The Swiss Gold Initiative

Sat, Aug 23, 2014 - 12:23pm

When we first wrote about this, we actually caused a bit of a stir but the primary vote on The Swiss Gold Initiative was still over six months away. Now, with the date of the vote rapidly approaching, it is time to begin reviving this issue.

Interest is beginning to build, awareness is growing and the date of the national referendum has been set. Later this year, on November 30, the good people of Switzerland will finally get an opportunity to make their voices heard. The Swiss Gold Initiative can be roughly stated in three parts:

  1. The halting of all Swiss gold sales
  2. The repatriation of all Swiss gold that is held in foreign vaults
  3. Resume backing the Swiss Franc with gold, at a minimum level of 20%

Of course, the politicians and bankers of Switzerland are squarely against this initiative as it greatly diminishes their hold on power and restricts their ability to continue to debase the Franc. Fortunately, as one of the world's few remaining democracies, the Swiss people have an opportunity on November 30 to directly affect a change. For their sake and for the sake of their posterity, I pray that they choose wisely.

As this issue comes to the forefront this autumn, you will need to be aware of the circumstances surrounding the vote. So, below you will find a few background links and, ultimately, a re-print of the seminal article that we first posted here back on May 12. Please take the time to review this information. We must do everything we can to help warn and educate the good people of Switzerland before the vote is taken.

First, here are two bits of background from earlier this year. From former US Budget Director David Stockman we have this:

And from the FinancialSense website, we have this interview of Luzi Stamm, who is one of the Swiss parliamentarians behind the initiative:

Last week, Swiss money manager Egon von Greyerz brought the issue back to our attention and I urge you to take a moment to read this brief commentary:

Finally, here's the link to the article we first posted back in May. If you are Swiss or personally know any Swiss citizens, please consider forwarding this link. It is imperative that we do everything possible to see that this initiative passes, not just for the good people of Switzerland but for freedom, liberty and sound money advocates everywhere.


"From Turdville With Love; An open letter to the good people of Switzerland"

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Switzerland, but what you suspected all along is actually true. Your gold is gone. All of it. Leased and sold away by your central bankers and politicians.

As recently as 1996, the Swiss Franc was considered "good as gold". Why was this the case? Since the early 20th century, the Swiss Franc had offered a reserve backing of gold. This uniquely sound currency had given the country of Switzerland considerable financial power and independence, yet, at the urging of their politicians and central bankers, the Swiss willingly forfeited this enviable position.

The demise of the Franc and Swiss sovereignty began in 1992 when the Swiss made the fateful decision to join the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF's Articles of Agreement (Article IV, Sec 2b) clearly state that no member country can have a currency linked to gold and, as such, Switzerland immediately set out on a course to de-link the Franc from gold. Just four short years later, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the Swiss government had formed a plan to eliminate the Franc's gold backing and, in March of 1997, a revision of the Nationalbank Act was passed and all links of gold to the Franc were removed. Further, since the Swiss constitution mandated sound money, it had to be amended, too. Thus, in a hastily organized vote, a new Swiss constitution was approved in May of 2000. ( This served to finally and permanently sever the Franc's gold backing and initiated the Swiss into the world of global fiat currency.

The SNB has spent the 14 years since leasing and re-leasing the country's gold reserves. In 1999, the SNB reported gold reserves of 2,590 metric tonnes. The most current "audit" of SNB reserves showed just 1,040 metric tonnes of gold remaining on the balance sheet and I believe that none of this is actual, physical gold. Instead, what the SNB holds are paper claims and promissory notes. The remaining 1,040 tonnes has been sold and re-sold into the marketplace by greedy bullion banks, intent upon suppressing price through the leverage of paper metal futures contracts and rehypothecation. In other words, the "gold" that the SNB claims to hold/own on behalf of the Swiss people is gone. This makes the Swiss people just another bagholder, certain to be left in line wanting with all of the other holders of unallocated accounts when the fractional reserve bullion banking system inevitably collapses.

Furthermore, I've come to the conclusion that it was this last bit of Swiss gold that was utilized to suppress and manipulate price away from the alltime highs of September 2011. What makes me think this? Let's start with a history lesson...

Again, the Swiss officially forfeited their birthright of national independence and sovereignty when they joined the IMF in 1992. Then, by formally de-linking the Franc from gold in 2000, they accepted full membership into the clique of fiat currencies. Regardless, and perhaps just by tradition, the Swiss Franc was still considered a "safe haven" currency as late as 2011. But that's when things got out of hand.

