Gnomes Of Zurich

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Gnomes Of Zurich'

A disparaging term used to describe Swiss bankers. Labor party politician George Brown coined the term in November 1964 during a meeting over the rapidly declining value of the British pound that was part of a currency crisis. British labor ministers were convinced that the foreign exchange speculation activities of Swiss banks were causing the devaluation of the sterling. The term came back into fashion in early 2010 when the global financial crisis created financial instability in Europe.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Gnomes Of Zurich'

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and a major world financial center. Gnomes are mythical creatures that are said to live underground where they guard money. Swiss banks are known for their extreme secrecy, and they historically kept customers' deposits in underground vaults. Thus, the term "Gnomes of Zurich" came to describe Swiss bankers.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Exchange Rate

    The price of a nation’s currency in terms of another currency. ...
  2. Devaluation

    A deliberate downward adjustment to the value of a country's ...
  3. SIX Swiss Exchange

    Switerzland's primary stock exchange, located in Zurich. The ...
  4. UBS

    A multinational diversified financial services company headquartered ...
  5. Foreign Currency Effects

    The gain or loss on foreign investments due to changes in the ...
  6. Currency

    A generally accepted form of money, including coins and paper ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the Gnomes of Zurich?

    The "Gnomes of Zurich" is a euphemism for Swiss bankers. The name is meant as an insult because gnomes, most often found ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do negative externalities affect financial markets?

    In economics, a negative externality happens when a decision maker does not pay all the costs for his actions. Economists ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between disposable and discretionary income?

    According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, or BEA, disposable income is the amount of money an individual takes home after ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are the major laws (acts) regulating financial institutions that were created ...

    Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, in conjunction with Congress, signed into law several major legislative responses ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the similarities and differences between the savings and loan (S&L) crisis ...

    The savings and loan crisis and the subprime mortgage crisis both began with banks creating new profit centers following ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What measures could the U.S. Government take to prevent another crisis similar to ...

    Some of the measures that the U.S. government can take to prevent another crisis similar to the savings and loan (S&L) ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Elves And Gnomes: Fairy Tale Investment Terms

    What do elves have to do with investing? Meet the fairytale creatures running around Wall Street.
  2. Options & Futures

    A Primer On The Forex Market

    Moving from equities to currencies requires you to adjust how you interpret quotes, margin, spreads and rollovers.
  3. Forex Education

    Currency Exchange: Floating Rate Vs. Fixed Rate

    Baffled by exchange rates? Wonder why some currencies fluctuate while others are pegged? This article has the answers.
  4. Economics

    Game Theory And The Greece Bank Crisis

    How can game theory help us understand how the Greece bank crisis will play out? As things come to a head, Greece and the Europeans are trying to hold out.
  5. Stock Analysis

    The 3 Best Buy-and-Hold Stocks For the Next 10 Years

    Find out what makes electric cars, burritos and muscle shirts great buy-and-hold additions to your long-term portfolio.
  6. Markets

    Will Spain Exit the Euro?

    With a "no" vote in last Sunday’s referendum on whether the Greek people would accept imposed austerity measures, chances of a Greek exit from the euro have substantially increased. Will Spain ...
  7. Investing News

    Who Are The Biggest Losers Of The Greek 'No'?

    In the event of a Grexit, there is little question that the near-term hit to its tourists, banks, and creditors would be rather severe.
  8. Investing News

    Who Are The Biggest Winners From The Greek 'No'?

    Greece’s non-acceptance of the bailout plan has created some winners for European and other global investors to put their money to work.
  9. Personal Finance

    Economic Bubble: Toil And Trouble!

    You might like the idea of profiting from a bubble, but you’d probably like to avoid suffering from its aftermath. Here is how an economic bubble works.
  10. Savings

    What’s Behind The Sluggish Economic Recovery

    While the economy is improving, the rate of improvement is much lower than economists had expected. Estimates for Q2 GDP have collapsed to 2.5% from 3.2%.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. OsMA

    An abbreviation for Oscillator - Moving Average. OsMA is used in technical analysis to represent the variance between an ...
  2. Investopedia

    One of the best-known sources of financial information on the internet. Investopedia is a resource for investors, consumers ...
  3. Unfair Claims Practice

    The improper avoidance of a claim by an insurer or an attempt to reduce the size of the claim. By engaging in unfair claims ...
  4. Killer Bees

    An individual or firm that helps a company fend off a takeover attempt. A killer bee uses defensive strategies to keep an ...
  5. Sin Tax

    A state-sponsored tax that is added to products or services that are seen as vices, such as alcohol, tobacco and gambling. ...
  6. Grandfathered Activities

    Nonbank activities, some of which would normally not be permissible for bank holding companies and foreign banks in the United ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!