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George Dorgan

George Dorgan

George Dorgan (penname) predicted the end of the EUR/CHF peg at the CFA Society and at many occasions on SeekingAlpha.com and on this blog. Several Swiss and international financial advisors support the site. These firms aim to deliver independent advice from the often misleading mainstream of banks and asset managers. George is FinTech entrepreneur, financial author and alternative economist. He speak seven languages fluently.

Articles by George Dorgan

Swiss Trade Balance Q1 2018: The positive trend continues

3 days ago

We do not like Purchasing Power or Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) as measurement for currencies. For us, the trade balance decides if a currency is overvalued. Only the trade balance can express productivity gains, while the REER assumes constant productivity in comparison to trade partners.
Who has read Michael Pettis, knows that a rising trade surplus may also be caused by a higher savings rate while the trade partners decided to spend more. This is partially true.
Recently Europeans started to increase their savings rate, while Americans reduced it. This has led to a rising trade and current surplus for the Europeans.
But also to a massive Swiss trade surplus with the United States, that lifted Switzerland on

Read More »

Swiss Producer and Import Price Index in March 2018: +2.0 percent YoY, +0.2 percent MoM

11 days ago

The Producer Price Index (PPI) or officially named “Producer and Import Price Index” describes the changes in prices for producers and importers. For us it is interesting because it is used in the formula for the Real Effective Exchange Rate. When producers and importers profit on lower price changes when compared to other countries, then the Swiss Franc reduces its overvaluation. The Swiss PPI values of -6% in 2015 (see below), compared to -3% in Europe or -1% in the U.S., diminished the overvaluation. In 2017, however, producer prices are rising again – in both Europe and Switzerland. See more in Is the Swiss Franc overvalued?
Neuchâtel, 16 April 2018 (FSO) – The Producer and Import Price Index fell in March 2018

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Swiss Balance of Payments and International Investment Position: Q4 2017 and review of the year 2017

March 27, 2018

Q4 2017
In the fourth quarter of 2017, the current account surplus amounted to CHF 20 billion, or CHF 2 billion less than the year -back quarter. Lower receipts from investment income resulted in a slight expenses surplus on primary income (labour and investment income), which had shown a receipts surplus in the corresponding quarter of 2016. Moreover, the expenses surplus on secondary income (current transfers) rose. These developments were countered by a higher income surplus in goods trade. The income surplus in services trade was unchanged.
In the fourth quarter, transactions shown in the financial account resulted in a net acquisition on the assets side of the account (CHF 3 billion) and a net incurrence on the

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Repo and Repo Markets

March 23, 2018

What is Repo?

Repo
Traditional /
Securities Lending
What
Cash, Securities, other assets
Securities
Pledged
not pledged
pledged
Ownership
Lender (repo buyer)
Borrower (repo seller)
Risk
More risk-averse
(lender ownership)
Less risk-averse
(lender has no ownership)
Reward
Interest paid by Buyer
Fee paid by borrower
Typical sellers/borrowers
Leveraged traders
(bank desk, hedge funds)

Typical buyers/lenders
Risk-Averse investors
(insurances, money market funds,
recently central banks)

Repo can take the form of either  ( legal and operational differences.)
repurchase agreements or
buy/sell-backs

Purchase: One party sells assets to a counterparty,
Repurchase: Simultaneously commits to repurchase the same or similar

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Swiss Trade Balance February 2018: Foreign Trade at a High Level

March 20, 2018

We do not like Purchasing Power or Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) as measurement for currencies. For us, the trade balance decides if a currency is overvalued. Only the trade balance can express productivity gains, while the REER assumes constant productivity in comparison to trade partners.
Who has read Michael Pettis, knows that a rising trade surplus may also be caused by a higher savings rate while the trade partners decided to spend more. This is partially true.
Recently Europeans started to increase their savings rate, while Americans reduced it. This has led to a rising trade and current surplus for the Europeans.
But also to a massive Swiss trade surplus with the United States, that lifted Switzerland on

Read More »

Swiss Producer and Import Price Index in February 2018: +2.3 percent YoY, +0.3 MoM

March 15, 2018

The Producer Price Index (PPI) or officially named “Producer and Import Price Index” describes the changes in prices for producers and importers. For us it is interesting because it is used in the formula for the Real Effective Exchange Rate. When producers and importers profit on lower price changes when compared to other countries, then the Swiss Franc reduces its overvaluation. The Swiss PPI values of -6% in 2015 (see below), compared to -3% in Europe or -1% in the U.S., diminished the overvaluation. In 2017, however, producer prices are rising again – in both Europe and Switzerland. See more in Is the Swiss Franc overvalued?