You recall 2011, don't you? Under the weight of $600B worth of QE2, the U.S. Dollar Index was collapsing. From a high near 90 in mid-2010, it had fallen to near 73 by the spring of 2011. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. fiscal situation began to wobble as "Debt Ceiling" negotiations took place in Washington and the U.S. credit rating was downgraded by Standard & Poor's. The ensuing political rancor drove gold from $1500 to $1900 in eight weeks. Also catching a bid in this "safe haven" trade was the Swiss Franc and, in the summer of 2011, it also rallied over 20%.

"We can't have this!", screamed the Swiss Keynesians. "Something must be done or our export-driven economy will suffer", they warned. So what happened next? The SNB went ALL IN.

In the wee hours of Tuesday, September 6, 2011, the SNB announced a permanent and horrific change to the Swiss currency. Henceforth, the Franc would be linked/pegged to the Euro. No more safe haven bid. No more national sovereignty. Going forward, the Swiss were all in. Their fortunes had been officially tied to the fortunes of the European Union, for better or for worse. At this point, there was no further reason to hold any gold in reserve. Why would the Swiss need it? Their currency was now officially fiat and it's value was permanently pegged to another fiat, the Euro. What purpose would gold serve going forward? As the Keynesians say, it had become "a barbarous relic".

Left as the sole remaining "safe haven", one would have expected a huge rally in gold on 9/6/11, likely moving price up and through $2000/ounce from the weekend close near $1920. Instead, with the same counter-intuitive move to which we've all grown accustomed in the time since, gold was raided and price was smashed. Here are some flashback c&ps for you. First two charts from 9/6/11 and 9/7/11 showing the unusual price action:

And, as you might imagine, I was actively chronicling these events on this site. Here's a sample from Wednesday, Sept 7:

"I think it's quite clear now why gold responded yesterday in the opposite direction from what you would have expected. With central banks actively managing a debasement of their currencies, we are now seeing them also attempt to actively manage a debasement of gold, too. Be careful. Be very careful.

We all wondered yesterday why gold would plunge on the SNB news. Now we know. In an attempt to mitigate the "negative" effect on francs priced in gold, the SNB sold a massive amount of gold futures at the same time. How do we know this, because it appears that the same thing earlier today.

Yes, that's 7,000 contracts (700,000 ounces) (nearly 22 metric tons!) dumped on the Globex while London and NY are closed! This should also raise your deja vu spidey senses regarding silver in May. The $ drop in silver was greater because the silver market is considerably smaller. However, it's the same strategy. Maximize the downward impact and collateral damage by executing the attack at a time of minimal liquidity. This all wreaks of malicious manipulation. If you are trading, be prepared for anything."

And there you have it. Speculated upon at the time and again here in this post: The SNB is the culprit. It was the remaining SNB gold that was leased and dumped onto the market in late 2011, shoving price back from the record highs and smashing gold for nearly 0 in a little over three weeks. What was left of the Swiss gold was then leased to bullion banks throughout 2012 and the first half of 2013. Physical demand only increased, however, and that remaining Swiss gold has now been delivered to China and points East. Yes, the SNB still shows this leased gold on their balances sheet as an asset. Most every other western Central Bank utilizes the same accounting gimmick. Instead, it should be listed as a liability as the actual, physical underlying is no longer there. It is...gone for good.

Sensing this, a movement has begun in Switzerland to reclaim their sovereignty and birthright. The Swiss People's Party (SVP), which was the only major party voting against the new Constitution back in 2000, began an initiative last year to re-enforce a gold backing to the Franc. After collecting more than the requisite 100,000 signatures, a national referendum on the issue is planned. First, however, a vote was held last week in Swiss parliament. This procedural vote is basically a "recommendation" from Parliament, designed to impact the eventual, national vote. Here's how Bloomberg described it in an article dated May 5:


Swiss parliamentarians urged rejection of a popular initiative that would curtail the Swiss National Bank’s independence by requiring it to hold a fixed portion of its assets in gold.

Members of the Swiss parliament’s lower house voted 129 to 20 with 25 abstentions today against the plan, which demands that at least 20 percent of the central bank’s assets be in gold. It would also disallow the sale of any such holdings and require all SNB gold be held in Switzerland.

