HSG in Singapore The University of St.Gallen opens a permanent institute in Singapore. One of the oldest Swiss private banks is indicted by the United States for helping tax evasion. One of the largest Swiss family firms goes public. 24 February 2012. On 15 February 938Live radio in Singapore announced the opening of the St.Gallen Institute of Management in Asia (SGI) in the Asian city. SGI will be the first permanent base for HSG in Singapore where the university been successfully partnering with local universities for 10 years now. St.Gallen Tagblatt quoted Thomas Bieger, President of the HSG as saying, "In the modern business community we must adapt to a global marketplace, and so our future business leaders must be educated globally as well." Students and faculty from HSG's Swiss campus will be brought to Asia to spend a semester studying and formularizing themselves with the Asian business culture, while students from Asia will be have the opportunity to study in Switzerland. Swiss Banking secrecy Meanwhile in Switzerland Wegelin & Co, the oldest private bank in Switzerland, was indicted by U.S. authorities for assisting U.S. citizens with tax evasion. Catherine McLean of The Globe and Mail writes that Swiss banking is finding its signature secrecy under attack by U.S. investigators who are looking at 11 banks including Wegelin & Co. As of now, 20,000 encrypted banking documents to U.S. authorities which will be unencrypted when a settlement is reached. “People in Switzerland consider this as an attack on Swiss banking,” said Martin Brown, a professor for banking at the HSG in the article. However, Prof. Brown stresses the changes forced upon the Swiss by the tax fight, while painful, are necessary. “This is going to hurt the Swiss banking industry in the short term, certainly. But it’s going to hurt the Swiss banking industry the same way closing down the coal mines in the U.K. in the 1980s hurt the U.K. industry. You’re offering financial services that are obsolete.” Family run enterprises go public The Swiss multinational trade firm DiethelmKellerSiberHegner (DKSH) has announced plans to list itself on the Swiss stock exchange, writes Matthew Allen of swissinfo.ch. However, with DKSH, which bills itself as the largest privately held company in Switzerland, going public the country will lose a major player from its broad ranks of family run enterprises. Phillip Sieger from the HSG Centre for Family Business is quoted as saying "Some 88 per cent of the 310,000 companies in Switzerland are controlled by family interests, a number that is expected to remain stable" According to a 2011 study from HSG, 77,000 of the family firms in Switzerland will face a succession problem within the next five years, but only one per cent will try and solve those problems with an IPO. The rest will be sold. “There is no critical size beyond which a company can no longer operate as a family run enterprise,” Sieger told swissinfo.ch. “We see many examples of very large companies under family ownership across the world.” The US economic heart attack Citywire from the UK quotes Prof DR Simon Evenett saying that the U.S. economy is heading for a debt "heart attack" due to failure to manage its debt-to-GDP ratio. Professor Evenett points to political deadlock in the U.S. brought on by young republicans - particularly the self described Tea-Party republicans - who are making it difficult for the democrats to impose fiscal consolidation measures. This, he said, will add to the debt burden while helping to ensure that the overall situation remains unresolved. "At some point this growth in public debt will start eating into economic growth and the US will face a very serious problem," he said. "If someone eats a steak every day we know that they are going to have a heart attack, we just don’t know when." "If they keep adding debt and this continues to eat into their GDP and their growth, then they are going to have a very serious problem. This is the situation the US finds itself in," he said.