This weekend, Swiss voters will be asked whether they want 20% of their currency, the Swiss franc, backed by physical gold.
The people I talk to here in Zürich are, at best, hopeful that the answer is no. They know that such a plan will cause a world of hurt to the Swiss economy and will hamstring the Swiss central bank and its efforts at managing the franc. They all say confidently that the majority of Swiss voters understand this and will veto the plan.
But you can clearly hear in their tone that worry tints their words. The polls are close. And they know that the Swiss feel their economy is too often manipulated by what happens with the euro and the dollar — and the Swiss are people with a deep independence streak.
Thus, there’s a better-than-good chance that Swiss voters shock the monetary world this weekend with a vote that signals the beginning of the end for modern fiat currencies.
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