Arriving in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, is like walking onto the set of Frozen or some other classic Disney movie. The Prince’s castle sits perched on the side of a mountain, overlooking the small town below.

With a population of only 36,000, every citizen of the country could comfortably fit inside Yankee stadium, and a third of the seats would still be empty. The last relic of the Holy Roman Empire, the principality is safely nestled in the mountains between Switzerland and Austria, about an hour from Zurich.

The nation’s passports even have an inset blow-up map showing the country’s location because many border guards around the world are skeptical it is a real country. In the world of banking, however, Liechtenstein is very much real.

For years, the country was viewed and used as a place for wealthy individuals to hide money and evade taxes from their native lands. The result led to a GDP per capita of $139,000 by 2009, the highest in the world.

Intensifying in 2008 and into 2009, however, pressure began to mount on the country from Germany, the UK, and others to change. Internally, as well, leadership within Liechtenstein recognized the time had come to find alternative ways to compete in a global economy. Read more from…

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