Financial Tsunamis Most Often Come Without Warning

On Thursday, January 15th, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) discontinued its three year effort to maintain its minimum currency floor of the Swiss franc. In a single day the move sent the Swiss Franc (SWF) climbing a massive 21% against the U.S. dollar and 41% against the euro. The move sent shockwaves of unprecedented ferocity through the massive foreign exchange (FX) market, which is by far the largest, and most highly levered, trading market in the world. The monetary tsunami threatened both FX participants and even their brokers. But more importantly, even as the rest of Europe looks to suffocate itself in a blanket of debased currency, the Swiss have opened a window of reality on the massive central bank scheme. Hopefully some of the fresh air will spread throughout the rest of the world.