Monday, October 4, 2010

Basel visit sunny trip

The litttle soujiurn to switzerland was a rather flat affair. Thr excitement was confined to hearing about the excesses of the swiss police. A friend received a 700 nz dollar / 500 something swiss francs fine for riding his bicycle without lights at 2 am and a little over the alcohol limit. The police arrested him and held him for almost two hours. They discussed keeping his bike, so that he would have had to walk home a few kilometers, but instead told him that he had to push the bike.
Basel itself is a city of unbelievable wealth, it is the banking power centre of the world, banking headquater, banker's head bank, the mother of all banks, the BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS (swift BISBCHBB) is here.
Their round 60s style building (TOWER, Centralbahnplatz 2) reminds us of the Beehive in Wellington, their other office complex (BOTTA, Aeschenplatz 1) is a fortress where the entrance is inside huge cracks in the facade.
High security, armored glass and chipcard authentication at reception gives us a hint as to their importance to the world's capitalist finance system.
You could try to send them a telex (962 487 biz ch), a fax (+41 61 280 9100; +41 61 280 8100) and check their website www.bis.org or spam them by email under email@bis.org or speak to them by phone on +41 61 280 8080:
So there. They deserve to hear from you, they rule your world by way of credit/money creation.
The river Rhine is pretty clean in Basle, you can cross it over bridges or take the powerless passive powered passenger ferry boat, that has no motor and no sail, but is propelled by the river's current, and tethered to a steel rope. These boats even work on autopilot, landing automagically and perfectly smooth at their piers on either end. The boat has a large lever which holds the rope at starboard or prot side, depending on direction of travel.
Medieval technology, perfect in the 21 century.
Young people sit on huge riverside concrete steps and drink cheap ALDI beer cans (perfectly cooled) and some even swim in the river.
Large oil tankers, low-profile (height) river shipping pass by, occasionally. There is not much room between bridge supports and bridges' underside when these monstrous ships glide by.
Some more fun facts:
Every swiss person is obligated to have a space in a nuclear bunker.
There are 13 million bank accounts where owners have not contacted the swiss bank for years or decades. (Nachrichtenlose Konten)
The amount of nazi gold that is stored in mountain tunnels is staggering and could pay for the UN's millenium goals many times over. (google nazigold).
The swiss banks have collaborated with the worst criminals, and continue their crimes unimpeded. They paid for the jewish holocaust account heirs from the coffee tin and the recent USA UBS court case was absorbed easily.
Switzerland makes more money from banking every year than saudi arabia from oil sales.
Hypocrisy in the alps.
Mountain fortress, hence the picture of machu pichu.
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