The Swiss National Bank Now Owns A Record $88 Billion In US Stocks

Tyler Durden's picture

In the third quarter of 2017, one in which the global economy was supposedly undergoing an unprecedented "coordinated growth spurt", and in which central banks were preparing to unveil their QE tapering intentions, in the case of the ECB, or raising rates outright, at the Fed, what was really taking place was another central bank buying spree meant to boost confidence that things are now back to normal, using "money" freshly printed out of thin air, and spent to prop up risk assets around the world by recklessly buying stocks with no regard for price or cost.

Nowhere was this more obvious than in the latest, just released 13F from the massive hedge fund known as the "Swiss National Bank." What it showed is that, just like in the prior quarter, and the quarter before that, and on, and on, the Swiss central bank had gone on another aggressive buying spree and following its record purchases in the first quarter, the central bank boosted its total holdings of US stocks to an all time high $87.8 billion, up 4.2% or $3.5 billion from the $84.3 billion at the end of the second first quarter.

As reported earlier this week, as of Sept.30, the Swiss central bank had accumulated foreign exchange worth 760 billion francs (roughly the same in USD) due to its relentless open market interventions to depress the Swiss franc, and has "invested" those funds created out of thin air in both stocks and bonds. At the end of the second quarter, it held 20% in equities, of which the bulk was in US stocks.

While we are far beyond the point of debating central bank intervention in equity markets (we do want to remind readers that until several years ago, it was considered "fake news" to even mention it, and those who accused central bankers of manipulating stock markets were said to be paranoid tinfoil basement dwellers), we want to point out that unlike the BOJ, which at least keeps its capital markets distortion local, the SNB, which likewise creates money out of thin air (then sells it for dollars in an attempt to keep the Swiss franc depressed) is actively causing substantial price distortions in the US.

While we doubt this will be investigated with stocks are at all time highs, we look forward to the Congressional hearings after the crash when the scapegoating and fingerpointing begins as it always does, and everyone is "stunned" to learn that central banks were responsible for blowing the biggest asset bubble the world has ever seen by directly buying stocks.

What else did the SNB reveal in its 13F? Two main things.

First, its top 20 holdings are as shown in the following chart. The central bank was clearly not shy in adding to its top positions.

And while we have yet to learn if Warren Buffett was actively frontrunning the SNB once again during the quarter, by buying even more AAPL shares, a look at the SNB's holdings of AAPL stock which again increased modestly to 19.2 million shares, making it a larger holder of AAPL stock than Schwab and Franklin Resources (with 18.3 and 17.0 million shares respectively), and just behind Janus with 20 million shares, shows one of the main reasons why the Nasdaq has until recently been hitting new all time highs on a daily basis.

The chart above also explains why Goldman, despite warning of rising client worries about record low volatility and record high valuations, remains bullish on the Nasdaq 100: after all, when a central bank can and does create money out of thin air, then splurges on the handful of tech companies that have the biggest impact on the broader market, pushing both the Nasdaq and all indices higher, what is the point of even talking about "risk"?

Source: SNB 13-F

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hedgeless_horseman's picture


I hope I get to tell this story to my grandchildren some day, when they ask about my photos of all the dead central bankers hanging from lamp posts.

NoDebt's picture

"When this thing hits $88 billion.... you're gonna see some serious shit."

- Dr. Emmett Brown

YUNOSELL's picture

Haha beautiful "Back to the Future" reference, I laughed heartily

NoDebt's picture

Oh, you like that one, huh?  OK, I can do 'Back To The Future 2' as well.  For example:


"Marty, you have to come back to the future with me!"

"Why?  Do we turn out to be assholes or something?"

"No, it's your kids, Marty.  It's your kids."

"Why what happens to them?"

"Your daughter marries a black man!"

"OK, let's go."



Oh, shit, did NoDebt just go there?  Oh, I think he did.


mpnut's picture

Good Luck Selling ...

yogibear's picture

No selling, just printing more to buy more stocks.

