Switzerland To Vote On Ending Fractional Reserve Banking

Tyler Durden's picture

One year ago (and just two months before the shocking announcement the Swiss Franc's peg to the Euro would end, dramatically revaluing the currency, and leading to massive FX losses around the globe and for the Swiss National Bank) the Swiss held a referendum whether to demand that their central bank should convert 20% of its reserves into gold, up from 7% currently. After the early polls showed the Yes vote taking a surprising lead, the Diebold machines kicked in and the result was a sweeping victory for the No vote, without a single canton voting for sound money.


Ironically, this unexpected nonchallance about the Swiss central bank's balance sheet by one of Europe's more responsible nations took place just before the same bank announced CHF30 billions in losses on its long EUR positions following the revaluation of the CHF. It also took place when not just Germany, but the Netherlands and Austria announced they would repatriate a major portion of their gold in a move which, all spin aside, signals rising concerns about the existing monetary system.

We wonder if the Swiss have changed their mind about just how prudent it is to have their central bank operate as one of the world's largest - and worst - after its CHF 30 billion loss in Q1 FX traders, and hedge funds with $94 billion in stock holdings, since then.

We may soon have the answer, because in what is shaping up to be another historic referendum on the treatment of money, earlier today the Swiss Federal Government confirmed that it had received enough signatures and would hold a referendum as part of the so-called "Vollgeld", or Full Money Initiative, also known as the Campaign for Monetary Reform, which seeks to ban commercial banks from creating money, and which calls for the central bank to be given sole power to create the money in the financial system.

In other words, an initiative to ban fractional reserve banking, and revert to a 100% reserve.

As Finanzen.ch reports, after 111,763 signatures urging a referendum were submitted, of which 110,955 valid, the Federal Chancellery announced on Thursday that the popular vote would take place. Under Switzerland's direct democracy, a referendum can be held if a motion gains 100,000 signatures within 18 months of launching.

"Banks won’t be able to create money for themselves any more, they’ll only be able to lend money that they have from savers or other banks," said the campaign group.

Ever since the SNB was established in 1891, it has had exclusive power to mint coins and issue Swiss banknotes. However, as with every other fractional reserve banking system, over 90% of the money in circulation in Switzerland, as in every other country, now exists in the form "electronic" cash created by private banks, rather than the central bank.

It is this threat of uncontrolled money creation and the risks to systemic stability that the Vollgeld campaign is seeking to stem.

"Due to the emergence of electronic payment transactions, banks have regained the opportunity to create their own money," said the Swiss Sovereign Money campaign. "The decision taken by the people in 1891 has fallen into oblivion."

So with the referendum now docketed, will this vote too be mysteriously "lost" in the final minutes of voting? According to the Telegraph, unlike the gold vote - which was seen as a precursor to re-introducing the Gold Standard in Switzerland - economists have been more supportive of the idea of "sovereign money" as a way to stabilize the economy and prevent excess credit growth.

A date for the Swiss referendum has not been set.

If the vote passes, and if Swiss banks are barred from creating deposits (by way of loans), it would shake to the core the entire modern financial system, which these days is exclusively reliant on runaway fractionalization of sound money, as more and more layers are added to the top of the Exter's Pyramid, as the only possible "growth" left in a world that has never seen so much debt, is to find new and creative ways to borrow from the future, with banks getting all the benefits and stuffing taxpayers when the inevitable collapse happens.


Below is a pdf provided by the Vollgeld Initiative, responding to popular criticisms against its "100% reserve" crusade.

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debtor of last resort's picture

The Swiss don't know how to vote over gold. So they better not vote over fractional reserve banking.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) debtor of last resort Dec 24, 2015 3:56 PM

Country sized nailgun...

Captain Debtcrash's picture
Captain Debtcrash (not verified) Stainless Steel Rat Dec 24, 2015 3:57 PM

If it passes we’ll be declaring war on Switzerland in three two….

jaap's picture

May I vote with my B-permit?

Manthong's picture

Aw shit..

Now we might have to nuke Switzerland.

I hope all that gold is buried deep in those mountains.

But looking on the bright side of things, the old gold Rolex might go way up in value once the monetary heretics and watch makers are wiped off the planet.

Dugald's picture


The prime law of banking is CHEAT

That is not compatible with ending fractional reserve banking

Eeyores Enigma's picture

Its spelled Fictional reserve banking.

Still Losing Money's picture

and you sound like jed clampett wanting to see his money in Mr. Drysdale's bank. people LAUGHED at that in '67 nad rightfully so. and today, you anti-FRL types sound just like jed. with you complete lack of understanding on money actually works and wanting to see dollar for dollar in the vault all the time.