No date for a national vote has yet been set. The government in November also recommended the initiative be opposed, saying it would impinge upon the SNB’s ability to conduct monetary policy. Parliament and the multi-party government issue recommendations on all national referendums as a matter of procedure.

Of course! How could anyone, in their right mind, be in favor of this:

  1. Demanding that at least 20% of your central bank assets be in gold
  2. Disallowing any sale of said gold
  3. Require repatriation of all foreign-held gold

Don't you silly peasants know what's good for you? By making these demands, you "impinge on your central bank's ability to conduct monetary policy" and "curtail the SNB's independence"!

Then, check this out, also from the same Bloomberg story. Last year, even Thomas Jordan, the head of the SNB, got in on the act:

"SNB President Thomas Jordan took the extraordinary step of commenting on politics last year when he urged rejection of the initiative, saying it would crimp the Zurich-based institution’s independence and force it into “large-scale” purchases to meet the required 20 percent threshold."

Hmmm. "Large-scale purchases", just to get back to the 20% threshold? Well, that's interesting, now isn't it? And what about this repatriation requirement? Why should that be a big deal? The SNB currently provides this list of its gold storage:

  • 70% (728 mts) of the gold is already held in Switzerland
  • 20% (208 mts) is held at The Bank of England
  • and 10% (104 mts) is held at The Bank of Canada

I can't speak for the 104 metric tonnes held in Canada but the Swiss people should be very nervous about the gold the SNB allegedly stores in London ( Also, the SNB has been reticent to discuss where in Switzerland their gold is stored. Could this be because the "gold" is stored with the Bank of International Settlements for easy distribution and leasing? And where is the BIS? It's in Basel, of course. And where is Basel? It's in Switzerland!! How about that??

Look, I'll cut the chase here to save some time. Here's the "open letter":

To the good people of Switzerland:

You have been scammed and sold down the river. Your politicians and bankers, in a pathetic attempt to consolidate power and curry favor with the EU, have given away your independence and your historic sovereignty. You should be angry.

The initiative you have taken and the referendum you have planned are all well and good. I applaud you for taking these steps within the context of Swiss law and tradition. However, you must understand what is truly at stake and if you don't take more powerful and forceful acts soon, the likelihood of you ever regaining your birthright as an independent, sovereign nation is slim.

The next steps you undertake must include these:

  • Demand an immediate and full, independent audit of the SNB gold reserves. This is your gold, not the SNB's, and you should be allowed a full accounting.
  • All Swiss gold that is held domestically must be held in Swiss-owned bank vaults, not at the BIS.
  • Demand an immediate repatriation of all foreign-held gold. Do not accept excuses regarding "logistics". Give the BoE and the BoC no more than 90 days to return your gold.
  • Immediately de-peg the Franc from the Euro and divest yourself of all accumulated Euro holdings. Ignore the Keynesian shills who would have you believe that a strong currency is bad for economic growth.
  • Use the process of divesting yourself of the Euro to accumulate and rebuild your gold reserves. Then, use these reserves to once again partially back your currency.

The world is rapidly changing and tomorrow will not be like yesterday. The current global financial system, based upon promises, debt and unlimited fiat currency will one day soon by replaced by a system that returns the world to a sound money platform. The monetary powers of the 21st Century will come to the forefront by virtue of their accumulated reserves of sound money, not by their addiction to easy money.

You, Switzerland, still have time to act and prepare but you must move quickly. The possibility exists for you to reverse course and demand change but time is short. The end of the great Keynesian experiment is upon us. Reclaim your gold and your sovereignty now or be forever consigned to the trash heap of fiat currency history.

Faithfully submitted with all sincerity,


About the Author

tfmetalsreport [at] gmail [dot] com ()


Aug 30, 2014 - 1:22pm

Swiss gold initiative

Probably a non-event, even if the Swiss vote for all three elements.

1. Gold will be leased if selling is stopped

2. Repatriation will occur over a very, very long timescale (as none is suggested) which effectively means no repatriation

3. Gold that is leased is entered as an asset on the central banks account so 20% gold backing of the Swiss Franc by leased gold will be easy enough to arrange.

Really, these people need to be more precise with their referenda if they are to stop the banksters continuing business as usual.

Aug 26, 2014 - 1:19pm

the freegold religion

I wrote: "You'll wind up like the freegolders, waiting 17 years (since Another showed up) and counting, now, for freegold."

