There is just one chart that must be seen to appreciate the rationale behind the SNB's action earlier today: the relative performance of any given currency against the absolute: gold. Just like back in FDR times, the only thing that mattered was how to devalue the dollar against the yellow metal, so too now various fiat issuers realize that while they all devalue relative to each other on a step-wise basis, they all must devalue in absolute terms against such undilutable "constant curerncies" as gold. As the chart below shows, the CHF was dangerouly lagging its own devaluation relative to gold, with even the Brazilian Real doing far better, er, worse, in absolute terms. Which is why today's action resulted in a nearly 10% devaluation in the currency against what matters. As for the relative devaluation, well, trade flows will take care of that. Or so the rabid Keynesians roaming the countryside believe. The final take home from the chart is that the SNB still has quite a ways to go in devaluation before it catches up with the rest of the 'developed' world.
Here Is How Switzerland Caught Up To The Rest Of The World In Devaluing Paper Currencies Against Gold
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