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The Zurich Axioms: The rules of risk and reward used by generations of Swiss bankers by Max Gunther

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Introduction

What the Axioms are and how they came to be

Consider the puzzle of Switzerland. This ancestral home of mine is a rocky little place about half the size of Maine. It has not one inch of seacoast. It is one of the most mineral-poor lands on earth. It possesses not a drop of oil to call its own, barely a bucket of coal. As for farming, its climate and topography are inhospitable to just about everything.

It has stayed out of European wars for 300 years; chiefly because, in all that time, there has never been an invader who really wanted it.

Yet the Swiss are among the most affluent people in the world. In per capita income they rank with the Americans; West Germans; and Japanese. Their currency is among the world’s soundest. ...

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