That's counting from Another's appearance. Or, you could count from FOFOA's New Dispensation (or New Testament, or whatever it is) -- that would be only 6 years.

But then, FOFOA's New Testament is actually just the Old Testament, but tarted up and ensconced in 2.7 million words of convoluted verbiage, including a shakey rationalization as to why the prophecies of redemption and salvation of the Old Testament are taking so darn long to materialize.

But Woe Be Unto Him who questions the Freegold Faith of our Fathers, for He shall Surely Fry in Burning Fiat Hades, Forever! Amen.

Aug 26, 2014 - 12:06pm



"I find it hard to believe it is an impossibility for you to buy more. You can always get more ounces."

Not if you are already all-in.

"Have you considered trading gold against silver"

Have considered, yes. But present ratio is prudent. Looking in the rear-view, it is different. At true EXTREMES of ratio, one way or other, that trade makes sense. Something to do when the time comes. (Not now.)

"Have you considered roll hunting boxes of half dollars?"

Tried that. Lots of dirty boring work for no return. YMMV.

"Have you considered looking for sterling at estate sales?"

Yes, have considered it. It is quite time intensive, like looking through heaps of clad coins. Maybe it would be worth the time -- barely. Might get lucky. Or might just waste a lot of time.

"Don Harrold isn't any smarter than either one of us."

Speak for yourself. He was smarter than me. When something rises radically and at an obviously unsustainable trajectory -- SELL SOME. (Note to reader: did I just say "sell all", or did I say "sell SOME"?) Take some profits, and seek to get back in when things settle down. The problem is, if you've been steeped in this doomer propaganda about everything going kerblooey in one gigantic splash, you become conditioned to believe that the next rise is "it" -- "the big one!". That is, as opposed to viewing things rationally and historically, and understanding that everything ebbs and flows, and that there are times to buy, and times to sell. In silver, the times to buy and sell were several over the past 15 years. When it makes a radical move up, sell some. When it corrects back down, re-buy. This should be plain common sense for any investor. But not for those steeped in the Big Bang propaganda. Including me. I am still recovering. It is a process, not an event.

"You don't have to move out of your position and run the risk of never getting it back when the market breaks in order to stack effectively."

There it is! "Run the risk of never getting back in". That is the doomer line that I am talking about. It is a dangerous way to think. Almost as dangerous as not holding any core position (i.e. one that you don't sell) at all. You simply cannot think that way and do well. It will prevent you from ever taking any profits at all, as you continue to wait for the Big Meltdown. (Which, admittedly, might happen -- and that's why you maintain a core position.) You'll wind up like the freegolders, waiting 17 years (since Another showed up) and counting, now, for freegold. Yes, it might happen. But when? Next month? April 2023? Who knows? Can you afford to wait? Do you have spare decades to sit it out while your wealth is sitting in purgatory, until the great moment of redemption? (Yes, I know. It can't POSSIBLY take until 2023!!! It MUST happen over the next year or three. Simply MUST!!! [[snipped: long schpiel about the "mathematical impossibility" of the present system remaining in force for longer than 24 months.]])

"maybe you need to add to your commentary a strategy of increasing fiat amounts of purchases as price continues to fall"

Yes. The strategy is very simple. When the price explodes, SELL SOME, so you have fiat to buy more later. Don't be sucked-in to the propaganda: "this time it's different!". "It is a new era! new ballgame!" "The whole house of cards is commin down, and silver/gold they gonna go mega-ballistic and never look back EVER!" "Blue skies, forever!" Ummm. Welllll.

(I should note that by "propaganda" I do not necessarily mean anything originating outside your own skull. These are the kind of thoughts that have gone through my head, and no doubt many thousands of other pm bugs. These thoughts may be -- indeed, always are -- fueled by external hype, but ultimately it is we who are responsible for buying-in to it and, too often, amplifying it, rather than criticizing it. We propagandize ourselves.)

It goes to basics regarding expectations of how everything is going to play out. Do you really believe that the dollar, and the whole global system, is going to go kerblooey in one sudden blinding flash, like a nuclear explosion? If so, then hang on tight to your stack, forever, no matter what. But if you think it is going to come down in a more incremental fashion, then... you finish that sentence.

