It has something to do with a Catch-22...
A “YES” vote for the gold referendum is a first step towards redressing the imbalance that exists between the SNB and the people of Switzerland. A “YES” vote will begin a process to restore restraint, accountability, and transparency on an institution that took advantage of the removal of its previous gold holding constraint already once before to explode its balance sheet, reinvent itself as a hedge fund, and significantly expand into areas of policy far beyond its original remit. Central banks should be lenders of last resort and systemic regulators. In a direct democracy, decisions regarding taxation, membership in trade / political unions, and the autonomy of the national currency should be determined by popular vote not decreed or circumvented by central bank edict.
Central bankers reached a new low overnight when Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan warned of "disastrous consequences" from a pulpit in a church on a historic hill in the town of Uster, Switzerland, which Bloomberg dubbed the 'sermon on the hill.' "Hungry people don't stay hungry for long, they get hope from fire and smoke as they reach for the dawn..."
Why all of a sudden this quick 'gold fix'?
If there were no puppet masters in Washington DC or the Kremlin, what would happen next week?
A look at the price action of the dollar, S&P 500 and US 10-year yields as if analysis matters.
With gold already moving today on rumors of an increasingly positive tone towards Switzerland's referendum on the Gold Initiative, Axel Merk notes that it appears widely misunderstood and discusses implications for gold, the Swiss franc and Switzerland as a whole. "Gold is the people’s money, not the government’s money to splurge...gold is a store of value that ought to back the currency in circulation." Ultimately, people should never rely on their government to pursue a gold standard, but consider pursuing their own, personal gold standard.
‘Gold wars’ are intensifying with just 16 days left to polling day in the Swiss Gold Initiative. If the Swiss vote to revert to having 20% of currency reserves in gold, the Swiss National Bank will be forced to make huge purchases of gold bullion. Switzerland and its ‘Gold Initiative’ would contribute to driving the price of gold higher - likely in the short term and contributing to higher prices in the long term. Understanding the important recent past and what has led to the forthcoming Swiss Gold Initiative is important and why we look at it today. This context is all important and is essential reading for all who wish to understand the key issues in the debate, for all who invest in and own gold internationally and for all Swiss people.
Having bounced modestly yesterday, EURCHF is testing new lows post its peg (at 1.2020 vs 1.20 peg) as the reality of the referendum on the "Save Our Swiss Gold" initiative starts to get priced in. The Swiss National Bank has decided to unleash some propaganda, as WSJ reports, Thomas Jordan, president of the Swiss National Bank, warned adoption of the so-called 'Save Our Swiss Gold' initiative would be a "fatal error of judgment." With the vote looming on Nov 30th, Jordan explains that maintaining stable prices would be harder to achieve if the call for gold repatriation and increased reserves is approved. The M.A.D. rhetoric has begun as not just stability but jobs are at stake, according to Jordan.
With the bond market closed today due to Veteran's Day and the correlation and momentum ignition algos about to go berserk without any parental supervision, it was only a matter of time before some "stray" headline sent first the carry pair of choice, i.e., the USDJPY, and subsequently its derivative, the Emini, into the stratosphere. And sure enough, just before 3am Eastern, it was once again Reuters' turn to leak, only this time not about the ECB but Japan, as usual citing an unnamed "government official close to Abe's office", that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was likely to delay a planned sales tax increase.
- JAPAN MORE LIKELY TO DELAY SALES TAX INCREASE, REUTERS REPORTS
Which of course is a repeat of what Reuters said 2 days ago but since it came on the weekend, the momentum ignition algos didn't notice. The result was an instant surge in the USDJPY, which shortly thereafter touched on 116.00 the highest level in 7 years, and is up now 200 pips since yesterday as the obliteration of Japan's economy proceeds, in turn pushing European stocks, and shortly, the S&P, higher
EURCHF is rapidly falling towards its 1.20 peg level - not seen since September 2012 (when the SNB described the "massive overvaluation of the Swiss franc poses an acute threat to the Swiss economy and carries the risk of a deflationary development.") It appears the CHF buying pressure is based on traders betting on the Swiss Gold Initiative (SGI) referendum on Nov 30th - if it were to pass, the SNB would be forced to choose between buying gold or giving up on the peg (and allowing even more "massive overvaluation" of the swissy). For now, it seems EURCHF is the best indicator of SGI risk as precious metals remain unimpressed by the potential demand. Of course, as ForexLive notes one trader's comments, "even if the gold vote goes against them they can still hit the print button to infinity," to defend the peg; though that may just viciously impact the cost of the physical gold they would be forced to buy.
Swiss referendum is unlikely to be enacted into law, and if it is, there are several measures the SNB can do to limit its impact. Expect the SNB to defend the euro floor/franc cap.
With the Swiss gold stored at the Bank of Canada, now having been transferred out of the Bank of Canada’s Ottawa vault to an unknown location, the Swiss public would be wise to question the SNB on this move. The Swiss gold stored at the Bank of England in London seemingly being ‘actively managed’ one of the world’s largest centres for unallocated gold trading, the Swiss public would also be wise to enquire on this issue. And with significant historical quantities of Swiss gold that were stored with the US Federal Reserve Bank in New York no longer there after the SNB seemingly brought their US vaulted gold holdings to zero, the Swiss public need to question why these particular holdings were targeted for sales from 2000-2005 and not domestically held gold.
U.S. Mint Gold Coin Sales Near 60,000 - "Islamic State, Ebola, Putin, Ukraine" and Swiss Gold InitiativeSubmitted by GoldCore on 10/29/2014 12:59 -0500
Smart money is willing to pay a small premium to own segregated and allocated coins and bars rather than have the exposure of an ETF or digital gold platform ... Prudent diversification into physical coins and bars will again reward those who take a long term view.
The Swiss establishment has been reliant upon the public’s ignorance, but now they are up against a formidable opponent in Egon von Greyerz. Not only that, but they can clearly see that, as elsewhere around the world, the public is fast becoming disenchanted with the status quo; and that is potentially very dangerous for these people. What is important to understand here is that if the initiative passes it will be part of the Swiss constitution IMMEDIATELY - as some are suggesting. This means that the government and parliament cannot touch it. Only another referendum can change it. This is proper democracy for you. The closer we get to the vote on November 30, the bigger this story is going to become, and the bigger it becomes, the higher the chance that the yes vote wins. Should that happen, it will undoubtedly set off alarm bells throughout the gold market, as yet more physical gold will need to be repatriated and another sizeable, price-insensitive buyer will enter the marketplace.