Swiss Ponder Unthinkable as World’s Chaos Turns Franc Economy Upside Down

Monday, August 15, 2011
By Paul Martin

By Simone Meier
Bloomberg.com
Aug 15, 2011

Switzerland, the nation that hasn’t gone to war with a foreign power since Napoleon, is reluctantly debating a generational taboo: ceding monetary independence to win a battle over its runaway currency.
Swiss National Bank Vice President Thomas Jordan said the central bank is assessing “a whole range of options” to prevent the franc, which reached a record against the euro this month, from making Swiss goods prohibitively expensive. Even a cup of coffee at Café St. Gotthard in Zurich costs $8.30, with one Swiss franc buying $1.2750 at today’s exchange rate.

Billionaire entrepreneur Christoph Blocher, one of the politicians who called on SNB President Philipp Hildebrand to resign after the bank lost $21 billion last year in a vain attempt to restrain the currency, now supports a franc target.
“The franc is catastrophically overvalued,” said Blocher, a former justice minister for the People’s Party, Switzerland’s largest. “It’s almost like economic warfare — to wage a war, you must use all measures at your disposal, and you must win.”

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