Switzerland's central bank makes a massive loss

ON FRIDAY, the Swiss National Bank (SNB), Switzerland’s central bank, reported second quarter losses of 20 billion Swiss francs ($20 billion). Following an equally bad first three months of the year, the SNB’s losses so far for 2015 now amount to a whopping 50.1 billion Swiss francs, equivalent to 7.5% of Switzerland's GDP (see chart).

The SNB's losses were large but not unexpected. For years, the Bank has intervened in foreign exchange markets to prevent the Swiss franc from...

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