Hildebrand quits as SNB chief

The FT report is here.

28 replies on “Hildebrand quits as SNB chief”

Shocking. The Swiss political system is poisonous now with the ultra nationalist and mostly lower class supported SVP who get around 30% of the vote at war with the “respectable” 70% who have 6 out of 7 seats on the Federal government. Hildebrand was targeted by the SVP but I didn’t think he’d go.

@ Seafoid

If Ben Bernanke’s wife was caught buying Treasury futures right before QE2 was announced, he’d be toast the next day and probably be doing the ‘perp walk’ within a week. Maybe it wasn’t wrong what Hildebrand’s wife did, but it sure as hell was stupid.

@ BEB

Blick are saying that the noise had died down since he had a press conference on Thursday. The Swiss don’t do perp walks really. There must be some new info.

The original bombshell came when someone from Hildebrand’s bank sent screenshots of his bank account to the SVP. So much for bank secrecy.

@The Alchemist

Yes, Mr Hildebrand should have suggested a Tribunal of Inquiry staffed by our finest SCs.

So will the German President be next – has that voicemail transcript been released yet? I haven’t had time to keep up with that story. Didn’t Mandelson in the UK step down in similar circumstances (a ‘loan’ from a ‘friend’ to buy a house)?

Not surprised Hildebrand has gone. Pretty stupid.

Financial shenanigans are rarely punished by the courts, perp walks notwithstanding .

This is very good

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/nov/10/should-some-bankers-be-prosecuted

“If serious prosecutions of fraud by Wall Street firms are never brought, the public’s suspicion about Washington’s policies toward bankers will only grow, as will cynicism about the rule of law as it is applied to the rich and powerful. Moreover, if investing institutions and individuals come to believe that bankers cannot be trusted, the underpinnings of the market will be eroded. Without solid, well-functioning markets, the economy cannot adequately and efficiently allocate capital to high-valued uses and create jobs. Lack of ethics and corrupt behavior will channel the nation’s resources to uses that are wasteful and unproductive, as they arguably have for several decades now as too many unethical practices have gone unchallenged.”

It appears that this Swiss Banker took a card of the Irish businessman’s deck and tried to leverage that great wild card known as the spouse.

I reckon the financial system is rife with this kind of thing. The whole system reeks to heaven.

I can’t believe this guy didn’t resign before now.

His wife made a €0.5m gamble against the Swiss currency just before her husband unleashed a dramatic policy initiative to keep its value down!!

Who cares if he knew or didn’t know. If this guy didn’t resign you could throw your hat at it.

The real scandal is that it appears they have crucified the guy who blew the whistle.

btw – it seems to be a big couple of days for Ireland with Dow Jones predicting Greece will retrofit existing sov bonds with CACs and the Governor of the Czech Central Bank saying Greece should leave the Euro if the EZ won’t engage in massive fiscal transfers to them. Is this being discussed elsewhere here?

@Gregory Connor

I would not agree that this is a complete non-issue. Indeed there was much bigger money to be made in the past year with a little insider knowledge and effort. My bet is that many connected persons, banks, companies made a tidy sum by knowing what was going to be decided and what was not going to be decided.

But the big issue is surely German negative borrowing costs. No self respecting European country is going to accept a situation in a so called monetary union where one country is being paid to protect the capital that is fleeing from the other countries.
Capitals controls are now essential.

JR

how can you have capital controls in a monetary union with a single market fir goods and services? If you did that you would not have a monetary union or a single market. Neither would you have an EU.

Zhou,

It is well known that friends of CJH sold sterling the day before the Wilson devaluation of the late 1960s. Not saying they were in possession of inside information. On a related note, the Swiss have form when it comes to crucifying whistleblowers…well not literally.

@ The Alchemist
I agree, in Ireland it would be business as usual. No reason for a resignation.

Tull is right. That came out in one of the Whitehall 30 year rule paper released a few years ago. HM Treasury observed activity in Irish deposit accounts right before the devaluation and believed it could only have come from Irish DoF which had been informed about the devaluation.

@TullMcAdoo
You could certainly have an EU with capital controls. It is not so long ago since the customs men used to shakedown Cheltenham racegoers at the airports of country.

Capital controls within a monetary union’? Not usually but in the EZ you would have to do a lot of looking for the ‘monetary union’ piece.

Frank,
I think it was also referred to in the Tribunal on CJH. It appears De Bert was not the first FF leader to trade on tips. Zhou will be devastated.

@Tull

You have shattered my worldview. I just cannot believe there was insider dealing in Ireland. Worse again is suggestion of CJH involvement. I knew CJ took the cash, sailed the boats, appreciated the art and fell off horses but, dammit, i thought he was just too cool to bother his arse to do any favours for it. This will destroy politics in Ireland.

Weren’t their individuals who made a packet from the 1993 punt devaluation too?
I guess we’ll have to wait til 2023 to find out more about that….

Sarah,
Profits from 1993 were legit. They were betting against the stupidity and untenability of govt. Policy.

Sarah,
Never believe anything is true unless the gubbermint officially denies it to be true. If you can bet against the veracity of any official statement you will probably make money.

Yes, one expert I consulted during the banking-bailout years said i’d know when the bailout was coming by one simple clue: when the government was forced to publicly deny it was happening. Once they get to that stage you know it’s on…

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