As the FX industry collects itself and prepares for a new week with the landscape significantly altered, many look to the man who convulsed currency markets, the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) President Thomas Jordan.
To recap, regardless of any reason or rational that may in hindsight have appeared justified, there has clearly been a list of winners and losers as a result of the actions taken late last week by the Swiss Bank.
In addition to the thousands of traders worldwide whose funds have been compromised by brokers, or personal losses incurred as a result of the Swiss franc volatility, many big name brokers such as Alpari UK and FXCM have also been dealt potentially fatal blows.
SNB President Jordan Calls Reaction Overdone
The SNB’s decision to abolish its cap on the value of the Swiss franc clearly has tangible logic behind it – after all, even the staunchest Euro optimists are hard pressed to looked past the mounting dilemma brewing on the continent that have weighed against the euro.
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As a result, SNB President Jordan felt the reaction over the decision has been overdone. According to a recent statement, Mr. Jordan told Le Temps and Neue Zuercher Zeitung, “We see significant excesses in current exchange rates and the bank had been aware that its shock move could have a major impact, and it could take some time for markets to find equilibrium.”
Indeed, the SNB had effectively capped the value of the franc at 1.20 to the euro since September 2011 to help balance the Swiss economy in the face of the global financial crisis. However, with the euro tumbling recently and the onset of additional moves by the European Central Bank (ECB), the SNB decided to act.
According to Mr. Jordan, the results over previous days had made it impossible to continue with the franc cap, and that “intervention can be justified by the economic interests that need to be defended. If the goal is no longer sustainable and justified, we cannot continue. That’s the point we reached.”
Furthermore, he went on to add, “If the SNB had continued with its policy, it risked losing control of long-term monetary policy. But it’s important that the economy does not over-react and analyses the new situation in an in-depth way. You have to remember that the cap had been an exceptional and temporary measure since the start. It was going to have to be abandoned at some point.”
Mountain of Criticism?
Jordan attests that the SNB and Jordan were acting in the best interests of Switzerland, and yet given the fallout incurred by the FX industry, many will be keen to point fingers. Not immune to criticism, Mr. Jordan has placed himself in the public crosshairs that will no doubt draw the ire of many brokers or market participants. However, history typically favors the prepared, and for those who were, the recent events were not a setback but a windfall.