News

02.05.2017

Debt, Growth and Inflation (by W. Snyder)

Economists wax eloquent over the platitude that debt stifles growth. It is therefore not surprising that growth in the US has slowed since 2008 and Europe struggles to match pre-crisis results.

 
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02.05.2017

Expert Commentary: Trump's regulations over energy may take time

During Obama's presidency, the US energy industry was hit strongly by environmental protection measures. Now, oil and gas industry is expected to surge forward. Do you share this point of view or not? In your opinion, will Trump's regulations help the US become more energy independent? At the moment, it is hard to say whether the energy industry is really going to surge forward thanks to Trump's regulations. Still, with relatively low oil prices, the industry is not going to receive more money regardless of any regulations the President might implement. What I mean is that the government can still make these rules easier for the companies, but it will not change the investment significantly. Overall, the new regulations implementation might be positive, but it is still not a game changer. Furthermore, I suppose that there is no need for the President to relax the environmental regulations because the industry is already capable of meeting higher environmental standards.

 
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02.05.2017

Swiss students ask for Erasmus coming back

Swiss students require Erasmus: the youth arms of several political parties are petitioning the government to resume negotiations for Switzerland to rejoin the student exchange programme. When Switzerland was compelled to suspend negotiations to join Erasmus+ after voting to place limits on immigration from the European Union in a 2014 referendum, it established a replacement, the Swiss-European Mobility Programme, within six weeks. It was successful in the majority of cases. In fact, Switzerland’s incoming and outgoing student mobility increased between 2014-15 and 2015-16.

 
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02.05.2017

Greece's agreement reached over debt to avoid Grexit

Greece has reached a preliminary deal with its creditors that should pave the way for long-awaited debt relief talks, the Greek finance minister said Tuesday. “The negotiations are concluded,” Euclid Tsakalotos told reporters, according to state agency ANA. After overnight talks, Tsakalotos said a “preliminary technical agreement” had been achieved ahead of a May 22 meeting of eurozone finance ministers, which is required to approve the deal. Talks on the deal, which includes labour and energy reforms as well as pension cuts and tax rises, had dragged on for half a year mainly due to a rift between the European Union and the International Monetary Fund over fiscal targets. 

 
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02.05.2017

Gold, a reflationary asset with a defensive bias

The rapid rise in interest rates during H2 2016 and the concomitant fall of Gold prices did bring back memories of the 2012 -2013 sell-off of the Golden metal. Yet, we believe that this time is different: while the 2012-2013 was driven by the prospects of tapering which led to a subsequent rise in real interest rates, the current environment is more reflationary with measured improvement in inflation and growth worldwide. These economic dynamics should be supportive for Gold prices over the next 12 to 18 months. We would hence consider Gold as a reflationary asset with a defensive twist.

 
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28.04.2017

Bregret behind the corner for Theresa May

More Brits now believe Brexit is a bad idea than a good one for the first time since the shock referendum result, according to a new poll by YouGov. Asked "in hindsight, was Britain right or wrong to vote to leave the EU?", the YouGov poll in The Times newspaper found that 45% said wrong (up two), while 43% said right (down three), meanwhile, 12% said they didn’t know. More Remainers than Brexiteers believed they’d made the right decision, with 89% of remain voters saying the result was the wrong decision, compared with 85% of leave voters who still backed exiting the EU.

 
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28.04.2017

The new 50 swiss franc is the best currency note of the year

The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) announces that its voting membership has selected the Swiss National Bank to receive its prestigious “Bank Note of the Year Award” for 2016. With almost 120 new banknotes released worldwide during 2016, over half were of sufficiently new design to be eligible for nomination. The Swiss note only narrowly beat the Maldive Islands 1000 Rufiyaa bill, Argentina’s 500 Peso jaguar, and the Royal Bank of Scotland’s 5 Pound first polymer note.

 
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28.04.2017

Swiss wages better last year, but under 1% Wall-increase

Last year, Swiss nominal wages recorded an average increase of 0.7% over 2015. For the fifth consecutive year, the increase remained below the 1% threshold. In majority, the economic sectors marked a real increase in wages favored by 0.4% negative inflation. By comparison, the wages increases, negotiated in 2016 by the main labor organizations, referred to almost half a million employees, was 0.4%.

 
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28.04.2017

Russia ready to deal with Switzerland over customs collaboration

Russia has offered Switzerland to sign an agreement in collaboration in the sphere of customs, Ruslan Davydov, first deputy director of Russia’s Federal Customs Service told TASS on Saturday, on the sidelines of a conference of the World Customs Organization, which took place in Vienna on April 19-21. The event was attended by representatives of 51 nations and the EU. Russia has become a member of WCO in 1992,  as a legal successor to the USSR.

 
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28.04.2017

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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