In September, 2011, to prevent its currency from appreciating after the Global Financial Crisis, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) decided to peg its currency to EUR and announced that it would not let CHF go beyond 1/1.20 EUR. Maintaining the peg required the SNB to purchase foreign currency assets virtually endlessly in response to the worsening Eurozone crisis. By end of 2014, its foreign currency exchange reserves amounted to almost 80% of its GDP. In an attempt to deter capital flows and reduce its balance sheet size, in December, 2014, the SNB first bought the interest rate on commercial bank deposits to negative levels and then, facing impending quantitative easing by the European Central Bank, announced the removal of the peg on January 15, 2015. The case describes the backdrop and the circumstances leading up to removal of the peg.
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Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
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