Swiss Gold Referendum Fails: 78% Vote Against "Protecting The Country's Wealth"

Tyler Durden's picture

Whether as a result of an unprecedented scare campaign by the Swiss National Bank (most recently reinforced by Citigroup), or due to confidence that Swiss gold is as safe abroad as it is at home, or simply due to good old-fashioned "hanging chads", today's most awaited event has come and gone and the result - according to early projections by Swiss television SRF - is that the Swiss population overwhelmingly rejected a referendum to force the Swiss National Bank to hold some 20% of its reserves in gold in a landslide vote, with about 78% voting against what AP politely termed "protecting the country's wealth by investing in gold."

As Bloomberg reports, the proposal stipulating the Swiss National Bank hold at least 20 percent of its 520-billion-franc ($540 billion) balance sheet in gold was voted down by 78 percent to 22 percent, according to projections by Swiss television SRF as of 1:00 p.m. local time. The initiative “Save Our Swiss Gold” also would have prohibited the SNB from ever selling any of its bullion and required the 30 percent currently stored in Canada and the U.K. to be repatriated.

A ballot box is emptied at a voting center in Zurich today.

A map showing the breakdown of the Swiss vote by canton: none of the 23 Swiss regions had a majority vote for the gold initiative.

That said the decision will likley not come as a surprise because while early polls gave the yes camp a surprising lead, subsequently polling showed a marked shift in public opinion, and forecast the initiative’s rejection.

The biggest winner, of course, is the Swiss central bank: SNB policy makers warned repeatedly that the measure would have made it harder to keep prices stable and shield the central bank’s cap on the franc of 1.20 per euro. That minimum exchange rate was set three years ago, with the SNB pledging to buy foreign currency in unlimited amounts to defend it.

“The SNB can feel confirmed in its policy,” said Martin Gueth, economist at LBBW in Stuttgart. “By rejecting the gold measure, voters have come out in favor of its current stance.”

Referendums are a key feature of Switzerland’s system of direct democracy, and are held nationally and at a municipal level several times a year. The gold initiative was launched by a handful of members of the European Union-skeptic Swiss People’s Party. Uneasy about the more than 100 billion euros the SNB holds, they contend their initiative will strengthen -- not weaken -- the central bank’s credibility.


However, SNB President Jordan labeled the initiative “dangerous” and his fellow board member Fritz Zurbruegg said accepting the measure meant the room for maneuver “on currency reserves would be dramatically restricted, with negative consequences for the Swiss economy.”


The central bank, based in Bern and Zurich, would have faced a three-year deadline for repatriating its bullion from abroad and five to meet the 20 percent benchmark. With the European Central Bank poised to enact more stimulus to boost feeble growth and inflation, economists surveyed by Bloomberg News in a poll published on Nov. 19 had expected the SNB to maintain its ceiling on the franc into 2017.

The question now is what will happen to the Swiss France, which recently rose to a 26-month high against the euro. For many the concern that a successful gold referendum served as a catalyst to avoid going all in the CHF, as gold purchases would have weakened the currency. “If the euro crisis doesn’t get worse, then the minimum exchange rate will be defendable, said David Marmet, an economist at Zuercher Kantonalbank. Had the initiative been accepted, ‘‘instruments such as negative rates that don’t widen the balance sheet” would have been an option, he said.

With the referendum out of the way, the CHF may paradoxically find itself with a situation in which the inflows in the CHF force it to double down on defending the cap: economists have questioned whether the SNB will now find itself having to reinforce its cap with a negative interest rate on the cash-like deposits commercial banks keep with the central bank, making good on its threat to take further steps “immediately” if necessary.

And then there is the question of what happens to the tension in the gold swap market: as noted last week, the 1 Month GOFO rate had tumbled to the most negative in over a decade. It was not clear if this collateral gold squeeze was the result of Swiss referendum overhang or due to other reasons. The market's reaction on Monday should answer those questions.

