Some people believe that Thomas Jordon, president of the Swiss national bank has retreated to the resort of Davos in the Swiss Alps, following the scrapping of a three-year cap on the Swiss franc versus the Euro that angered international investors. However, several former central bankers offered support to 51-year-old Jordon during the World Economic Forum.
Although Jordon is expected to be at the annual meeting among world economic and political leaders, he has so far been a no show. As stated by Axel Weber, former president with Bundesbank and current chairman of UBS Group AG, the Swiss National Bank did the appropriate thing, adding that it is better to end things with a shock than to have no shocks without an end.
Jordon’s move has said to be everything from brave to purely idiotic. On January 15, a move was made by the bank whereby the ceiling would be abolished. Following was a surge of 41% in the franc versus euro. In addition, European Banks lost literally hundreds of millions of dollars, leading to currency firms around the world being wiped out, to include those in New Zealand and New York.
What made Jordon’s announcement so unexpected was that just two days prior, Jean-Pierre Danthine, vice president of the Swiss National Bank, provided reaffirmation that the currency cap was the foundation of the bank’s policy on money. In fact, in 2011 a measure to protect the economy from deflation but to also drive off investors diving into a currency considered safe during a rough period was introduced.
On the negative side, Jordon received tremendous criticism while at home but also when in foreign countries. In one statement from Nick Hayek, chief executive officer of the world’s largest watchmaker, Swatch Group AG, what Jordon did was create a tsunami for the country’s economy. Analyst Craig Erlam with Alpari Ltd chimed in by calling Jordon’s move idiotic.
In support of Jordon’s move, CEO Brian Moynihan with Bank of America Corporation said this was an example of what relying too heavily on unconventional means leads to. Therefore, this should be a wakeup call for the entire world. Experts anticipate that the Swiss economy will overcome challenges and return at some point to normalcy.
Obviously, this year the Swiss economy will be impacted. Some experts believe that some overshooting in the markets will be reversed. As such, there is confidence that after everything settles down things will go back to being normal to include a more normal exchange rate regimen specifically for Switzerland.