Neuchâtel, 15 March 2018 (FSO) – The Producer and Import Price Index rose in February

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SNB reports a profit of CHF 54.4 billion for 2017

March 6, 2018

(Several calculation mistake were corrected)

The increasing volatility of SNB Earnings
Annual results are not really definite. Given that the SNB accumulates foreign currencies with interventions, they have huge swings.
But the SNB may lose 50 billion in one year and win 60 billion in the next year or vice verse

SNB Results Longterm 2017 – Click to enlarge

Annual result of the Swiss National Bank for 2017
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) reports a profit of CHF 54.4 billion for the year 2017 (2016: CHF 24.5 billion).
The profit on foreign currency positions amounted to CHF 49.7 billion. A valuation gain of CHF 3.1 billion was recorded on gold holdings. The profit on Swiss  franc positions was CHF 2.0

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Swiss Trade Balance January 2018: Imports Cross the 17 Billion Franc Mark

February 20, 2018

We do not like Purchasing Power or Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) as measurement for currencies. For us, the trade balance decides if a currency is overvalued. Only the trade balance can express productivity gains, while the REER assumes constant productivity in comparison to trade partners.
Who has read Michael Pettis, knows that a rising trade surplus may also be caused by a higher savings rate while the trade partners decided to spend more. This is partially true.
Recently Europeans started to increase their savings rate, while Americans reduced it. This has led to a rising trade and current surplus for the Europeans.
But also to a massive Swiss trade surplus with the United States, that lifted Switzerland on

Read More »

Swiss Producer and Import Price Index in January 2018: +1.8 YoY, +0.3 MoM

February 13, 2018

The Producer Price Index (PPI) or officially named “Producer and Import Price Index” describes the changes in prices for producers and importers. For us it is interesting because it is used in the formula for the Real Effective Exchange Rate. When producers and importers profit on lower price changes when compared to other countries, then the Swiss Franc reduces its overvaluation. The Swiss PPI values of -6% in 2015 (see below), compared to -3% in Europe or -1% in the U.S., diminished the overvaluation. In 2017, however, producer prices are rising again – in both Europe and Switzerland. See more in Is the Swiss Franc overvalued?
Neuchâtel, 13 February 2018 (FSO) – The Producer and Import Price Index rose in January

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Swiss Trade 2017: Exports at all-time high

January 30, 2018

We do not like Purchasing Power or Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) as measurement for currencies. For us, the trade balance decides if a currency is overvalued. Only the trade balance can express productivity gains, while the REER assumes constant productivity in comparison to trade partners.
Who has read Michael Pettis, knows that a rising trade surplus may also be caused by a higher savings rate while the trade partners decided to spend more. This is partially true.
Recently Europeans started to increase their savings rate, while Americans reduced it. This has led to a rising trade and current surplus for the Europeans.
But also to a massive Swiss trade surplus with the United States, that lifted Switzerland on

Read More »

Swiss Producer and Import Price Index in December 2017: +1.8 YoY, +0.2 MoM

January 19, 2018

The Producer Price Index (PPI) or officially named “Producer and Import Price Index” describes the changes in prices for producers and importers. For us it is interesting because it is used in the formula for the Real Effective Exchange Rate. When producers and importers profit on lower price changes when compared to other countries, then the Swiss Franc reduces its overvaluation. The Swiss PPI values of -6% in 2015 (see below), compared to -3% in Europe or -1% in the U.S., diminished the overvaluation. In 2017, however, producer prices are rising again – in both Europe and Switzerland. See more in Is the Swiss Franc overvalued?
Producer and Import Price Index in November 2017
From the data release of Swiss

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Q3/2017: Swiss Current Account Surplus significantly down

December 30, 2017

Swiss balance of payments and international investment position: Q3 2017

Current Account 
The Swiss current account surplus went down by 15% against the same quarter in 2016. In the third quarter of 2015. The current account surplus was still at 22 bn. CHF.
It seems to be a change in the usual movement that sees higher Q3 surpluses compared to the other quarters.
The surplus in Q2/2017 was similar to the one in Q2/2016, while the Q1/2017 was 25% higher than the one of Q1/2016 (see last year’s results)

There
Key figures:
Current Account: -15% against Q3/2016 to 13,030 bn. CHF
of which Trade Balance: -41%  to 8,323 bn.
of which Services Balance: -4% to 4,573 bn.
of which Investment Income: +128% to 10,548 bn.

Read More »

Swiss Trade Balance November 2017: Foreign Trade in Verve

December 21, 2017

We do not like Purchasing Power or Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) as measurement for currencies. For us, the trade balance decides if a currency is overvalued. Only the trade balance can express productivity gains, while the REER assumes constant productivity in comparison to trade partners.
Who has read Michael Pettis, knows that a rising trade surplus may also be caused by a higher savings rate while the trade partners decided to spend more. This is partially true.
Recently Europeans started to increase their savings rate, while Americans reduced it. This has led to a rising trade and current surplus for the Europeans.
But also to a massive Swiss trade surplus with the United States, that lifted Switzerland on

Read More »

Swiss Producer and Import Price Index in November 2017: +1.8 YoY, +0.6 MoM

December 14, 2017

The Producer Price Index (PPI) or officially named “Producer and Import Price Index” describes the changes in prices for producers and importers. For us it is interesting because it is used in the formula for the Real Effective Exchange Rate. When producers and importers profit on lower price changes when compared to other countries, then the Swiss Franc reduces its overvaluation. The Swiss PPI values of -6% in 2015 (see below), compared to -3% in Europe or -1% in the U.S., diminished the overvaluation. In 2017, however, producer prices are rising again – in both Europe and Switzerland. See more in Is the Swiss Franc overvalued?
Producer and Import Price Index in November 2017
From the data release of Swiss

