The United States and the European Union, in the midst of the "global economic crisis" have begun taking at the tax havens of the world and countries across Europe are scrambling to be taken off the international 'hit-list' including the micro-monarchies of Liechtenstein and Monaco. They have already promised to stop protecting bank secrecy and go along with international and foreign regulations to varying degrees, even the fiercely independent Swiss. It is clear they do not want to be pariahs on the world stage but could the urge to be in the "in" crowd hurt the tiny principalities in the long run? Almost everyone has been hurt by the current economic crisis, directly or indirectly, though so far the princes of both Liechtenstein and Monaco have said they have remained relatively unscathed. However, at the start of the year HSH Prince Albert II was feeling the pinch enough to halt plans for the addition of another ward to the country by expansion through sea reclamation. So, regardless of the spin, the crisis has already cost Monaco some major investment opportunities.
I could be reading too much into all of this (and I sincerely hope I am wrong) but I am concerned that this new wave of economic transparency could radically hurt if not doom the tiny monarchies like Liechtenstein and Monaco which I so greatly admire. The prosperity these countries enjoy owes a considerable amount to the foreign investment that has been attracted by their low taxes and banking policy of "ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies". If the considerable financial perks of doing business in Vaduz or Monte Carlo dry up, if foreign investment stops, just what do these principalities have to fall back on to ensure their economic survival? I hardly see how Liechtensteiners could continue to enjoy their high standard of living if the national income had to rely entirely on selling stamps. Monaco is probably an even more extreme case as the high cost of living there depends on attracting high-end business and high-paying investors to the country. If those wells dry up few of the expats who make up the bulk of the population of Monaco could afford to live there.
All around the world the economic crisis is being used as an opportunity for international leftist forces to consolidate power. In the past this was done with Soviet tanks, today it is being done even more effectively by economic strong-arm tactics and no one, even the idyllic principalities of Liechtenstein and Monaco are unaffected.