SNB’s Hildebrand Resigns; Perhaps Not Voluntarily
(eToro Blog) Yesterday, it was reported that Philipp Hildebrand, the Chairman of the Swiss National Bank, voluntarily resigned his position following allegations that his wife had engaged in a transaction which netted her a significant profit upon the SNB’s pegging of the Swiss Franc to the Euro. The former Chairman said that because he could not disapprove his assertion that he was unaware of the transaction before the fact, that he was resigning with immediate effect. Today we learn that the resignation may not have been quite as “voluntary” as Mr. Hildebrand has led us to believe.
The SNB head had continually rejected earlier calls for his resignation. But according to one Swiss media outlet, several unidentified sources have said that the Swiss National Bank’s Council had issued an ultimatum to Mr. Hildebrand. The 11-member Council was said to be scandalized by the controversy, and allegedly told Mr. Hildebrand over the weekend that they (the Council) would resign en masse if he himself did not step down.
In his statement, Hildebrand said that he “cannot once and for all prove that it was as I said it was.” What he had said was that he was unaware that his wife had bought CHF 418,000 worth of U.S. Dollars on August 15th. It was a mere three weeks later that the SNB announced steps which would cap the Swiss Franc’s rise. The transacted netted Mrs. Hildebrand, an ex-hedge fund trader, a profit of some $65,000.
The Swiss Franc, still pegged against the Euro, saw some knee-jerk gains on the resignation announcement, rising at one point to 1.2138 Swiss Francs; currently, the EUR/CHF pair is trading at 1.2121 and OpenBook sentiment is almost unanimously bullish. Several of eToro’s traders profited on yesterday’s surprise announcement, including trader Piethein, an up-and-comer with 819 followers and 133 copiers, who closed two long positions to a gain of 16.83% and 14.67%. He continues to hold several long positions in the EUR/CHF pair, among many others. Sterling trader santosh is also bullish for the pair, opening a position just a short while ago.
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