negative rates

Ignorant Central Bankers

Central bankers do not know what they are doing. The reason for this is that they are experimenting with the global economy. There has never been a similar situation in history to the one now unfolding because interest rates have never been so low or even negative and never have central banks resorted to QE as they have done in the last decade. They do not know what is going to happen if they continue the policies followed hitherto or if they try to “normalize” markets by reducing their balances and raising interest rates to “normal” levels. Another novelty is the huge sovereign debt that has been amassed since 2008.

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Market Distortions

This Newsletter has predicted a stock market correction at the least if not a crash in the near future and favors gold as an investment. What has happened is that the FAANG stocks continue to ride high while the rest of the market generally limps along. The gold price suffers a setback every time it strikes northwards. If that was not enough to make one suspicious, inflation remains low despite huge injections of capital into the economy.

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SNB maintained its policy: no change rates in June

The Swiss National Bank kept interest rates unchanged at record lows, citing the strong currency and an absence of price pressures and the SNB held its deposit rate at -0.75%. It also affirmed its commitment to wage currency market interventions and reiterated that the franc was “significantly overvalued.” Consensus forecasts were for an unchanged policy.

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SNB: negative interest rates is the necessary policy

The Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) policy of negative interest rates is not ideal but is nevertheless necessary in order to weaken Switzerland’s "significantly overvalued" currency, Chairman Thomas Jordan said on the sidelines of the Private Banking Day in Zurich on Thursday. "It’s not the case that we find it great to have negative interest rates," Jordan said during conference.

However, Jordan said negative interest rates, along with the central bank’s willingness to intervene in the currency were absolutely necessary in order to protect exporters from a stronger Swiss franc, which is a safe-haven currency in times of market stress. Those conditions will largely be dictated from abroad, particularly by the European Central Bank (ECB). He stressed Swiss monetary policy was a hostage to weak economic conditions in some EU states, which prompted the ECB to print trillions of euros and move euro interest rates into negative territory.

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SNB: foreign currency larger than Swiss GDP

Switzerland’s central bank posted a profit of 7.9 billion Swiss francs ($7.95 billion) in the first quarter, it said Thursday, boosted by gains from the huge foreign currency reserves built up during its long campaign to weaken the Swiss franc.

The Swiss National Bank made a profit of 5.3 billion francs on its foreign currency holdings that rose to 683.18 billion francs at the end of March, a figure larger than Swiss GDP. The bank also made a profit of 2.2 billion francs from a valuation gain on the gold it holds, and 466.4 million francs from negative interest rates it has charged on the sight deposit accounts it holds for commercial banks. The SNB is not required to make a profit, with its main mandate to ensure price stability in Switzerland defined as annual inflation of under 2 percent. But a portion of any profit it does make is distributed to the Swiss government and the country’s 26 cantons.

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UBS to introduce charges for accounts over €1 mln

UBS, the world’s biggest wealth manager, will impose a penalty charge on customers who park euros with the bank, a reaction to the negative interest rate environment in the euro zone.

The Swiss bank, the world’s largest wealth manager, will introduce from May an annual fee of 0.6% on accounts with more than €1 million ($1.1 mln). The charge will apply to total amounts held by individual customers and be calculated on a daily basis. It comes in response to the ultra-low or negative European Central Bank rates, in the wake of the financial crisis, which have eaten into banks’ margins. UBS currently imposes an individual deposit charge for large account balances held in Swiss francs by corporate, institutional and certain very wealthy clients, as it deals with negative interest rates charged by the Swiss National Bank.

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SNB keeps rates under control, looking at european elections

Following its latest quarterly policy meeting, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) made no changes in interest rates and it kept its target range for three-month Swiss franc Libor at -1.25% to -0.25% and the rate it charges on sight deposits at -0.75%.

Consensus forecasts were for an unchanged policy, although there had been some speculation that a shift could be sanctioned with a further rate cut. The SNB reiterated that the franc is still significantly overvalued and that it would remain active in the foreign exchange market as necessary.

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UBS sees low interest rates for next 18 months

The new head of UBS Switzerland, Martin Blessing, told Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung that he expects interest rates across Europe to remain low for the next 12-18 months. Consequently, Blessing cast doubt on rival Credit Suisse’s 2018 target of 2.3 billion Swiss francs ($2.32 billion) at its Swiss business, saying that "to reach such a goal, the market environment would have to change dramatically."

And, over job places, he added that huge cuts jobs aren’t scheduled; however, Blessing said that probably in the next few years there will be a slight drop in the number of employees.

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