PS In Russia no banks are collapsing. (honk!)
I love the Thurston Howell pronunciation and one internet commenter said...that is not how you say Swiss. (" ")
Maybe the handling of Russian assets by the land of yodeling and Ricola turned some people off?
They froze only $6 billion out of $11 billion plus.
Maybe the two oligarchs who donated to Brandon (D-Beijing) had some money there.
How about a chief burlesque officer! (horn)
WHAT SAY YOU? : (PLEASE NOTE: You must type capital PS as the 1st TWO characters in your comment body - for spam avoidance - or the comment will be lost!)