Switzerland has historically been a nation of sound monetary policy and low inflation. But this has rapidly changed during the past few decades as the Swiss government quietly removed the 40% gold backing of their currency from the revised Federal Constitution which was adopted by a majority vote in 1999. Since 2008, the Swiss National Bank's balance sheet has expanded 5 times from CHF 100 billion to CHF 500 billion. Therefore due to dissatisfaction with the conduct of Swiss monetary policy and Swiss banking policy, the Swiss People's Party (SVP) have collected 100,000 signatures from Swiss citizens calling for a referendum on gold.
What is the Gold Initiative Referendum?
On November 30th, the 8 million citizens of Switzerland will vote either YES or NO in an opportunity to determine the fate of their own financial system. On the ballot will be three matters which would effectively make Switzerland the first country in the world with an official partial gold-backing of their currency. Citizens will vote on: 1) Returning their national gold which is held abroad back to Switzerland 2) Requiring the Swiss National Bank to hold 20% of their assets in physical gold 3) Prohibiting further gold sales
What will a “YES” vote mean for Switzerland and gold?
If the referendum passes, Switzerland's central bank will swallow up a whopping 1500 tons of gold over a period of 5 years to support the underlying value of their currency. A currency backed by gold also means that the government and central bank cannot manipulate the currency supply by printing endless amounts of money without retaining a relative amount of gold.
The Switzerland National Bank would also need to bring back 300 tons of gold that is currently in the UK and Canada. If this gold is available for delivery, it should return immediately, however Germany recently had a different experience. They requested to have 647 tons returned to their country from the Fed but all they have received so far is 5 tons! The Fed said that this process would take 5 years, however a measly 5 tons is a very small fraction of what they are owed. If Switzerland has a similar experience to Germany, this process could take even longer than the projected 5 years of getting this process complete.
What effect will this have on gold?
A YES vote in the Swiss Gold referendum would mean that Switzerland would have to buy upwards of 1,500 tons of gold at current prices. To put this in perspective, 1500 tons equals 48.225 million troy ounces of gold which is valued at approximately $58.9 billion. This would likely have an immense impact on the price of gold and constrain supply, since this amount is approximately 70% of annual world gold production. All of that physical gold will be extremely difficult to acquire without effecting the gold price at these suppressed levels while China and India are buying with both hands.
Will The Swiss Vote to Get Their Gold Back?
The gold referendum, if it is successful, will be a slap in the face to those elites. The Swiss people appreciate the work their forefathers put into building up large gold reserves, a respected currency, and a strong, independent banking system. They do not want to see centuries of struggle squandered by a central bank. The results of the November referendum may be a bellwether, indicating just how strong popular movements can be in establishing central bank accountability and returning gold to a monetary role. Read more @ TownHall
SWITZERLAND: About to Purchase 1500 Tones of Gold?
The “Yes” vote could have a dramatic influence on the overall gold market. Ole Hansen at Saxo Bank (10/02/2014) explains that the Swiss gold referendum could usher in significant levels of gold buying, which in turn will have an effect on the price of gold. Hansen also mentions in Kitco News (09/30/2014) that the uncertain geopolitical outlook and European growth can act as a motivation for citizens to vote for SNB holding more gold. Read more @ SharpsPixley
Will This Save the Swiss Financial System?
Bringing the Swiss gold back home and partially backing the Swiss Franc with gold will be extremely beneficial for the long term prosperity of the Swiss economy and the Swiss Franc. It will also make Switzerland respected by people worldwide for introducing sound money. It is also likely to set a trend for other countries to follow Switzerland’s example. Therefore a YES vote on November 30, will not only be beneficial to Switzerland but also to the world economy. It is also likely to have an immediate effect on the depressed and manipulated gold price. The holders of paper gold will be concerned and demand delivery of the physical gold against their paper claim. Since there is nowhere near enough physical gold to cover all the paper claims we are likely to see a major surge in the price of gold. Read more @ GoldSwitzerland