Give Me Some Truth's picture

Would the American "Status Quo" as we know it still be the American Status Quo as we know it .... if:

The Printing Press was NOT protected?



Give Me Some Truth's picture

If the printing press were not protected - if it was in peril -

where would all the "money" come from to keep the stock market soaring, which in turn ensures that the "economy is great" meme is universally accepted.



Give Me Some Truth's picture

I've posted this 123 times:

Must. Protect. The. Printing. Press.

Okay, but why "must" they do this?

Well, to:

1) Provide "money" to buy stocks forever at ever higher prices

2) To fund all our wars and interventions

3) To help all the crony bankers and banks down the pipeline

4) To fund growth of govenrment and all the entitlement programs

5) To keep the politicians in office (and wealthy in office and when they later become lobbyist)


To Protect the Status Quo/Establishment/Deep State. To make sure the 1 percent remain the 1 percent.

Whenever ANY issue comes up in the Swamp and you wonder what will happen just remember they

Must. Protect.The. Printing. Press.

And you will know what will happen.


DrBrown's picture

Yup. that's what I said.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Fucking awesome!!!

..back to the Future bitchez...

Handful of Dust's picture

I thought it was due to Obama's "robust ekonomy?"

Pollygotacracker's picture

This is fraud on an incredibly massive scale. Even if the market crashes...what does the SNB have to lose? They can just create more money out of the thin air. Why a scheme like this is not illegal....well, we won't go into that.

Games Without Frontiers's picture

Precisely why I doubt the market will have a genuine crash, central banks will fire up the printers at the first sign of trouble. This will have severe inflationary consequences for average joe, but that is none of their concern. As to why it's not illegal, they own the rule makers. What Andrew Jackson feared has come to fruition, the world has become slaves to bankers.

Give Me Some Truth's picture

In America, it's not "illegal" because it's, well, "legal."

The Plunge Protection Team is/was authorized by law to stabilize "markets" if necessary. In the name of protecting "national security."

That's probably why that infamous "investigation" of silver rigging -the one that supposedly took 5 years - found no "actionable" examples of illegal activity. 

Speaking of that "investigation," has one person actually read the reams of documents that must have been involved in a "five-year investigation." Not the two-page press release that basically said "no price manipulation" but the transcripts from actual interviews and any analysis that surely was performed?

I mean how do we really know a real investigation ever took place? What questions were asked of whom and what answers were given? 

Has ANYONE EVER "investigated the investigators?"

If only Wikileaks could publish the real scoop, if there even was an investigation.

Anyway, if it was the conclusion of "investigators" that "market interventions" are occuring (but, hey, they are legal), I'd like to at least see who is doing the intervening, how they are doing it, how often they are doing it, etc.

My take: Although "legal" the rigging/interventions must remain secret. And our "watchdog press" is perfectly fine with this.


Davidduke2000's picture

I hope they will lose all this money.

Azannoth's picture

Let's look at it this way, if they ever print it out they will never run out of toilet paper like ever

Grandad Grumps's picture

All of the cerntral banks, under the direction of their masters, work together to control price.

Give Me Some Truth's picture

While they all work together to keep blowing up the stock market bubble, they also work just as hard to depress the prices for precious metals. 

Stock Market Forever Rising = Good (of course)

Precious Metals' Sentiment Awful = Good (of course)


"Precious Metal Prices Surging" would = Bad (a definite, "Danger, Will Robinson" signal). A signal that might, in fact, encourage more people to dump stocks.

So, if you (the Powers that Be) can prevent this danger signal from blaring, do you? Would you? ... Have they?

Of course they would and have ... just like they are artifically inflating the stock markets with printed "money."


ejmoosa's picture

When you need to manipulate the masses you have to manipulate the indicators they would use to doubt the manipulation.




Gold Prices

Stock prices

Real inflation


All of these are used together to keep the masses in the dark and away from any questions.

Give Me Some Truth's picture

Re: Manipulate the markets - Yes; But also manipulate all of the "indicators" ...

