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  #601  
Old 07.04.2014, 05:05
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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You are right. The question is where does the money come from and how does affect it me as a tax payer? And can they keep it up?

What the SNB is doing at the moment to support the minimum exchange rate is a drastic measure, no doubt. But it's effects have so far been very limited. The independent currency allows the Swiss government and, in extension, the SNB to stay in control of fiscal and monetary policy.

I find it very cynical if this situation, which is, no doubt about that, not a situation anyone would seek, is used to argue how joining the Euro would be a good idea. The problems of the southern Euro countries, whose population is immensely suffering, could have been avoided at least partially if they had been able to devaluate their currencies and thus their debt while increasing their competitiveness at the same time. Euro-Bonds would have helped as well - but then we are again discussing the commitment of the EU countries and I don't want to go into that dark place again.

There are many reasons why it could make sense to join the EU or even the Euro-Zone, but the exchange rate limit of the SNB is no such reason. The problems of the Swiss Franc being too strongly appreciated is a luxury-problem.
The situation of the EURO at present is bad. THIS is why the exchange rate dropped to below CHF 1.50. But as soon as the countries in the South get stabilized, and Germany becomes stronger and stronger, this will change, slowly but gradually.

That willl be good for Switzerland which via the SNB has heavily invested into the EURO and into Euro-area companies. The SNB can then start to sell, and to buy into UK Pound and Japanese Yen
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  #602  
Old 07.04.2014, 05:22
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Unless you have inside information, I'd be sceptical about that.

The SNB move was a rather extreme move to curb a Euro that was rapidly depreciating against the Franc, so what you're suggesting is an extension of this stabilizing policy to further push up the Euro. It's questionable if the SNB has the budget to support such an aggressive policy and even if it did, unless it wants to buy Euro forever it will have to ultimately wait for the market to reach a level of confidence whereby it no longer needs to prop it up.

So am I missing something, because what you're suggesting doesn't add up, I'm afraid?

It would, but he was arguing what is a realistic value for the Euro against the Franc, not what would be a good value for the Euro against the Franc.
What you call "inside info" was freely around in the press. Whatever Mr Blocher says, Switzerland depends on the export markets in the E.U. - Also the Blocher companies. The 1.20 rate was what could be achieved, but it is far from being sufficient. In a next round, the SNB in fact HAS to raise the rate to 1.30 at least. The 1.20 however is also of symbolic importance as it is exactly the old rate of the D-Mark between 1948 and 1990 .

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And without intervention, the one-to-one figure could be quite realistic; after all, it basically reached that (about 1.02, if I remember correctly) and was the US Dollar not worth more than the Franc not too long ago?
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The one-to-one would be a total and absolute disaster. The US Dollar was CHF 4.50 in about 1976, with a merchandise value of around 1.50 . It now is the other way round with a USD haviing a too low rate

Also too low is the UK-poiund. As soon as the EURO gets stabilized the SNB will get into the Pound quite heavily


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Way I view it is that the Swiss Franc was kind of unlucky. In the past, in such situations, it was the DM that was the 'safe port of call' when the markets were in turmoil, but as it and most of the other European currencies were either part of the Euro and/or in turmoil themselves, the Swiss Franc became that 'safe port of call' and thus appreciated accordingly.
You're correct though; absolutely nothing to do with joining the EU.
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But the DM was based on the population of 60 millions of West Germany, and so had it easier to act as the safe port of call.
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  #603  
Old 07.04.2014, 09:49
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What you call "inside info" was freely around in the press.
Source? I'm not suggesting that such editorials don't exist, but I've not come across them myself and if they do exist, I'd be curious about the reliability of the source.

