July 20 (Bloomberg) -- Switzerland’s central bankers are breaking the will of foreign-exchange traders with their first solo currency-market interventions since 1992.[Falling prices are good for consumers, what kind of irrational people can be against that? Only Keynesian fools.]
“The SNB has won its battles, and they’ve given no indication that they are ready to end this policy,” said Jessica Hoversen, an analyst in Chicago for futures broker MF Global Ltd. She advises buying euros and selling the franc when it approaches the 200-day moving average. The currency traded at 1.5196 per euro as of 11:16 a.m. in London; the 200-day average was 1.5104.
By holding back the franc, policy makers led by Chairman Jean-Pierre Roth, 63, are trying to prevent deflation from worsening the steepest recession since 1992 and restore investor confidence.[...]
Consumer prices fell in June for a fourth month, dropping 1 percent from a year earlier and matching May’s decline, which was the steepest since 1959. Gross domestic product contracted 0.8 percent in this year’s first three months, the third consecutive quarterly drop. The Swiss government cut its 2009 economic forecast on June 17, predicting GDP would drop 2.7 percent this year and 0.4 percent in 2010.
Central bankers also may be diminishing the franc’s status as a haven, which it shares with the dollar and the yen thanks to Switzerland’s political stability and role as a global banking center. The country hasn’t fought any foreign wars since 1815, when European nations guaranteed its neutrality.[The Yen is not a safe haven, it's the opposite: the only reason why it's going up is because so much carry-trade Yen are coming back to Japan after 10 years of close to zero percent interest rate]
“The SNB is able to sell unlimited Swiss francs versus another currency,” Philipp Hildebrand, the bank’s vice president, said on Jan. 21. Governing Board member Thomas Jordan on Feb. 6 told the Finanz & Wirtschaft newspaper that “a somewhat weaker franc would be welcome economically.”[...][Currency is a measure of value. Idiots who think lowering the value of the currency is a good idea also think that shortening the defined length of the meter makes a car go faster]
“The markets so far have well understood what our intentions are,” Jordan said in a July 2 interview. “We don’t want an appreciation of the Swiss franc. If necessary, we are ready to buy foreign currencies. We don’t do that on a particular level, but we decide according to the situation in order to have a big effect. And the situation since June 18 shows that this effect has materialized.”["We have no idea about what we should be doing, but we will make the meter as long as a foot and a kilogram weight as much as a pound"]
One more time, if this is new to you, and if you would like to understand how the CHF moved from the most highly regarded and most stable and valuable currency in the world to become such a flawed currency, I highly recommend reading Ferdinand Lips' book. It is a fantastic book, and very much worth owning as a piece of history (which hopefully, doesn't seem it's going to have a happy ending):