|Map of Liechtenstein
|Castle in Vaduz Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein is the world’s largest producer of false teeth. At the time of my visit, nearly forty years ago, I was not in a denture buying mode. However, much more recently, this could have been really useful to me. They even make those effervescent pills used for cleaning dentures overnight. The country also profits from wine making and from selling postage stamps. It is said to be a good skiing location, but my visit was in summer so I cannot confirm that. I can confirm however that there was a plethora of picturesque German restaurants, some of which serve delicious dumplings.
At the time of writing (2009), the banks in tax havens like Liechtenstein are under pressure from the big countries in the western world to forget about their bank secrecy laws and to disclose the names of foreign customers, who may have avoided taxes in their home countries. How this situation develops is vital to Liechtenstein, which has greatly benefited over the years from the billions of dollars, pounds and euros secretly deposited in its banks. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that its banking industry has transformed Liechtenstein from a poor Alpine farming community into one of the wealthiest places in the world. Although there is now a steady stream of money being pulled out of Liechtenstein banks by nervous foreign depositors, the situation is complicated by devices like Anstalts, which make it impossible to tell who owns what. Therefore the tax haven industry may still have a future. Time will tell.
This piece, written by Bob, was originally published on our website on September 6, 2009.