David McWilliams: Swiss bank vaults filling up ... with our deposits
Published 05/01/2011 | 05:00
I rarely rob breakfasts in hotels; I don't usually stuff my pockets with sandwiches culled from the breakfast buffet, but here in Davos, high up in the Swiss Alps, things are now so expensive that any saving counts. This was never a cheap place, but now after months of crises in the European debt markets, it is prohibitive.
The reason is simple: the Swiss franc has risen dramatically against the euro in the past year.
The Swiss franc is the canary in the coal mine of Europe finance. Every time there is a crisis anywhere in Europe, money flows into Switzerland. It is the ultimate save haven. Having worked for a Swiss bank, I remember seeing this first-hand. A wall of money swept through the bank's coffers at the first sign of trouble.