United States

It’s all about the central banks


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Similar to much of what we saw in 2014, central banks across the globe continued to make headlines as global economies maintained their diverging paths.

Let's start in Switzerland, where the Swiss National Bank (SNB) shocked the global economy on January 15 by removing the Swiss franc's peg to the euro that had been in place since September 2011; a peg it had publicly supported just days earlier. In order to maintain the peg, the SNB simply printed francs to purchase euros. However, as investors widely expected the European Central Bank to announce their quantitative easing package shortly thereafter, the financial risks to Switzerland of having to continuously print francs to purchase more euros likely became too high and forced the SNB into making this surprise decision. With the Swiss economy being one where a majority of GDP is driven by exports (and a lot of those exports are to eurozone countries), a rise in the value of the franc is not good news for Swiss firms.

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