On November 30 2014, The Swiss people have decided against the initiative. Even after leaving the 1.20 peg, the Swiss Franc is strongly tied to the Euro and ECB policy. It is now up to the SNB to prove the people right and manage its way out of the 470 Billion of currency risk, much of which is Euro denominated debt. This is likely to involve major printing of Swiss Francs. In 2015 we will see all major central banks printing money. Gold will of course rise to reflect this.
The memo below could have been written by Thomas Jordan, President of the Swiss National Bank
1 Dec, 2013
Internal Memo from Jomas Thordan, President of the National Bank
Internal Memo National Bank
From: Jomas Thordan, President
To: The Board of Directors
Date: December 1, 2014
I have been quite concerned about the outcome of the Gold Initiative referendum. That is why I have been in the media virtually every day for the last few weeks. I know that the National Bank should not conduct a campaign during a referendum of this kind but since it was a matter of national importance I had no other choice.
As you know, until 1999 we had over 40% gold backing in our balance sheet. At the time it was thought that this amount of gold was critical for the stability of the National Bank and our national currency. But fortunately we managed to change the constitution which allowed us to sell more than half of the nation’s gold at the bottom of the market. We have been bloody lucky fortunate that the Bank’s reputation was intact after this decision which cost our nation 30 Billion. It was clearly incompetent unlucky to sell the gold at the lows but market timing has never been our strong point.
I am extremely pleased that 77% of the voters agreed with my propaganda statements that gold plays no role in modern banking. Gold is a relic of the past. We can’t print gold and that is a major disadvantage when we want to manipulate manage our currency and financial markets. Our principles for managing the National Bank are now laid down by the Federal Reserve and ultimately Goldman Sachs. Here at the Bank we fully subscribe to the statement of the wise Mayer Amshel Rotschild: “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who make its laws.”
So fortunately we don’t have to buy any more gold and we should probably consider selling the 1,000 tons we may still own since it serves no purpose and has no yield. That would also give us ammunition to buy more euros.
The one concern that I would like to share with the board is our currency position. As you are well aware, we have printed over 400 billion and bought mainly assets in euros but also in other currencies in order to hold the peg above 1.20. We are all aware that printed pieces of paper are not really worth anything but since we are a national bank, we can just tell the people that it is real money. Fortunately they are foolish wise enough to believe us.
The reason I have been so nervous about the referendum is that the Bank is now sitting on the biggest speculative currency position of any major central bank in the world. Our balance sheet of 522 Billion is over 80% of GDP which is an extremely dangerous position for our country. It is virtually impossible to get out of this massive position without a loss of 10s of Billions or even as much as 100 Billion. Obviously the people would ultimately pay for this loss.
The 1.20 peg is artificial and throughout history no currency peg has ever held in the longer term. Over time currency rates always reflect economic and monetary differences between countries. Since our economy, for a while at least, is likely to continue to be stronger than the weak eurozone, our home currency will naturally outperform the euro. We are of course extremely grateful that the voters listened to our propaganda information during the campaign and rejected the Gold Initiative. But sadly the Bank’s problems are not over.
This peg was critical to save the bankers banks that had lent massive amounts of our national currency to mainly Eastern European banks. So now we are totally linked with the eurozone and at some point we should perhaps discuss to make this permanent. There are of course disadvantages to be tied to a very weak currency. Everything we buy in the shops is now more expensive. Also, we could be dragged down by euroland and end up with the same economic disaster they are in. But fortunately the people don’t understand these major drawbacks.
But the biggest problem with taking the euro as our currency is that the Bank would lose its ability to be irresponsible independent. The ECB would take over and we would lose all our power to print money.
Therefore I recommend to the Board that we stay as we are. But that still gives us the headache of our 470 billion speculative currency position. This is a timebomb and we know we will never be able to extract from it without very major losses. Hopefully the current board will have retired from the National Bank before this happens so a new board can be blamed for it.
Finally I would like to thank the Board for their support of my actions. The Bank now retains total “control of the Nation’s money” which is comforting.
P.S. The above is a fictional account of events and any connection to a real situation is purely coincidental.
Address by Lukas Reimann MP, Nationalrat, Kanton St. Gallen
This video has English subtitles
If you say No to the Gold Initiative
These will be the consequences:
- Switzerland’s economic policy will be dictated by the EU
- Swiss Franc will be tied to a weak EU and a weak Euro
- UK and Canada will hold CHF 12 billion of our gold that we might never get back
- Inflation and cost of living will increase dramatically
- Swiss National Bank will print additional CHF 100s of billions
- Swiss Franc will go down. A weak currency leads to a weak economy
- Switzerland will own at least CHF 400 billion of EU bonds that could become worthless
Can the Swiss People afford this risk?
A Yes vote means that:
- Switzerland will remain a strong independent nation not influenced by EU or USA
- The Swiss Franc will be the only currency in the world (partially) backed by gold
- The Swiss Franc will be very stable, leading to a strong economy
- Swiss National Bank can no longer gamble with our economy by printing hundreds of billions of worthless paper money
Media / Press
Ronald Stoeferle, senior adviser to Erste group and Managing Director at Incrementum AG says:
“Gold cannot go bankrupt! The vast majority of Assets of the SNB is EUROPEAN debt! They are giving billions of our Swiss Francs to countries like Italy, France and Spain. The Risk of a European debt crisis is much higher than people think!!!”
Ron Paul, former US presidential candidate, former US Congressman (2014) says:
“Just like the US and the EU, Switzerland at the federal level is ruled by a group of elites who are more concerned with their own status, well-being, and international reputation than with the good of the country. The gold referendum, if it is successful, will be a slap in the face to those elites. The Swiss people appreciate the work their forefathers put into building up large gold reserves, a respected currency, and a strong, independent banking system. They do not want to see centuries of struggle squandered by a central bank. The results of the November referendum may be a bellwether, indicating just how strong popular movements can be in establishing central bank accountability and returning gold to a monetary role.”
Egon von Greyerz, founder of Matterhorn Asset Management says:
“To tie the Swiss Franc to a weak currency like the Euro and a very weak economic area like the Eurozone is a recipe for disaster. To align your country to a failed political and economic experiment can only lead to failure.
Pater Tenebrarum, Top financial analyst since 1980 (Acting Man) says:
“All the arguments against the initiative would be regarded as arguments ‘for it’ by us. There would be absolutely nothing wrong with putting the central bank into a “tight corset”. The initiative’s proposal is far too modest, if anything. In fact, it would be a blessing, especially at ‘this particularly sensitive time’.”
A Warm Thank You
in spite of the unexpected and completely false intervention by Paypal, fully blocking our donations account, the initiative committee is extremely grateful for your support.
Matterhorn Asset Management will support a fresh Swiss Gold Initiative
On November 30, 2014 the People of Switzerland have voted against ‘The Swiss Gold Initiative’ in a national referendum. As we have been saying to our investors since over a decade ago, the 40 year+ trend of ‘paper only currency’ violates sound money principles that have held their own for 5,000 years. Investors must pursue long term protection in the form of ‘Real Money’, Gold.
In 2011, The Swiss National Bank, with a relatively strong balance sheet and substantial reserves, was forced by industry to participate in the ongoing international currency war and push reasonable limits of money supply. Like the United Kingdom, Switzerland has sold a substantial amount of physical gold around the turn of the century.
Final comment: This battle is not over yet.