Swiss National Bank
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..."
As the debate regarding whether or not Switzerland should keep the bulk of its gold reserves at home on Swiss soil reaches it's climax - the referendum takes place on Sunday - it is telling that the Dutch announced on Friday that they have just secretly repatriated 122 tonnes of their sovereign gold reserves from New York back to Amsterdam.
There's an interesting initiative on the Swiss ballot, which imposes a barrier to currency debasement. It's a heroic measure, but there's a flaw.
On November 30, Swiss nationals head to the polls on three separate issues: abolishing a flat tax on resident, non-working foreigners, an immigration cap, and a proposal on Swiss gold reserves. As Visual Capitalist notes, the one we are most interested in is the latter section of the ballot, and today’s infographic sums up everything you need to know about the upcoming Swiss gold referendum.
Global Slowdown Confirmed By PMIs Missing From Japan To China To Europe; USDJPY Nears 119 Then SlidesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/20/2014 07:00 -0500
The continuation of the two major themes witnessed over the past month continued overnight: i) the USDJPY rout accelerated, with the Yen running to within 2 pips of 119 against the dollar as Albert Edwards' revised USDJPY target of 145 now appears just a matter of weeks not months (even though subsequent newsflow halted today's currency decimation and the Yen has since risen 100 pips , and ii) the global economic slowdown was once again validated by global PMIs missing expectations from Japan to China (as noted earlier) and as of this morning, to Europe, where the Manufacturing, Services and Composite PMI all missed across the board, driven by a particular weakness in France (Mfg PMI down from 48.5 to 47.6, below the 48.8 expected), but mostly Germany, after Europe's growth dynamo, which disappointed everyone after yesterday's rebound in the Zew sentiment print, printed a PMI of only 50.0, down from 51.4 a month ago, down from 52.7 a year ago, and below the 51.5 expected. And just as bad, Europe's composite PMI just tumbled to 51.4, the lowest print in 16 months!
Russia’s central bank bought about 150 metric tons of the metal this year, announced Governor Elvira Nabiullina yesterday. The pronouncement immediately created buying in the market, prompting gold to rise to a two week high at $1,200 an ounce.
For anyone curious how banks "represent and warrant" that they have thousands of tons of physical gold when in reality they have far less if not zero physical in storage and all in "synthetic" form, here is the blow by blow.
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.
While we have noted previously that "a cluster of central banking investors has become major players on world equity markets," and the BoJ has recently tripled its direct manipulative buying of stocks (after buying a record amount in August)... the conspiracy-theorist-dismissers will have to close their eyes and ears as the Swiss National Bank admits in its 2013 annual report that it greatly expanded its share of foreign stocks purchased... most notably small-cap companies.
Deutsche Bank Says "Yes" Vote Has "Narrow But Clear Lead" In Swiss Gold Referendum As 1M GOFO Hits Most Negative Since 2001Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/14/2014 12:58 -0500
"On 30 November, the Swiss will vote in a referendum to decide whether the SNB’s constitutional mandate should be changed to require the central bank to 1) never sell any gold reserves once acquired, 2) store all its gold on Swiss territory, 3) hold at least 20% of its official reserve assets in gold. The likelihood of a yes vote is considerable. The proposal requires a simple country-wide majority to pass, as well as a majority in at least 50% of Swiss cantons. Current polling shows the ‘yes’ campaign with a narrow but clear lead and there are reasons to believe that factors on the day could be favourable for the amendment. If an affirmative vote was recorded, there is little political leeway to delay or dilute implementation."
‘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.
Chris Martenson is an economic researcher and futurist, specializing in energy and resource depletion, and co-founder of PeakProsperity.com. As one of the early econobloggers who forecasted the housing market collapse and stock market correction years in advance, Chris rose to prominence with the launch of his seminal video seminar, The Crash Course, that interconnected forces in the economy, energy, and the environment that are shaping the future, one that will be defined by increasing challenges as we have known it. Chris’s insights are in high demand by the media as well as academic, civic, and private organizations around the world, including institutions such as the U.N., the U.K. House of Commons, and the U.S. State Legislatures. So with that we’d like to welcome Mr. Chris