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Tag Archives: Personal finance

Banks are slow to increase rates on savings accounts, but quick to reduce them

Chase Sunset & Vine, 2012. Painting by Alex Schaefer Banks don't like to share higher interest rates with their customers. Case in point: let's take a look at what happened as the Federal Reserve, the U.S.'s central bank, went through a long period of hiking interest rates from 2015 to 2019.The Federal Reserve's first rate increase (from 0.25% to 0.5%) was in December 2015. It increased rates once more in 2016 and three times in 2017. But the interest rate on the average U.S. savings...

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The best investment in the world

I've blogged about strange trades before. There's Kyle Bass's bet on 5-cent coins. The great Japanese gold trade of 1859. And the epic bull market in shares of the Swiss National Bank, Switzerland's central bank.This post is about the best investment in the world. I won't leave you hanging. It's the U.S. "Series EE" savings bond. The coronavirus pandemic has led to a huge collapse in U.S. interest rates. As of April 21, the 30-year U.S. government bond rate was at 1.17%, down from 2.33%...

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Swiss National Bank to distribute 4 billion francs of profit

 © Michael Müller | Dreamstime.com In 2019, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) made a profit of around CHF 49 billion. These profits came mainly from the rising value of the assets on the bank’s balance sheet. In 2019, the value of its holdings of foreign currency and gold rose substantially. When combined with interest, dividend income and gains on shares total profits for the year were CHF 49 billion. When combined with past retained profits, the SNB’s total accumulated...

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Swiss National Bank expects annual profit of 49 billion francs

SNB building in Bern According to provisional calculations, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) expects to make a profit of around CHF 49 billion in 2019. Most of this comes from the rising value of the SNB’s foreign currency positions (+CHF 40 billion) and a valuation gain on gold holdings (+CHF 6.9 billion). After adjusting reserves, the SNB will have CHF 88 billion available for distribution. Since the announcement SNB shares have risen 2% to CHF 5,600. The central bank...

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Money for nothing – Swiss government gets paid to borrow

© Radomír Režný | Dreamstime.com Imagine borrowing CHF 105,500 but only having to repay CHF 100,000 in 20 years time, including interest. You’d get an interest free loan plus an extra CHF 5,500 to keep. This is what the Swiss federal government will do on 20 December 2019, except it will borrow CHF 196.6 million by issuing zero interest bonds at a price of 105.5%. The government will generate a CHF 10.25 million windfall. In addition, investors interested in this...

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New 100 Swiss Franc Note Coming Soon

Recently, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) unveiled the new 100 franc banknote. Only one note missing – © Janusz Pieńkowski | Dreamstime.com The note’s design is inspired by Switzerland’s tradition of humanitarianism, represented on the note by water. The note remains blue but is much smaller than the existing one, making it easier to fit into wallets. The note is the last one in Switzerland’s ninth series of notes to be updated. Updating the series began in April 2016...

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Swiss Central Bank under Pressure as Franc Rises

Yesterday, the Swiss franc reached its highest level against the euro in two years. The EUR/CHF exchange rate reached 1.097 on 24 July 2019, a rate not seen since early 2017. Source: Valeriya Potapova - Click to enlarge Upward pressure on the franc is partly being driven by expectations of interest rate cuts by eurozone and US central banks. In addition, the franc is considered a safe haven currency and...

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Police Warn of fake Swiss Franc Notes

Since the beginning of December 2018 more and more counterfeit 100 Swiss franc notes have been appearing in the Swiss canton of Valais in and around Sion and Conthey. ©-Ginasanders-_-Dreamstime.com_ - Click to enlarge The fake notes, which the local Police say can be spotted if compared to real ones, have been making their way into circulation via shopping centres, kiosks and service stations in the Sion and Conthey...

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Bitcoin and the bubble theory of money

A few months ago Vijay Boyapati asked me to "steel-man" the bubble theory of money. The bubble theory of money, which can originally be found in a few old Moldbug posts, has been used by Vijay and others to explain the emergence of bitcoin and make predictions about its future.So here is my attempt. I am using not only an article by Vijay as my source text, but also one by Koen Swinkels, a regular commenter on this blog. Both are interesting and smart posts, it's worth checking them out if...

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The Wealth of Nations: Governments Can Better Manage What They Own and Owe

By Vitor Gaspar, Jason Harris, and Alexander Tieman October 10, 2018 A firefighter in Auckland, New Zealand: when governments know what they own they can put their assets to better use and can earn about 3 percent of GDP more in revenues to spend on citizens’ well being (Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/Newscom) What is the state of your personal finances? You probably think first about your debts: your mortgage, your credit card balance, and your student loans. But you probably also think about...

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