German Bundesbank Archive

  • The prime value, which also seems to demarcate the inner club from the rest of the BIS members, is the firm belief that central banks should act independently of their home governments. This is an easy position for Leutwiler to hold, since the Swiss National Bank is privately owned (the only central bank that is not government owned) and completely autonomous. ("I don't think many people know the name of the president of Switzerland-even in Switzerland," Pohl joked, "but everyone in Europe has heard of Leutwiler.") Almost as independent is the Bundesbank; as its president, Pohl is not required to consult with government officials or to answer the questions of Parliament-even about such critical issues as raising interest rates. He even refuses to fly to Basel in a government plane, preferring instead to drive in his Mercedes limousine.

    Ruling The World of Money: The Money Club – Part 3

    The prime value, which also seems to demarcate the inner club from the rest of the BIS members, is the firm belief that central banks should act independently of their home governments. This is an easy position for Leutwiler to hold, since the Swiss National Bank is privately owned (the only central bank that is not government owned) and completely autonomous. ("I don't think many people know the name of the president of Switzerland-even in Switzerland," Pohl joked, "but everyone in Europe has heard of Leutwiler.") Almost as independent is the Bundesbank; as its president, Pohl is not required to consult with government officials or to answer the questions of Parliament-even about such critical issues as raising interest rates. He even refuses to fly to Basel in a government plane, preferring instead to drive in his Mercedes limousine.

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  • There is, however, another reason why the central banks regularly transfer deposits to the BIS: they want to provide it with a large enough profit to support the other services it provides. Despite its name, the BIS is far more than a bank. From the outside, it seems to be a small, technical organization. Just eighty-six of its 298 employees are ranked as professional staff. But the BIS is not a monolithic institution: artfully concealed within the shell of an international bank, like a series of Chinese boxes one inside another, are the real groups and services the central bankers need-and pay to support.

    Ruling The World of Money: The Money Club – Part 2

    There is, however, another reason why the central banks regularly transfer deposits to the BIS: they want to provide it with a large enough profit to support the other services it provides. Despite its name, the BIS is far more than a bank. From the outside, it seems to be a small, technical organization. Just eighty-six of its 298 employees are ranked as professional staff. But the BIS is not a monolithic institution: artfully concealed within the shell of an international bank, like a series of Chinese boxes one inside another, are the real groups and services the central bankers need-and pay to support.

    Continue Reading...

  • Originally, the central bankers sought complete anonymity for their activities. Their headquarters were in an abandoned six story hotel, the Grand et Savoy Hotel Universe, with an annex above the adjacent Frey's Chocolate Shop. There purposely was no sign over the door identifying the BIS, so visiting central bankers and gold dealers used Frey's, which is across the street from the railroad station, as a convenient landmark. It was in the wood-paneled rooms above the shop and the hotel that decisions were reached to devalue or defend currencies, to fix the price of gold, to regulate offshore banking, and to raise or lower short-term interest rates.

    Ruling The World of Money – Part 1

    Originally, the central bankers sought complete anonymity for their activities. Their headquarters were in an abandoned six story hotel, the Grand et Savoy Hotel Universe, with an annex above the adjacent Frey's Chocolate Shop. There purposely was no sign over the door identifying the BIS, so visiting central bankers and gold dealers used Frey's, which is across the street from the railroad station, as a convenient landmark. It was in the wood-paneled rooms above the shop and the hotel that decisions were reached to devalue or defend currencies, to fix the price of gold, to regulate offshore banking, and to raise or lower short-term interest rates.

    Continue Reading...