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. GBP

    The abbreviation for the British pound sterling, the official ...
  6. GBP/USD (British Pound/U.S. Dollar) ...

    The abbreviation for the British pound and U.S. dollar (GBP/USD) ...
Related Articles
  1. Forex

    Is The Swiss Franc A Safe Haven?

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

    Is The Swiss Franc A Good Investment?

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

    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.
  4. Forex

    Why Switzerland Scrapped the Euro

    Why did the Swiss scrap its peg to the Euro and what impact will it have globally?
  5. Taxes

    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.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    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.
  7. Forex Fundamentals

    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.
  8. Chart Advisor

    Use This ETF To Trade The Swiss Franc

    Traders were stunned last week when the Swiss National Bank removed the currency peg that tied the value of the Swiss franc to the euro.
  9. Forex Fundamentals

    What Causes A Currency Crisis?

    Find out what can cause a currency to collapse, and what central banks can do to help.
  10. Executive Compensation

    Personal Banker: Job Description & Average Salary

    Discover the job duties and typical salary of a personal banker, and identify the education and skill set needed to be successful in the field.
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 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 >>
  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. 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 >>
  6. How are labor and capital affected by the balance of trade?

    Learn about the impact of international trade on labor, capital and the balance of trade, and see how the current account ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Physical Capital

    Physical capital is one of the three main factors of production in economic theory. It consists of manmade goods that assist ...
  2. Reverse Mortgage

    A type of mortgage in which a homeowner can borrow money against the value of his or her home. No repayment of the mortgage ...
  3. Labor Market

    The labor market refers to the supply and demand for labor, in which employees provide the supply and employers the demand. ...
  4. Demand Curve

    The demand curve is a graphical representation of the relationship between the price of a good or service and the quantity ...
  5. Goldilocks Economy

    An economy that is not so hot that it causes inflation, and not so cold that it causes a recession. This term is used to ...
  6. White Squire

    Very similar to a "white knight", but instead of purchasing a majority interest, the squire purchases a lesser interest in ...
Trading Center