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Re: Zimmermann legal fund

On Mon, 31 Jul 1995, Phil Fraering wrote:

>    Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 12:12:16 +0800 (HKT)
>    From: Enzo Michelangeli <[email protected]>
>    How could it be worse than with the U.S. of A.?? ;-)
> OK... think about Venezuela. It has bad inflation. It has laws against
> converting local currency to US dollars on the black market, which is
> basically defined as any agency/person/corporate entity exchanging at
> a worse rate than the government rate (at least in Venezuela itself;

Hey, I was joking: even without arriving to such extremes, banking in
Europe is, more often than not, a much worse experience than in USA. My
point, anyway, was that there are many offshore banking centres where you
may keep accounts denominated in USD, Deutsche Marks, Swiss Francs or
other reputable currencies, and also choose branches of reputable
international banks, even American ones if you like (Citybank, Chase and
many other are represented world-wide). Personally, as bank I like the
HSBC Holdings group or other "British-overseas" institutions like Standard
Chartered, and as haven currency the Singapore Dollar (due to the very strong
balance sheet of that country). In any case, the depositor may choose.

Unfortunately, the costs of international transfers of funds are still
pretty high, even between branches of the same bank. If I remit funds from
Hong Kong to another country, my bank charges me HKD 100. (around USD 20)
per operation, flat. In other countries there are additional commissions
proportional to the amount (0.125% from Singapore, 0.1% from Macau etc).
Sometimes, charges are levied on incoming remittances too. That situation
is partly dependent on the regulatory framework, and partly on the
oligopolistic nature of the banking business. In any case, it makes
international transfers not viable for the settlement of small bills; that
may be the reason why First Virtual is still stuck with USA-only merchant

Now, my main objection to opening a US account is that it's unclear
whether or not, for simply receiving payments there, a non-resident and
non-citizen account holder like myself incurs in any tax liability with
Uncle Sam's Inland Revenue. Can anybody on this list shed light on the 
issue? Last time I checked, the guys at FV weren't sure either.