The Budget Control Act was a poison-pill deal designed to force them to find a less austere compromise, but political power struggle meant no deal was done, and the deadline arrived. A combination of expiring tax cuts and across-the-board government spending cuts scheduled to become effective December 31, 2012 defines ‘fiscal cliff’.
According to the BIS, “The choice of Switzerland for the seat of the BIS was a compromise by those countries that established the BIS: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. When consensus could not be reached on locating the Bank in London, Brussels or Amsterdam, the choice fell on Switzerland. An independent, neutral country, Switzerland offered the BIS less exposure to undue influence from any of the major powers. Within Switzerland, Basel was chosen largely because of its location, with excellent railway connections in all directions, especially important at a time when most international travel was by train.”