Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Putting Swiss Things Into Perspective

Marc Chandler tells of the large foreign exchange reserve increases of the Swiss National Bank:

"In terms of the euro, the SNB appears to have purchased around 55 bln euros in the month of May. This is simply an incredible amount. Assuming that the SNB is QE is still operative and it is selling Swiss franc and buying foreign–primarily European bonds, consider that the ECB bought around 40.5 bln euros worth of European sovereign bonds in the secondary market. The time frames do not match up perfectly, but it would appear that the SNB bought more European bonds than the ECB itself."

It is not clear what bonds were bought, whereas the ECB purchases were known to be targeted, but assuming the numbers are correct the comparison is still interesting. Another interesting perspective is that that, again assuming the numbers are correct, this is nearly twice as high as the value of Swiss GDP during that month (Swiss GDP is roughly €30 billion per month). This is the equivalent of the Chinese central bank buying $750 billion each month, or the Fed buying $2.3 trillion each month.