You all need to start calling yourselves the FRL clampetts or something.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Still Losing Money Dec 24, 2015 9:49 PM

This will be like the gold vote. They sucked me in, no more sucker.

This is Satan's world, it is all about control and slavery.

Jesus told us.

Merry Christmas

philipat's picture

@SLM. After 9 weeks here you are obvioudly a real expert. Glad that you were able to get registered in time to troll for Christmas....

A Nanny Moose's picture

That would be a first in over 100 years....or since Lehman.

Captain Debtcrash's picture
Captain Debtcrash (not verified) Stainless Steel Rat Dec 24, 2015 3:59 PM

MUSHROOM!!!  Always pull the trigger on two.

Urban Redneck's picture

Ignorant outsiders shouldn't tell others how to vote, particularly when they rail against being how told how to vote by TPTB.  

But other than that, Schöni Wienachte und e guets neus Johr!

So like I said a year ago, after finishing with the vote count and then having a few beers with the neighbors, and when I said the END FRACTIONAL RESERVE REFERENDUM WOULD BE NEXT, and the Monetary Radicals (Jordan's word, not mine) are just getting warmed up...

The Swiss are different - and not well understood.

There were no "hanging chads".  Out of the 900+ ballots in my town, under 220 people voted yes on the gold initiative.  The were 4 geniuses who didn't sign their ballots and less than 10 who submitted ballots but didn't cast a vote either way on the third federal initiative.  The numbers we forwarded to the County and Canton matched up with the reported totals, the system worked the way it was supposed to - just not the way a lot of the outsiders wanted it to.

If you want to want to win at the ballot box, you need allies and consensus (or the shit to hit the fan -- 4% unemployment and 0% CPI inflation are hardly shiteven if rent and health insurance are rising faster).

Next up is the drive for the END FRACTIONAL RESERVE referendum.  The uppity serfs are going to keep beating the SNB until morale improves or the shit does hit the fan.

To head that off, the SNB might very well start repatriating that 300 tons (without telling anyone, just like last time) in order to have another card to play with whatever the next monetary policy referendum is...


So how could one get a gold referendum to pass IN SWITZERLAND, without sacrificing 4% unemployment and 0% CPI movement?

1) You have to recognize that CHF (in the mind of both SNB and business- is a medium of exchange and a unit of account.

2) Swiss like their "things" different, subtle, complex, and to perform as designed when used according to instruction.


Both sides were lying out their asses about this referendum and its consequences.  That's politics.  But the domestic situation in Switzerland is different that almost everywhere else.


So- here's how to hove a shot at a real gold standard and get the backing of both the SNB and some of the major political parties (it is a referendum about monetary policy after all)...


StychoKiller's picture

Don't they understand that this initiative will lead to dogs and cats living together?  Oh, the Hugh Manatee!

beemasters's picture

I'm not holding my breath. Today's banking system anywhere is addicted to free money to give up fractional reserve banking so easily...but then again, the Swiss are probably different? Let's see how much more enlightened they are...
Switzerland probably doesn't need fractional banking as much when it is holding surpluses of the world's dirty money.

Urban Redneck's picture

I wouldn't hold my breath either, but this referendum actually has better chance of passing than the last one, which everyone at ZH who lives in Switzerland warned would fail, for numerous reasons, and those warning fell upon the utterly deaf ears of the juvenile goldbugs who scream "Diebold!" when their stupidity is resoundingly rejected in a legitimate vote.  

In this case the language is more conciliatory towards the SNB and the distinction between fiat and fractional reserve is important as this wouldn't prevent the SNB from expanding the money supply in response to Mario & Janet's madness, and would actually increase the SNB's power at the expense of the commercial banks.  Moreover, Thomas Jordan has already said that theories behind the elimination of fractional reserve are sound (as I said back in Nov. 2014), and that his biggest reservation is that the experimental nature.  The critical variable will be support from the political parties, who the banks will lobby to oppose the referendum.  

I haven't followed the horsetrading since they finalized the referendum text and started collecting signatures, but everything should be made apparent as we move towards the referendum date.   

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Juvenile goldbugs should not be listened to until they grow up to be grown up goldbugs....

PrettySkulls's picture

You have no idea what a unit of account is, do you?


The sciences have many units of account, the gram accounts for mass, the meter accounts for distance, etc. The gram is defined here "Originally defined as "the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to the cube of the hundredth part of a metre, and at the temperature of melting ice"[2] (later 4 °C), a gram is now defined as one one-thousandth of the SI base unit, the kilogram, or 1×10?3 kg, which itself is defined as being equal to the mass of a physical prototype preserved by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures."

