The Wife Of Switzerland’s Central Banker Sold Swiss Francs Days Before the Currency Devaluation

Apparently insider trading for politicians and their family is not limited to the USA….

My kind of story in the Swiss papers today. I love it when big shot central bankers get their dirty laundry made public.

Kashya, the wife of Philipp Hildebrand (head of the Swiss National Bank) sold Swiss Francs just a few days before the Swiss National Bank initiated exchange controls and devalued the Franc. The timing of the transactions was nearly perfect. The suggestion is that “pillow talk” between husband and wife lead to the trades.

Don’t expect heads to roll over this transgression. There has been a complete review by Swiss authorities and the conclusion is that there were no insider trading violations by the wife. That’s not to say that trades did not happen.

Apparently, Kashya Hildebrand bought ~$500,000 when she shorted the CHF. This relatively small transaction netted the Hildebrand family only ~$50,000 in less than one month. Being that the amount is so small, the conclusion is that nothing nefarious has taken place. From NZZ.

Therefore no central banker in the world would risk his job.

Really? Only $50k extraa for the wife’s account? That’s not enough incentive? I guess so. Hubby earns CHF 862,000 ($950,00) at the SNB. (A sweet deal, Ben Bernanke takes in less than $200k)

What’s fascinating about this story is how it came about. Who blew the whistle on wifey? The answer is that Kashya Hildebrand maintained an account with a (very) private bank called Sarasin. When she did the trades back in August someone at the bank alerted an opposition politician, Christoph Blocher. Blocher brought the evidence to the Swiss President, Micheline Calymy-Rey and insisted on an investigation.

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Sheeraz Raza
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