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TheAnalOG's picture

Stolen like Scotland

The Limerick King's picture



The Switzerland Kleptos have won

Their gold referendum is done

The Powers That Be

Control what we see

Reform may require a gun

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

Pile on the massive gold shorts to prove how useless gold is. Even though gold dropped on news when it looked like it might pass, you know that since all news, good bad or ugly makes gold drop, this is sure to be good for at least another 2.5% drop

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Good gives me more time to pick up more phyz

Latina Lover's picture

The Banksters are just too powerful to beat in Europe, USSA and 5 eyes.    It will be the Chinese and Russians who will eventually restore some integrity to the financial system.

Escrava Isaura's picture



Latina Lover

Do you still that naive… or, it’s because you haven’t had coffee yet?


“The BRIC’S Bank is anti Petrodollar, not anti Money Power” -- Anthony Migchels

Arius's picture

the cheese makers did it again ...

kliguy38's picture

Foch um.......ehehehehe......they're already done for.......they were never going to get their gold anyway

Au Member's picture

Piling on the diebold longs

BaBaBouy's picture

Fecking NumSculls ...

...Welcome To The EU Slave Labour Serfdom...

remain calm's picture

78% of the Swiss voters chose the Euro over Gold. Good luck with that. Let me know how well that works out for your purchasing power over time.

BaBaBouy's picture

The FED Dodges Another "GOLDEN Sucking Sound"...

BaBaBouy's picture

""Not only did they vote against the GOLD- these idiots voted against curbing immigration.""

Hehehehe, In 20 Years, The SWISSies Will Be All Be Making Dollar-Store Trinkets For... The Chinese Consumers.

zerozulu's picture

people and countries who have gold in their possession are won. Congratulations.

palmdetroit's picture

Gold is nice for some bling, but it's the banks , and they know it. Cryptos are for the people

Have both but, average age now in cryptos is 18-25.. stick with the future not the past.

BigJim's picture

Looks like the Swiss are no wiser than any other bunch of Western sheep.

Son of Loki's picture

The Swiss have already lost a huge amount of banking and investment business to Asia -- Hk and Singapore in particular. They're gonna lose lots more now. Luckiky they can increase their Cheese and Chocolate production using the increased low-wage immigrant population flooding into their country to try to offset the Billions they will lose from their banking business.


The Mighty Swiss Franc is now just a historic fascination.

Mountainview's picture

You can't trust these guys anymore!

James_Cole's picture

No vote wins 100% lol. gee wiz whoever could've predicted this would fail?? Paging winston churchill...

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

Damnit, i had gold popping $500 come Monday Morning.

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

part of the problem with the yes campaign was this perception - which even the yes crowd failed to counter - that it would force 1500 tones to be purchased

Thats only the tonnage needed 'at these prices'. had the news of a yes vote or other factors carried the value of gold to $3000 / oz, they wouldnt have to buy anything for their current horde to be 20% of their balance sheet

7.62x54r's picture


More time for me to stack harder, then.

gold-is-not-dead's picture

Swiss watches and shipple are the best of their kind.

Uchtdorf's picture

"Stick with the future not the past," makes for a nice soundbite, but when in the history of the world did the legendary 18-25 cohort have a controlling interest in global politics or finance? That they can be led along to think they are making a difference cannot be argued. However, real change or real leadership, not so much.

daveO's picture

Same demographic put BHO into office. I didn't trust their judgement when I was still their age. Hard assets, in hand.

Stoploss's picture

All the way up tp the EMP hit...

Then what do ya got??? No electricity means no food for u. 

Go ahead, stick with the future, it is working out so well!!!

Save_America1st's picture

A not so oldy...but a real goody.  Pass it on for the holidays to stackers and non-stackers alike!


A Turdville Tale for Christmas

hobopants's picture

I hope the 22% who voted for this give the rest of the population absolutely nothing when things fall apart. They seem to be ready and willing to be serfs, so be it.

I just wish I could be there to see their faces after they wake up one morning with nothing, and figure out that if they had voted for this they would still have most of their wealth.

I would take photos and release a line of posters and keychains "The faces of stupidity".

If you ever needed an example of why it's not going to get any better from this point onward, here it is. We're doing this the hard way.

northern vigor's picture

I was surprised that 22% knew what they were talking about...I always knew 78% of any population...even the Swiss, haven't got a clue.

ebworthen's picture

The chorus heard round the world:

"Free money, free money, free money!"

Save_America1st's picture

what a bummer...yet another chapter in this long battle though.  We'll see how it all plays out soon enough. 