One of the key points of a definition for a unit of account is its immutability: Imagine the insanity of saying the meter has inflated by 2%

What, exactly is the $ (or CHF) a measure of? what definable thing is measured?

For a while, in the USA, a dollar was defined as 1oz of 99.99% pure silver. So for a while the dollar had a definition, and could be used as a unit of account.


Simply put, the stuff we use as currency is not a unit of account.

RabbitChow's picture

Most Swiss are just as ignorant as Americans about finance, banking and PMs

jefferson32's picture

Ignorant, perhaps. "As ignorant as Americans" you're really pushing it. Your morbidly obese couch potatoes have no equivalent in the world.

Still Losing Money's picture

and that includes almost 100 pecent of ZHers

SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Nine weeks, does not give you a pass on being a moron. If you are still losing money for real, as your moniker implies, don't feel the need to share, as we can tell you have nothing constructive to add to the proceedings...
Happy Christmas & Merry Fucking New Year ya filthy bastard.

Kprime's picture

with computerized fractional vote tallies, the politicians will tell you what they are going to do.  Re-hypothecate all your assets.

RevIdahoSpud3's picture

False Flag, False flag, false flag!! The Jew Oligarchs are headquatered in Switzerland. It is the vault for world wide fractional banking. This is a non story.

RevIdahoSpud3's picture

False Flag, False flag, false flag!! The Jew Oligarchs are headquatered in Switzerland. It is the vault for world wide fractional banking. This is a non story.

doctor10's picture

seriously-is there any sentient humans in the world that DON'T recognize that what is being coordinated amongst the dozens of private central banks across the world is a great sale of the worlds assets to the hundreds of family's running these banks?

Within our lifetimes governments will be history-witness Greece and Spain already-beholden as vassals to their bankers.

these bankers wield with the left hand an NSA file of financial and sexual proclivity and indiscretion, with which they beat the local politicians into aiding and abetting them, and with the right a mace and a gun to beat the local resistance to a pulp.

the Swiss know their bankers and what they are up to

Cognitive Dissonance's picture
"The people who cast the votes don't decide an election, the people who count the votes do." - Someone named Joseph Stalin
Arnold's picture


on Christmas Eve, Cd.


Unfortunately I believe you are correct.

Holiday Greetings to you and your Superior, The spouse.


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

My Superior says Happy Holidays to you as well. :-)

<I do everything my honey bunny tells me to do. Thankfully she allows me to believe I'm the boss most of the time and for this I am forever grateful.>

BTW we tore down an old shed on our property in preparation of my building a new larger one. While transporting several loads of construction debris to the local transfer station for disposal, my bride offered to join me on my last time. The process is to weigh in, unload, weigh out and then pay for the load.

Needless to say I inadvertently weighed my very fit and slender bride since I already knew the weight of the truck and myself without honey bunny in the vehicle. I have spent the last three days explaining to my wife that a commercial scale capable of weighing a tractor trailer of garbage (30+ tons) is not the most accurate scale and doesn't even indicate anything less than 10 pounds.

Can someone help me out here and inform me on the accuracy of those scales? It's not exactly a bathroom scale.....which we don't own because we don't subscribe to the "I must weigh XXX in order to feel good about myself" meme.

Kprime's picture

If you want to know how much she weights, just call the NSA.  Their satellites are tracking the gravity variations of every human on earth so they can inform the IRS how much to increase your health insurance penalties, i mean taxes, next year.  That way they can calculate your worldwide carbon taxes.  The new rules will pass on christmas at midnight, no reading required.

logically possible's picture

C D if you want to know how much she weighs, just ask her, whatever she tells you is what you will use for your calculation without question. Then you can calculate the difference between your trucks empty weight and the additional weight of your  honey bunny. The difference is how much the scale is off. This should satisfy your superior.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Whoa... This would be interesting! Too bad Diebold would never allow this to happen.


Implied Violins's picture

I personally think they are introducing these concepts now, only to bring them out AFTER the world-wide crash. It won't pass now, and later it will be shown that it lost due to 'shenanigans', just like the gold vote...and this will be part of the 'reform' after globalization.

ZerOhead's picture

They want the the gold backed currency pretty badly... probably because they have accumulated a lot of it over the decades and it will be an easy sell to the muttonheads after we go Weimar. It also will render private gold ownership defacto ILLEGAL due to it's need for backing the new shizz currency

100% reserve banking on the other hand with the currency created debt free by the Central Bank on the other hand would seemingly be a giant step forward. Unless of course the Swsiss system is still hooked up to the BIS as a money creation and/or debt injection point since it seems anything goes for our dynastic banking families...

