‘Save our Swiss gold’

‘Gold wars’ are intensifying ahead of the polling day in the Swiss Gold Initiative.

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) and establishment parties went “all in” during the week and intensified their campaign. They suggested that passing the Swiss Gold Initiative would be a ‘fatal’ for Switzerland and would be positive only for speculators.

The ‘yes’ side countered by saying the SNB’s assertions were alarmist and over the top. They say that it is not an invitation to speculators as there would be a five year transition to gold being 20% of Swiss reserves. They warned that there is a real risk of another debt crisis and a global currency crisis and that gold reserves would protect the Swiss franc and the Swiss economy.

Because if Germany failed miserably to obtain 674 tons of gold from the US Federal Reserve in 2013, it is assured that Switzerland will find absolutely nothing in its quest to obtain more than double, or 1,500 tons, of gold as a successful November 30 referendum outcome would require.

Then again, considering it was Obama’s action that destroyed the Swiss banking sector after the US crushed the centuries-long tradition of “Swiss banking anonymity”, this could be just the right action with which “neutral” Switzerland could finally take its revenge on the regime that cost it what was for centuries the primary source of capital inflow.

In 1992, after a concerted political campaign spearheaded by some of the country’s political parties, Switzerland joined the International Monetary Fund following a national referendum.

Under IMF rules, adopted in the latter part of the 1970s, IMF member countries cannot link their currencies to gold. After joining the IMF, Switzerland was therefore constrained in how it could subsequently revalue its gold reserves since IMF Articles of Association prohibited IMF member countries from linking their currencies to gold.

Well known Swiss banker, financial adviser and author of ‘Gold Wars’ Ferdinand Lips believed that Switzerland had been put under enormous foreign pressure and duress to sell half of its gold reserves, and he wrote in 2002 questioning “Is the SNB on New York’s leash?”, saying that “In my opinion, the once strong, proud and independent SNB has been degraded to an ‘Off-shore Branch’ of the U.S. central bank (the Federal Reserve) and reports directly to Alan Greenspan and his cohorts in New York.”

Lips added that “It is a given that the Swiss gold sales will help New York money center banks to survive a bit longer. It will help them manipulate the gold market. But, gold’s time is still to come. If the SNB does not stop its sales, Switzerland will have to buy back its gold one day but at a higher price. The question is: With what?”

With the SNB now in full media mode arguing against a 20% gold holding in the reserves however, perhaps some of the Swiss media might care to interview Dr. Jean-Pierre Roth who can now be found sitting on the boards of Nestlé, Swiss Re and Swatch.