Swiss Struggle With Strong Franc

Experts worry that the efforts by the Swiss National Bank to tame the overvaluation of the Swiss franc will do little to weaken the strong currency, which has seen a boost in investor confidence in recent economic cycles.

The Swiss government took steps Wednesday to weaken the Swiss franc, which has enjoyed record-high strength recently. According to CNBC, the government announced that it wants to inject 2 billion Swiss francs into the economy, in order to combat overvaluation of the currency. Some investors have expressed disappointment, however, that the Swiss National bank did not take more decisive action, such as pegging the franc to the euro.

“We have identified five sectors we want to invest in the export industry, tourism, innovation, research and infrastructure,” Swiss economy minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said at a media conference in Berne, according to an article for the website.

“The franc’s rapid rise has prompted squeals from Swiss businesses and exporters, who see their margins dwindling, raising the pressure on Swiss officials to take decisive action,” the article read.

However, The Wall Street Journal reported that the currency’s strength may begin to affect Switzerland’s reputation as a favored destination for foreign multinationals — due to the soaring cost of living.

“While the tax benefits still largely outweigh the soaring cost of running a foreign business in Switzerland — one new study found Zurich and Geneva have the highest wages in the world — some companies are already cutting expat packages and could decide on bigger cuts after the summer holidays, say consultants,” the WSJ article read. “The franc’s strength is beginning to erode Switzerland’s place as a favored destination for multinationals looking to lower their tax bill. The economic downturn as well as fears of tax increases in countries such as the U.K. and Ireland have increased the attractiveness of Switzerland.”

That attraction may be wearing thin, though, according to the article, as “the soaring franc has made doing business in Switzerland prohibitively expensive.”

Personal Liberty

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.