The "doomer propaganda" of which I speak has an origin in apocalypticism. It is a very old meme. It kinda goes with Xtian fundamentalism, and the idea that there will be a great war at the end of history (Armageddon), after which everything will be made new, or something like that. The basic idea is: revolution, vs. evolution; sudden dramatic change vs. incremental change over time. Not that revolutions don't happen; they do. But rarely, and if you're building your life around that possibility, you might find yourself missing most of your life in the waiting.

So what's it gonna be? Is the Titanic going to go down in ONE minute, or will it take an hour or two? Or will it, perhaps, not go down at all, but just take in a bunch of water, filling up a couple or three of those big compartments, and causing the ship to list hard to starboard and lay there impotently for a very long time?

Place your bets, ladeez and gents! It is your life.

Aug 26, 2014 - 9:35am

Barfly re: game of ounces . . .

"I find it hard to believe it is an impossibility for you to buy more. You can always get more ounces."


Yes, you are right--today.

But when the window closes, whatever you have is all you'll get--at least in exchange for fiat as we know it today.

You don't "trade" or go in and out of insurance policies because your house didn't yet burn down, or you haven't died yet. Physical PMs are insurance against a time when fiat burns and dies.

Aug 26, 2014 - 6:48am

Swiss banks holding Jewish gold sketch

Swiss banks holding Jewish gold sketch
Aug 25, 2014 - 10:00pm

Game of Ounces

Don't get me wrong, I like ounces. I find it hard to believe it is an impossibility for you to buy more. You can always get more ounces. Have you considered trading gold against silver and vice versa as the ratio moves back and forth? Have you considered roll hunting boxes of half dollars? I got 50+ ounces last year for a cost of $3.60 an ounce. Have you considered looking for sterling at estate sales? I got 30 ounces last month for 60% of spot. Read the internet. There are dozens of ways to find silver out there that has been totally mis-priced.

Don Harrold isn't any smarter than either one of us. He just wants us to think he is. You don't have to move out of your position and run the risk of never getting it back when the market breaks in order to stack effectively.

ancientmoneySound Money Minnow
Aug 25, 2014 - 6:03pm

SMM re: I wish someone cared . . .

"We live in times where we are too distracted and cowardice, to do something about it."


There is still not enough pain. The EBT cards still work, you can still buy food and gas relatively cheaply. Very few of the general population have a clue as to what the true source is of the all-powerful hold the bankers and their owned politicians/Wall Street elite maintain. The MSM, also owned by the same bankers/elite make sure it stays that way.

It seems it will take a military coup de etat to break the chain, and possibly have a chance at one day regaining what this nation once was.

Sound Money MinnowSafety Dan
Aug 25, 2014 - 4:57pm

I wish someone cared

beyond the scope of this thread. Thanks for your efforts. We live in times where we are too distracted and cowardice, to do something about it.

Visit the FAQ page to learn how to track your last read comment, add images, embed videos, tweets, and animated gifs, and more.

Aug 25, 2014 - 3:58pm


Appreciate the feedback and your opinion my friend and yes I believe there is lots of Manipulation going on and yes prices may fall but my source is higher than Gary Toby or Michael Noonan and I follow that source with no doubts, lots of faith and will Keep on Stacking because anything can happen overnight and will sooner than later and if the interest rates rise then watch out.

I don't watch the markets or care about the markets only the need to Stack Everything That I Will Need To Survive When TSHTF.

I am also all in on Physical Metals and won't change until I hear different to do so. Keep Stacking

Aug 25, 2014 - 3:38pm


the mlp pipelines have done just fine the past 4-5 years. Even at elevated prices dividends are nice, however when rates do go up (US credit risk will eventually drive that) everything will have to adjust--stocks bonds and fixed income things like pipelines which kind of trade off treasuries. I have some KMP I picked up in 2002 or thereabouts in the 30's. Several other pipelines--MMP I think is now the best.

remember the pipelines defer taxable income thru the partnership structure so if you sell to take profits and have held for 10 years, its going to be a big tax gain-I think you can still "die" and when you pass the asset to beneficiaries they get the stepped up value. Thats a big deal now--watch them close that loophole, they have been talking about it for years.

Exxon Mobil and Chevron from a decade ago.

this entire market structure can change on a dime. Have to be very cautious now, its all a game we do not control.

***= they may not close step up loophole as the biggest beneficiaries of it are the big contributors to politicians.

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