As things stand, the current 1.20 mark allows an artificial stabilization of the Euro at that level against the Franc. Eventually the Euro will naturally rise above this and this measure will no longer be necessary. What you're suggesting would prolong and escalate the need for SNB intervention and I'm not convinced that it wants to get financially that deep.
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The one-to-one would be a total and absolute disaster.
Absolutely. However, what st2lemans suggested was not that it would be a good or bad thing, but what would likely happen were the SNB to stop propping up the Euro - I can't say if it would drop to 1.00 or below, but it's a pretty safe bet that it would drop below the 1.20 mark.
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Also too low is the UK-poiund. As soon as the EURO gets stabilized the SNB will get into the Pound quite heavily
If buying an open ended supply of currency to prop up it's price is a trivial matter, I'd agree. But last time I checked, the SNB's policy is generally considered as an extraordinary measure.

Then there's the question of how long it'll take for the Euro to stabilize and at what level (it's already largely stabilized, just at a much lower level than pre-2008)? It's already been years.
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But the DM was based on the population of 60 millions of West Germany, and so had it easier to act as the safe port of call.
I agree; which is why the SNB had to act in the first place.
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  #604  
Old 07.04.2014, 10:13
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Source? I'm not suggesting that such editorials don't exist, but I've not come across them myself and if they do exist, I'd be curious about the reliability of the source.

As things stand, the current 1.20 mark allows an artificial stabilization of the Euro at that level against the Franc. Eventually the Euro will naturally rise above this and this measure will no longer be necessary. What you're suggesting would prolong and escalate the need for SNB intervention and I'm not convinced that it wants to get financially that deep.
Absolutely. However, what st2lemans suggested was not that it would be a good or bad thing, but what would likely happen were the SNB to stop propping up the Euro - I can't say if it would drop to 1.00 or below, but it's a pretty safe bet that it would drop below the 1.20 mark.
If buying an open ended supply of currency to prop up it's price is a trivial matter, I'd agree. But last time I checked, the SNB's policy is generally considered as an extraordinary measure.

Then there's the question of how long it'll take for the Euro to stabilize and at what level (it's already largely stabilized, just at a much lower level than pre-2008)? It's already been years.
I agree; which is why the SNB had to act in the first place.
sources : Tages Anzeiger, NZZ

reliability : fairly high

stay with 1.20 : yes, Mr Jordan (SNB chief) is in favour of simply staying with 1.20 and wait on

without the SNB correction, the EURO would drop to below 1.-- and that would be disastrous
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  #605  
Old 07.04.2014, 10:21
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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sources : Tages Anzeiger, NZZ

reliability : fairly high
Do you have a link?
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stay with 1.20 : yes, Mr Jordan (SNB chief) is in favour of simply staying with 1.20 and wait on
This, rather than an increase of the base-line to 1.30, is what I believe is the most likely future scenario, which is why I have been sceptical of your claims that the SNB will increase it.
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without the SNB correction, the EURO would drop to below 1.-- and that would be disastrous
No argument there.
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  #606  
Old 07.04.2014, 10:23
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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Source? I'm not suggesting that such editorials don't exist, but I've not come across them myself and if they do exist, I'd be curious about the reliability of the source.

As things stand, the current 1.20 mark allows an artificial stabilization of the Euro at that level against the Franc. Eventually the Euro will naturally rise above this and this measure will no longer be necessary. What you're suggesting would prolong and escalate the need for SNB intervention and I'm not convinced that it wants to get financially that deep.
Absolutely. However, what st2lemans suggested was not that it would be a good or bad thing, but what would likely happen were the SNB to stop propping up the Euro - I can't say if it would drop to 1.00 or below, but it's a pretty safe bet that it would drop below the 1.20 mark.
If buying an open ended supply of currency to prop up it's price is a trivial matter, I'd agree. But last time I checked, the SNB's policy is generally considered as an extraordinary measure.

Then there's the question of how long it'll take for the Euro to stabilize and at what level (it's already largely stabilized, just at a much lower level than pre-2008)? It's already been years.
I agree; which is why the SNB had to act in the first place.
i'm not sure if a freely floating CHF would stay at or below parity with the Euro for long. it is a significant psychological point, and i'm sure many private holders of CHF would be selling them for Euros.
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  #607  
Old 07.04.2014, 10:27
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i'm not sure if a freely floating CHF would stay at or below parity with the Euro for long. it is a significant psychological point, and i'm sure many private holders of CHF would be selling them for Euros.
I heard the same thing said of the US Dollar, yet now we seem to be used to the idea.

Anyhow, all this is speculation and completely off topic at this stage.
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Old 07.04.2014, 15:56
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About "is reversing that change really going to be that bad?" - yes, less money means less research, less jobs and the risk that Swiss skilled researchers will move to countries that have enough funding to pay them so benefiting those countries.
But does this thinking really pass the bar in the modern context.

Researchers are often mobile and international. Most of the scientists working in my company are not Swiss and do not come from Swiss universities. Likewise, many of my former university classmates are now in far away countries. With the internationalization of the research workforce, it doesn't really matter if your local universities are churning out sufficient PhDs because somebody else surely is. I'm not convinced that it isn't outdated thinking to assume you need to produce the brains locally to support the local industry.
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  #609  
Old 07.04.2014, 17:37
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But does this thinking really pass the bar in the modern context.

Researchers are often mobile and international. Most of the scientists working in my company are not Swiss and do not come from Swiss universities. Likewise, many of my former university classmates are now in far away countries. With the internationalization of the research workforce, it doesn't really matter if your local universities are churning out sufficient PhDs because somebody else surely is. I'm not convinced that it isn't outdated thinking to assume you need to produce the brains locally to support the local industry.
About " I'm not convinced that it isn't outdated thinking to assume you need to produce the brains locally to support the local industry"

True but if the funding is not available in Ch then the scientists will be working in other countries that do have the funding - how will this help local industries?
There is also the issue of the possible future permit reductions that will impact the situation of "Most of the scientists working in my company are not Swiss"; any reduction of the number of scientists here may well impact local industries.
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Old 07.04.2014, 21:56
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Re: Repercussions of Vote Already Starting...

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But does this thinking really pass the bar in the modern context.

Researchers are often mobile and international. Most of the scientists working in my company are not Swiss and do not come from Swiss universities. Likewise, many of my former university classmates are now in far away countries. With the internationalization of the research workforce, it doesn't really matter if your local universities are churning out sufficient PhDs because somebody else surely is. I'm not convinced that it isn't outdated thinking to assume you need to produce the brains locally to support the local industry.
People go where their ideas are needed. And what is more important, ideas come on their own, cannot be forced.

In a single local pool, you will have, due to cultural reasons, very limited, local ideas.
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Old 07.04.2014, 22:24
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Do you have a link?
This, rather than an increase of the base-line to 1.30, is what I believe is the most likely future scenario, which is why I have been sceptical of your claims that the SNB will increase it.

No argument there.
I expect that Mr Jordan will be forced by the government to raise the PEG. He however will set 1.25 as a compromise, If economy and politics demand 1.40, the compromise will be 1.30
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  #612  
Old 07.04.2014, 22:33
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i'm not sure if a freely floating CHF would stay at or below parity with the Euro for long. it is a significant psychological point, and i'm sure many private holders of CHF would be selling them for Euros.
Would enough private holders of CHF sell their CHF holdings and buy EURO, the EURO would rise to 1.50, which would be excellent for the Swiss economy
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Old 07.04.2014, 22:41
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About " I'm not convinced that it isn't outdated thinking to assume you need to produce the brains locally to support the local industry"

True but if the funding is not available in Ch then the scientists will be working in other countries that do have the funding - how will this help local industries?
There is also the issue of the possible future permit reductions that will impact the situation of "Most of the scientists working in my company are not Swiss"; any reduction of the number of scientists here may well impact local industries.
There will be enough scientists for the industry even if the exchange-rate of the CHF is reduced, as the salaries here will even then be far higher than in many countries around the globe.
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Old 07.04.2014, 22:49
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People go where their ideas are needed. And what is more important, ideas come on their own, cannot be forced.

In a single local pool, you will have, due to cultural reasons, very limited, local ideas.
My point exactly. Therefore the damage caused by restrictions in local funding should be minimal.
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Old 08.04.2014, 00:26
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My point exactly. Therefore the damage caused by restrictions in local funding should be minimal.
it seems a "we do nothing or very limited work, so we keep the status quo and limit the damage" reasoning, but then in China and India they will do also your part with the interests and the status quo will not be maintained not even by pure chance.
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Old 08.04.2014, 01:45
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There will be enough scientists for the industry even if the exchange-rate of the CHF is reduced, as the salaries here will even then be far higher than in many countries around the globe.
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My point exactly. Therefore the damage caused by restrictions in local funding should be minimal.
I think you both misunderstood my point.

I am talking about research which is today mostly funded by the EU and this situation may change. It is no good having high salaries if there is no budget to pay the salaries
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Old 08.04.2014, 11:37
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it seems a "we do nothing or very limited work, so we keep the status quo and limit the damage" reasoning, but then in China and India they will do also your part with the interests and the status quo will not be maintained not even by pure chance.
My company already has several university collaboration projects in place with Indian and Chinese universities and is making money here in Switzerland with the fruits of those collaborations. I see no reason why this sort of thing has to be restricted to local universities.

The world is growing more globalized by the day and we will see a concentration onto a reduced number of hubs of excellence rather than the 1990s situation of thousands of near identical projects at mediocre universities all playing catch-up with one another.
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Old 16.04.2014, 01:58
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About "One of the two "flaship" projects awarded a grant by Horizon 2020 is the Human Brain Project which is supervised by the EPFL. Here at least, the funding for the next 30 months is guaranteed."

The budget is available but exactly how the budget will be used is not finalised; announcements supposed to be later this month.

According to the HBP web site " The ramp-up phase of the project (October 2013 to March 2016) is currently funded (54 M€) by EU Seventh Framework Programme.

The HBP has reserved a portion of its ramp-up phase funding for specific research tasks to be carried out by new beneficiaries who will join the consortium in 2014. These new beneficiaries will be selected from proposals submitted in response to this Competitive Call
. "

It will be interesting to see if any of these new beneficiaries are Swiss; the project itself as mentioned is run out of Lausanne.
About "The budget is available but exactly how the budget will be used is not finalised; announcements supposed to be later this month."

Did the budget allocation announcements take place later in February as planned? I did a Google search but could only find an announcement of March 20th about funding for 32 organisations from 13 countries - Switzerland is mentioned but just for Basel and only in one area; is this funding announcement in line with what we expected in early February?
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Old 16.04.2014, 12:37
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My company already has several university collaboration projects in place with Indian and Chinese universities and is making money here in Switzerland with the fruits of those collaborations. I see no reason why this sort of thing has to be restricted to local universities.

The world is growing more globalized by the day and we will see a concentration onto a reduced number of hubs of excellence rather than the 1990s situation of thousands of near identical projects at mediocre universities all playing catch-up with one another.
Which makes your company an intermediary. .
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Old 17.04.2014, 04:41
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My company already has several university collaboration projects in place with Indian and Chinese universities and is making money here in Switzerland with the fruits of those collaborations. I see no reason why this sort of thing has to be restricted to local universities.

The world is growing more globalized by the day and we will see a concentration onto a reduced number of hubs of excellence rather than the 1990s situation of thousands of near identical projects at mediocre universities all playing catch-up with one another.
Whatever your company is and is doing, it looks as if your folks are on the right way. Indian universities ? A practical aspect right here. There is an Indian couple living one floor up. Both, in spite of university degrees and command of many languages only have a meagre command of German, but their 3 years old baby-boy has started greeting people in Swiss German. I suspect that the whole family will be quite proficient in German shortly And the Swiss Federal Government (Bundesrat) has started a temporary replacement program for Erasmus shifting money originally foreseen for Erasmus to a program financing studies of Swiss students abroad and of foreign students in Switzerland. Maybe that it once again will be le provisoire qui dure
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