John Rubino recently wrote, Switzerland, as everyone knows by now, has slipped out the back door of the drunken orgy that is the modern financial system. And the other revelers are wondering if it’s time to find their own clothes and start tiptoeing towards the exit.
Because the Swiss have such a big “mind share” in the world of finance, it’s easy to forget how tiny their country actually is: Eight million people, a landmass of 40,000 square kilometers (less than half that of Virginia, for instance), and a few interesting but by no means essential exports like watches, chocolate, and pharmaceuticals. But in banking it’s a behemoth. Traditionally the place where money ran to hide, whether gold stolen by Nazis, tax revenues stolen by kleptocrats or personal wealth stashed by reasonable individuals living in unreasonable countries, it has for centuries been as reassuringly — and purposefully — boring as an aging accountant.
In other words, the Swiss are purveyors of financial stability, which requires a rock-solid currency and predictable behavior. The franc, as a result, has for long stretches been the only fiat currency to hold its value versus gold.
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