BINGO! 20.4 trillion Up Votes ... All of the above has to be done. And is being done. Why? Because they feel they MUST do this (to preserve the Status Quo). And also: because they CAN.

Thanks a lot, "Watchdog" Press.

I woke up's picture

Awesome gig if you can get it, Cntrl+P to dilute your currency. Take the freshly printed digits and buy stocks

BarnacleBill's picture

Well, that's precisely why the US stock market is so ridiculously high. And Bitcoin. The cost of the purchases to Central Banks is zero.

Give Me Some Truth's picture

And the central banks don't have to exclusively buy the stocks themselves. They can print money, distribute it to all of their cronies and primary dealers (or loan it to them at 0 percent) and let these people/institutions/banks, funds, etc. buy the stocks (and bonds).

That's one major reason we can NEVER have a comprehensive, legitimate audit of the Fed. 

If we did, we could actually "follow the money."


To Infinity And Beyond's picture

As people live in deeper and deeper squalor these fuckers are celebrating their successes.

Rex Andrus's picture

88 billion mongol tokens? That's like, 1 bitcoin, scro. Just put your tattoo right here.

Overleveraged_and_Impatient's picture

Folks it's very, very simple at this point. Every time the market dips a normal person is selling. Central banks have computer strategies in place to BUY up everything as SOON as it dips. This is done with freshly created money. I don't know why everyone rages against the system on this site. The fact is it's now easy to make money.

Do you all really think the market is going to crash and you just don't want to be a buyer while it happens? Well guess what if you've been shorting you already lost as much as you wouldve as a buyer during a crash.

Things are actually very, very simple now. The carpet will not just get pulled out below unexpectedly. There are systems in place to ensure thaat newly created capital gets pumped into markets during dips. We will likely never see an extended down period or bear market in stocks ever again. With current systems in place it's simply no longer possible. I am up over $75,000 in 3x Long Leveraged S&P 500 since late last year. Best decision I ever made in my life. The thing is I expect it to keep going further. S&P will likely hit 4000 (not 3000) by end of 2019 going into 2020. That's enough time for everyone to get back in and re-coup all losses from shorting.

spastic_colon's picture

"We will likely never see an extended down period or bear market in stocks ever again." said the japanese shoe shine boy in 2000

Clowns on Acid's picture

Overleveraged - you are getting down votes a plenty, but I believe that you have a valid point. The BTFD "strategy" has worked for ....well since QE was enacted by the global Central Bank junta.

"Markets" are now digital as is currency. The Central Banks can issue "currency" anytime they want to and any volume they want to. There is no gold or other standard to stop them. Of course to maintain credibility there is the occasional 1% decline, a promise to reverse QE, raise interest rates etc... but all of these are just noise in the relentless march for full "managed" control.

Profits don't matter...all one needs is a good "virtue signalling" media proigram and a "growth" or "disruptor" meme ... and all the printed money buys into it to maintain the New World Order message - The Central Banks are benevolent dictators. They are saving the people from the predatory "white man", and distributing the wealth as benevolenmt dictators do.  

The Western world is now captive to the equity markets. One's pension and savings are 100% (in most cases) reliant of the ever rising stock prices as even the so called safety net of Social Security after 65 is a joke and a huge drag on National Gov't defcits. They ain't going to increase Soc Sec payouts going forward, so they know that they can "provide" a safety net for retirees but the retirees have to play along with their print money out of thin air narrrative....or else.

Bitcoin may indeed go to 20,000 before the Central Banks take it over.....



dirtyfiles's picture

"The thing is I expect it to keep going further." ...replace with

spastic_colon's picture

its not even that the CB's are buying stocks; that we already know; more so its the clandestine legislation that allowed these f**ckers to take over the global markets and pricing mechanisms..........thats pure fraud and bullshit!

nobody really "owns" anything; your home, your car, your land, your stocks (just try and get them certificated), your bonds etc etc

insidious's picture

Well, if you could create money out of nothing (and you know what it's really worth) would you rather have the money or 10's of millions of shares of major US corporations (even if the market crashes)?

DisorderlyConduct's picture

Well, you know, this whole article is based upon the premise that a billion is a lot these days. What's a few billion when central banks are tossing around trillions..?

Games Without Frontiers's picture

At the end of the day, humans are humans, if someone has the chance to trade worthless paper at a zero cost basis for hard assets, they're going to do it. The SNB just doesn't try to hide it.

JibjeResearch's picture

Fucken life.. man..

At least I know the ZH's Americans will be smart enough to save themselves....

all-priced-in's picture

That’s about $11,000 per person for a country of about 8.3 million.

Savyindallas's picture

I have thought for some time that it is a great conspiracy for central banks to own and control all hard assets- real estate, companies through stocks, whatever. And then when it all collpases, they have paper losses, but hold all the hard assets. The banks can then print more money so they never realize their losses, and then buy even more hard assets at firesale prices. These banks may even implode and go under (by design) as they are taken over by an even bigger super banks or a consortium of the masters of the Universe, who will then own and control essentially everything- while the rest of us are just serfs who work as slaves. They will then impose their New World order and begin the process of eliminating useless eaters. The destruction of family, religion and homogeneity of Nations (especially white nations) has been their vehicle. 

It's wealth grab of immense proportions. I think this has gone beyond conspiracy. It appears to becoming reality. 

Seasmoke's picture

Can only hide that money printing for so fucking long.

tattmaster's picture

With all the Tom Foolery experiments being performed by the unelected academics (aka Central Bankers) now effectively running global affairs I wouldn't be surprised if it is indeed our Fed buying the stocks and just using the SNB as their front.  You know, kinda like China uses Belgium to hide its deeds. 

Give Me Some Truth's picture

We could audit the Fed and find out. 

Wait ...

wherewasi's picture

Swiss Nat'l Bank practicing to be more like a Fed Member Bank.

Fiat Burner's picture

Fucking criminal. Time for these scum to hang.

Give Me Some Truth's picture

Is it possible that someone could report/show who is buying - and then selling (or shorting) - all of the mining company stocks? This is the one category of stocks that is not going up. Or when they do go up a tad, come crashing back down. Then we seemingly have a wash-rinse-repeat cycle. Somehow "someone" knows at what price to sell in masse and then at what depressed price to buy-back in masse.

It would seem like the mining companies would know who controls the price tops and fluxuations of their stocks.

As the metals themselves can be canaries in the coal mine, so too the shares of mining companies.





abgary1's picture

US stock valuations and p/e ratios are meaningless.

It's all about the capital flows and they are heading to the US.

Give Me Some Truth's picture

Attacking gold and silver - Protects the Printing Press

Building up the American Military (and using the military) - Protects the Printing Press

Refusing to Audit the Fed - Protects the Printing Press

Rigging the economic stats - Protects the Printing Press

Making certain people/institutions unbelievably wealthy by inflating stock markets - Protects the Printing Press

Increasing the size and role of government - Protects the Printing Press

"Kicking the can" on budgets and debt ceiling extensions - Protects the Printing Press

Stopping any movement to leave the EU - Protects the Printing Press

Concealing economic and geopolitical truths - Protects the Printing Press

Everything Washington D.C. and the Central Banks (and their cronies) and other Western governments do - Protects the Printing Press


Scuba Steve's picture

Thats why I root for Russia and China opposition to CB fiat ...

I truly hope it is a valid opposition because IMO, its our ultimate final chance for continued  freedom.

A fukked up reality.

Bluz's picture

In 2009 when the Fed's of the world threw the kitchen sinks of the world at the markets of the world to stop a natural inhale ( or exhale, take you pick) -THEY BROKE IT ! And now here we are with broken elavated beyond extreme markets. Pass me the pocorn.

Disgruntled Goat's picture

Next up: As Apple's largest shareholder, the SNB asks for 2 seats on Apples Board.... then, they start agitating for buybacks and all sorts of other crap.... 

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

You're all off the rails. Those wily Swiss bankers recognize US companies are grossly undervalued and the US economy is better than ever. To infinity - and beyond!