This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 4, 2014:
The Swiss voted down the initiative “Save Our Swiss Gold” on Sunday, November 30, by a margin of three to one, rejecting efforts to shore up the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) balance sheet. Switzerland, a direct democracy, entertains an average of five such referendums every year, and most of them fail. This initiative would have required the SNB to boost its gold bullion holdings from its current eight percent level to 20 percent over the next five years. It would also have required the central bank to repatriate its foreign-held gold reserves, while prohibiting it from ever selling any of those reserves in the future.
When first proposed, speculators bought the Swiss franc cheap, hoping to sell it dear if the initiative passed. Investors in gold were holding their breaths as well, noting that