Implied Violins's picture

I fear that after an initial period, they will make a world currency that is digital (yet supposedly still backed by gold), and then control us that way...and completely, forever more. That is why I am so leery of Bitcoin and those who push it. 'Blockchain' isn't an innocent piece of programming in my book, not when it tallies EVERY TIME IT EVER CHANGES HANDS.

We may have to bend over and take it, at least at first. But so many people will be awake after all this madness passes (at least, those of us still alive), total transparency will be demanded and shenanigans will not be tolerated. In that light, 100% reserve banking might be OK - as long as the same people doing this to us now aren't in power and we aren't forced to take it at the end of a gun.

Atomizer's picture

Interesting statement from Switzerland. It's a slow news day at Bank of International Settlements. Only one blip spin story today. 

24Dec/Managing price and financial stability objectives - what can we learn from the Asia-Pacific region?

GhostOfDiogenes's picture
GhostOfDiogenes (not verified) Dec 24, 2015 3:59 PM

Cue the jews and other left wing alt media psychopaths who troll here to call them evil 'nazis'!

Everyone is a 'nazi' to the left who equate nationalism with evil.

Is there anything the jewish money changers haven't take over with their printed fractional reserve currency?

Arnold's picture

When I was young,

i received a Greek book that was inscribed by my uncle to the effect that  his hope was that I would become a modern day Diogenes.

Further research in my later years indicate that Diogenes was a proto asshole.

Much as I value the tome, the concept of the walking, talking Diogenes can burn in Hades.

GhostOfDiogenes's picture
GhostOfDiogenes (not verified) Arnold Dec 24, 2015 5:24 PM

Further research? Proto Asshole?

You kidding me?

I don't see how you can read anything by him and not come up with that conclusion.

Of course he was an asshole. But he lived the asshole life for a long time. Everything he did was an attack on the high pathetic image people put out in the world of themselves.

Nothing has changed except the dates. People are still idiots and delusional.

Alexander the Great said:
"If I were not Alexander, I should wish to be Diogenes."

Rage Against Your Face's picture

On the indecency of him (Diogenesmasturbating in public he would say, "If only it were as easy to banish hunger by rubbing my belly."

Arnold's picture



Must have been a couple of them in the Alexander days.


412 bc? birth.

Alexander 356? bc.

70, 80, 90 years to become a philosophical Hero?


Come, come, GOD you suffer from dementia early.


Arnold's picture

Diogenes was an early Snowflake.

falak pema's picture

He died in 323 BC --(you can Google that date)-- and met Alexander just as he launched his persian campagin; aka he predicted Alexander's vain quest just before he died  himself.

Diogenes's greatest feat was to tell Alexander : don't go, you'll lose yourself and all of us by being your father's son  on a bigger scale !

Alexander played at "diplomat" before playing at persian matamore. His trip cost Pericles's Greece to become a vassal of Rome; not of Sparta ! Some irony.

Just goes to show Diogenes knew how Nemesis pays back the psychopaths who think they can build empires that never end.

So if he masturbated he didn't hurt anybody but himself.

As for Alexander...some killer bee!  He destroyed the Greek beacon of light except what was left in the schools of Plato and Aristotle.

Urban Redneck's picture

As someone who could very well be accused of being a proto asshole myself- I think you should cut Diogenes some slack.  

It takes a lot to walk away from banking and the accouterments of the elite in order to proselytize a simple life to the masses seduced by the Siren song of the local Krugmans, Bernankes or Pikettys, and to do so by example as opposed to doing so from a competing ivory tower.  Sometimes it may come across as a bit crass and impolite, but frankly, both the sheeple and snobs tend to deserve it. 

Just sayin'...

css1971's picture

Cue Goldman Sachs associates paradropping into Switzerland along with several teams of CIA operatives.


Atomizer's picture

Merry Christmas Bitchez's. I'll try to give you some old Christmas music. I remember my mom playing her Christmas music as a kid. Frank Sinatra, Etc. I miss her, she was a outstanding non-working mother. Better called a house wife during the 60's to early 90's. Lost her over breast cancer. Will never forgive that idiot at the Cleveland Clinic. Sorry, we missed some cancer cells after breast reconstructive surgery. Your mom has three months the live. Those motherfuckers..

Merry Christmas Mom! We always think of you. 

Taking a nap. Log on later to link Christmas music of age. 

wahrheit's picture

Thanks, but I think I'll listen to BIG BLACK - SONGS ABOUT FUCKING instead ;)

Atomizer's picture

Today/tomorrow is not appropriate for that music. Enjoy family and friends. Cherish life..

dizzyfingers's picture

Condolences. I read that reconstruction is less safe...something about obscuring C cells on mammograms.