Daily Archives: March 12, 2012

Claire Jones

Maintaining that “dollar lifestyle” just got a little trickier for Switzerland’s central bankers.

The Swiss National Bank’s new code of conduct, out today, forbids officials, their wives and all who live with them, from investing in anything where there is the merest whiff of a conflict of interest.

Foreign exchange transactions for anything other than purchases of non-financial assets, such as real estate, will only be allowed if assets are managed passively by an independent manager. Even for non-financial assets, any foreign exchange transaction of more than Sfr20,000 must be reported to, and approved by, the central bank’s compliance officer.

That will avoid any repeat of the embarrassment suffered by the SNB earlier this year, when Philipp Hildebrand resigned over currency trades made by his wife.

But could central banks elsewhere find their reputation damaged by the financial affairs of their most senior employees? 

Robin Harding

I have a piece in today’s paper previewing what promises to be a quiet Federal Open Market Committee meeting this month.

In particular, talk that the FOMC is now studying a programme of “sterilised” quantitative easing is, in my view, incorrect. I think the current FOMC discussion looks more like this: