“The Swiss franc - a success story”
Prof. E. Baltensperger1
...but it's future is uncertain.
“A franc-gold-combination would bring more security”
Prof. P. Bernholz2
The ProblemThe Swiss Franc has lost roughly 90% of its value during the last century. It's future is uncertain and not only depending on the Swiss National Bank's strategy, but also on the developments in the international monetary system and in particular on European and American politics.
The IdeaThe existing monetary system is based on the principle of paper money. This means that Dollars, Euros and even Swiss Francs can be printed without limits and this could lead to the partial or total loss of purchading power of all savings and pensions. Gold cannot be printed and has been used for thousands of years as a medium of exchange, as a hedge and as a nest egg. Goldcoins are the precursor and the origin of paper money and the ideal hedge aganist the uncertainties in today's financial system.
The ProposalA new amendment to the Swiss constitution creates the legal foundation to introduce constitutionally protected private gold coins.
Article 99bis (new)
Swiss Gold Coins
1. The Federal government shall define the rules for the issuance of a set of quickly and easily tradable gold coins with a solid, clearly recognizable gold content starting at 0.1 grams.
2. The issuance of the coins (production, coinage, placing on the market) is provided by Swiss companies. The coins bear a unified symbol of Swiss origin, indicate the gold content in grams and a freely desighed identification of the issuer.
3. The issuance, acquisition and trading of the gold coins are tax and duty free.
SimpleBuying and selling of gold becomes easier and cheaper.
Today the popular Swiss gold coins "Vreneli" cost around Fr. 250.- and need expert advice. The smallest gold coins will cost around Fr. 5.- and be available via vending machines. Gold coins will become as common and as familiar as Dollars and Euros today.
PracticalSmall denominations make possible new uses.
Coins of different size will be available, with the smallest containing as little as 0.1g gold in the form of a “Gold Core Coin”. This makes gold suitable for savings- and pension plans, in life insurance products and for marketing purposes. Last but not least the Gold Coins can supplement and partially replace the Swiss Franc in it's function as a save haven currency and thus ease the upward pressure on the exchange rate.
SafeThe gold coins are protected by the Swiss Constitution.
The private production and ussuance of gold coins is illegal in Switzerland and the tax free status for gold as an investment is only regulated in an ordinance, which can be changed at any time. The new constitutional article will eliminate these disadvantages and maybe even become a model that other countries will want to follow.
1) NZZ Libro 2012
2) NZZ 16.5.2012