Gnomes Of Zurich

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.

BREAKING DOWN '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. SIX Swiss Exchange

    Switerzland's primary stock exchange, located in Zurich. The ...
  2. Swiss National Bank

    The Swiss National Bank is the bank that is responsible for setting ...
  3. CHF

    In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Swiss franc. ...
  4. USD/CHF (U.S. Dollar/Swiss Franc) ...

    The abbreviation for the U.S. dollar and Swiss franc (USD/CHF) ...
  5. CHF (Swiss Franc)

    The currency abbreviation for the Swiss franc (CHF), the currency ...
  6. GBP

    The abbreviation for the British pound sterling, the official ...
Related Articles
  1. Trading

    Is The Swiss Franc A Safe Haven?

    We examine when and why there are runs on Swiss francs.
  2. Trading

    Is The Swiss Franc A Good Investment?

    Individual investors, businesses, financial institutes and even countries have been keeping their money in Swiss francs.
  3. Investing

    Elves And Gnomes: Fairy Tale Investment Terms

    What do elves have to do with investing? Meet the fairytale creatures running around Wall Street.
  4. Trading

    Buying Swiss Francs as a Long-Term Investment: Risks & Rewards

    Learn about the risks and rewards of investing long term in Swiss francs and the history of the Swiss franc's exchange rate against the dollar.
  5. Trading

    Why Switzerland Scrapped the Euro

    Why did the Swiss scrap its peg to the Euro and what impact will it have globally?
  6. Personal Finance

    Switzerland's Declining Tax Haven Appeal

    Switzerland's tax haven allure is being threatened by efforts by the US and other governments to make Swiss banks give up their much-vaunted secrecy.
  7. ETFs & Mutual Funds

    How To Invest In The Swiss Franc

    The Swiss franc is one of the safe havens of the investing world. Learn how invest through ETFs, forex, futures, and binary options.
  8. Trading

    The Swiss Franc: What Every Forex Trader Needs To Know

    Find out what you need to know before you start trading the Swiss franc.
  9. Trading

    Why The Swiss Franc Is So Strong

    We look at the recent and historic strength of the Swiss franc, as well as recent actions by the Swiss National Bank.
  10. Markets

    This Central Bank Owns U.S. Equities Worth 20% of GDP

    Discover more about Swiss National Bank's holdings of financial assets, and look into its recent accumulation of foreign equities.
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 Answer >>
  2. How do I open a Swiss bank account, and what makes them so special?

    Surprisingly, opening a Swiss bank account is not that much different from opening a standard bank account because you have ... Read Answer >>
  3. Why is Switzerland considered a tax haven?

    Learn how Switzerland is considered a tax haven, even though its government has signed agreements to disclose information ... Read Answer >>
  4. How can I look up average banker's acceptance yields?

    Discover what a banker's acceptance note is, how it is commonly used, and where investors can find information on available ... Read Answer >>
  5. Why is the British pound / U.S. dollar currency pair known as "trading the cable"?

    The British pound / U.S. dollar currency pair is one of the oldest and most widely-traded currency pairs in the world. The ... Read Answer >>
  6. What are key economic factors that can cause currency depreciation in a country?

    Read about the causes of currency devaluation, and find out how to differentiate between relative and absolute currency devaluation. Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Duration

    A measure of the sensitivity of the price (the value of principal) of a fixed-income investment to a change in interest rates. ...
  2. Dove

    An economic policy advisor who promotes monetary policies that involve the maintenance of low interest rates, believing that ...
  3. Cyclical Stock

    An equity security whose price is affected by ups and downs in the overall economy. Cyclical stocks typically relate to companies ...
  4. Front Running

    The unethical practice of a broker trading an equity based on information from the analyst department before his or her clients ...
  5. After-Hours Trading - AHT

    Trading after regular trading hours on the major exchanges. The increasing popularity of electronic communication networks ...
  6. Omnibus Account

    An account between two futures merchants (brokers). It involves the transaction of individual accounts which are combined ...
Trading Center