Sam Jones

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Swiss president Alain Berset and finance minister Karin Keller-Sutter at a press conference about Credit Suisse in a week that challenged Switzerland’s notions of identity © FT montage: AFP/Getty Images

“No one becomes a murderer more easily than a fatherland”, wrote Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Switzerland’s national playwright.

Last weekend, the country killed one of its own. At a hastily convened press conference in the capital Bern on Sunday evening, the government and regulators announced Credit Suisse’s 167-year run as one of the pillars of Swiss society was over. The huge bank, the locomotive of Switzerland’s industrial miracle, weakened by years of scandal, was to be folded into its bigger rival UBS.

The talk was of staving off an unthinkable financial collapse. There was little time for sentiment. The government “regrets Credit Suisse wasn’t able to master its own difficulties”, said Karin Keller-Sutter, Switzerland’s finance minister.…  Seguir leyendo »