Thursday, January 05, 2012


Among the news stories that should be getting more attention is the case of Swiss Central Bank governor Philipp Hildebrand and the currency trades of him and his art-dealer wife. It's a tough case in which to pick sides because on the one hand, Mr Hildebrand has been extremely vigorous in reining in Swiss banks, but on the other hand, there's been a culture of impunity at central banks worldwide: the institutions that were supposed to be in charge of financial stability in the run-up to 2008 and yet which have seen the least change in personnel since then despite their massive failing in that regard. So if a sacking has to come due to dodgy personal deals of an otherwise good central banker rather than for incompetence of all the others still in their jobs, it's rough justice.

We'll also be following up to see whether the Swiss media view this as a homegrown failing or rather as due to bad habits picked up from working for New York hedge funds and marrying foreigners -- both of which apply to Mr Hildebrand.

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