Didn't want their vote to fail, but I was skeptical it would just like the Scottish vote did.  Although I did think it would be much closer than this, which in my opinion kinda screams of some kind of over the top voter fraud occurring.  78% "No"???  Sounds like somebody was double-counting the "No" votes a little too much and overly skewed the fraud votes.  Hope there's a re-count or some kind of investigation.

So now we get to sit back and wait for the markets to open tonight and into tomorrow.  I had wondered on here a few times over a week ago what everyone would think would happen with the paper gold and silver prices either way after this thing wsa finally done with?  I fully expected a beat-down on Thursday and Friday ahead of the vote since America was going to be on holiday Thursday (markets closed) and on Friday they would be too occupied with beating each other up over even more cheap bullshit made in China.  So TPTB would use that opportunity to beat the prices down as more warning shots across the bow of the Swiss "Yes" voters.  Looks like mission accomplished.

I also wondered if the vote would have passed then would TPTB still beat the paper prices down hard-core going into Monday and Tuesday just to punish the Swiss for passing it.  Guess we won't find out about that.  

But now that it has failed then I'm wondering will TPTB smash the hell out of paper gold and silver just to really prove their point and scare the hell out of any standing longs in the paper market who will be too weak to hold on any longer???? 

Phyzz holders won't worry about it or care at all.  Either way for a short time it will still give us even better buying opportunities as long as there is phyzz available and as long as premiums don't skyrocket on the back end of a massive beat-down.  We'll see in about 12+ hours.

Have your dry powder ready for it, Stackers!  We just may yet see 1000 "paper" gold and 14 "paper" silver?  Who knows?  Maybe even lower in silver actually.  Just keep stacking now as your dry powder holdings allow. 

This game is nearing completion, and regardless of what the Swiss would have voted today, the phyzz stackers are still doing the right thing and will be greatly rewarded for being strong throughout the collapse of the fiat monetary system and the end of the Great Keynesian Experiment. 

daveO's picture

Lower prices AND shortages are now guaranteed.

daveO's picture

Lower prices AND shortages are now guaranteed.

gimme-gimme-gimme's picture

I also doubt it was rigged too. Just like austerity or cutting back on entitlements -- people would rather inflate and forget if it means they can keep things going a little longer.

Voting yes for a gold standard would mean voting yes on fiscal responsibly. The good thing is that this means CB's will keep printing, and you can have your own gold standard by purchasing some PM's privately.

Mountainview's picture

Main stream media and the absence of macro economic education have done the job. Swiss are brainwashed or at least dazed by EURO enthusiasts. The remaining few: Wake up!

Lore's picture

I don't think the vote was rigged. We just witnessed the classic 80/20 rule: 80% (78% in this case) asleep, 20% awake. Most people anywhere will vote against any measure that makes them uncomfortable. They don't want a better life; they want what's familiar, and more ominously, they want the same for everyone else.  In other words, their vote was in favour of bunging themselves AND the person next to them.  

They made their bed; let them lie in it.  But damn their blindness.  The outcome was probably irrelevant anyway. The psychopaths probably emptied Swiss vaults years ago.

On the positive side, the publicity might have raised awareness among a few, and more importantly, the Swiss 'safe haven' myth is exposed, the voting majority having demonstrated in a tangible, measurable way that they are as corrupt as everyone else.  

I don't know where smart, independent money can retreat these days (Caymans? Hong Kong?), but it seems unlikely to remain in Switzerland, much less anyplace else in Europe.

BaBaBouy's picture

They Choose Paper Fiats Over Phys GOLD... Viel Gluck Botchez...

Real Estate Geek's picture

Let’s see how the SNB spins this into a mandate to sell the remaining gold.

jaap's picture

slaves will be slaves

rccalhoun's picture

their folly is my opportunity

Joe Trader's picture

Learn to trade JDST & DUST



zerozulu's picture

One thing cleared by this referendum and that is," Swiss are not different and they do not deserve the kind of respect we were giving them".

BigJim's picture

Can you imagine what % of the vote would have been in the US/UK?

zerozulu's picture

Its too confusing for them.

Joe Trader's picture

"It's" too confusing for you

zerozulu's picture

I love ZH's Grammar Nazis