Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Swiss franc week that was

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) abruptly stopped the EUR-CHF peg on Thursday, January 15 2015.

And then all hell broke loose.

Christine Lagard of the IMF forgot herself and complained on record that SNB should have coordinated with the IMF.

Draghi at the ECB was no less miffed.  His staff is furiously at work determining what this does or does not do to ECB's planned quantitative easing.

And then there's the Eastern Europe countries whose citizens have mortgages not in the home currency but the Swiss Franc.  Why?  Because the interest rates were so much lower.  And now it's 2007/2008 again.

Reuters picked up a story first reported by Bloomberg on other ramifications:
(Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Marko Dimitrijevic is closing his largest hedge fund, Everest Capital's Global Fund, having lost almost all its money after the Swiss National Bank (SNB) scrapped its three-year-old cap on the franc against the euro, Bloomberg news reported on Saturday.

As for the trite "there's a winner for every loser" - that's not true in highly leveraged trades.  Like FOREX.  The losers will very likely be unable to meet their margin calls (cue jumping bankers on Wall Street in 1929), so the winners will not collect.

Meanwhile, some of those Eastern European nations have already announced they'll be stepping in to help their beleaguered citizens, such as Croatia: PM Zoran Milanovic announced the government will help 60,000 citizens with CHF-denominated mortgages.

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