Read More »

Swiss Retail Sales, October: -2.7 Percent Nominal and -1.6 Percent Real

November 30, 2017

The Used Goods Question
Retail sales in several countries like Germany, Japan and Switzerland continue to fall or they remain steady for years.
In the United States they have strongly risen recently. We should remind readers, that used goods sold via Ebay or similar, are not contained in this statistics. Still they create economic value for the purchases. By mentality, Swiss, Germans or Japanese pay more attention so that used goods do not lose their value so quickly. Hence used goods have higher economic value in these countries than in others.
From the press release:
Neuchâtel, 30.11.2017 (FSO) – Turnover in the retail sector fell by 2.7% in nominal terms in October 2017 compared with the previous year. Seasonally

Read More »

Health insurance premium index 2017: Premium increases from 2016 to 2017 curb growth in disposable income by 0.3 percentage points

November 30, 2017

Premium growth from 2016 to 2017 dampens the development of disposable income by 0.3 percentage points
Neuchâtel, 24.11.2017 (FSO) – The health insurance premiums index (CIPI) recorded a growth of 3.8 percent over the previous year for the 2017 premium year. The KVPI thus achieved an index level of 185.3 points (base 1999 = 100). The impact of premium development on the growth of disposable income can be estimated using the CIPI. According to the KVPI model calculation by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the increase in premiums reduces the growth in average disposable income in 2017 by 0.3 percentage points.
The KVPI covers the premium development of compulsory health insurance and sickness insurance. The

Read More »

Swiss Trade Balance October 2017: A Slowdown at a High Level

November 21, 2017

We do not like Purchasing Power or Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) as measurement for currencies. For us, the trade balance decides if a currency is overvalued. Only the trade balance can express productivity gains, while the REER assumes constant productivity in comparison to trade partners.
Who has read Michael Pettis, knows that a rising trade surplus may also be caused by a higher savings rate while the trade partners decided to spend more. This is partially true.
Recently Europeans started to increase their savings rate, while Americans reduced it. This has led to a rising trade and current surplus for the Europeans.
But also to a massive Swiss trade surplus with the United States, that lifted Switzerland on

Read More »

Swiss Producer and Import Price Index in October 2017: +1.2 YoY, +0.5 MoM

November 14, 2017

The Producer Price Index (PPI) or officially named “Producer and Import Price Index” describes the changes in prices for producers and importers. For us it is interesting because it is used in the formula for the Real Effective Exchange Rate. When producers and importers profit on lower price changes when compared to other countries, then the Swiss Franc reduces its overvaluation. The Swiss PPI values of -6% in 2015 (see below), compared to -3% in Europe or -1% in the U.S., diminished the overvaluation. In 2017, however, producer prices are rising again – in both Europe and Switzerland. See more in Is the Swiss Franc overvalued?
Producer and Import Price Index in October 2017
From the data release of Swiss

Read More »

Swiss Retail Sales, September: Stable Nominal and 0.8 percent Real

November 2, 2017

The Used Goods Question
Retail sales in several countries like Germany, Japan and Switzerland continue to fall or they remain steady for years.
In the United States they have strongly risen recently. We should remind readers, that used goods sold via Ebay or similar, are not contained in this statistics. Still they create economic value for the purchases. By mentality, Swiss, Germans or Japanese pay more attention so that used goods do not lose their value so quickly. Hence used goods have higher economic value in these countries than in others.
From the press release:
Neuchâtel, 02.11.2017 (FSO) – Turnover in the retail sector remained stable in nominal terms in September 2017 compared with the previous year.

Read More »

The good years have started, increasing SNB Profits

October 31, 2017

The increasing volatility of SNB Earnings
Annual results are not really definite. Given that the SNB accumulates foreign currencies with interventions, they have huge swings.
But in 2017, the picture is changed. Assuming a “biblical” cycle of seven good years and seven bad years, the SNB could now increase profits every year – thanks to a weaker franc and the seven good years.
… until the next recession comes and the seven bad years start.
At that moment the SNB will have to tolerate a massive loss:
Given that the recession would be inflationary, she will tolerate a far stronger franc, for example EUR/CHF may fall from 1.25 to 0.90 over some years.
Which will result into up 60-80 bn. CHF loss at the peaks.

SNB

Read More »

Swiss Trade Balance 3rd Quarter 2017: Foreign Trade at a High Level

October 19, 2017

We do not like Purchasing Power or Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) as measurement for currencies. For us, the trade balance decides if a currency is overvalued. Only the trade balance can express productivity gains, while the REER assumes constant productivity in comparison to trade partners.
Who has read Michael Pettis, knows that a rising trade surplus may also be caused by a higher savings rate while the trade partners decided to spend more. This is partially true.
Recently Europeans started to increase their savings rate, while Americans reduced it. This has led to a rising trade and current surplus for the Europeans.
But also to a massive Swiss trade surplus with the United States, that lifted Switzerland on

Read More »

Swiss Trade Balance 3rd Quarter 2017: Foreign Trade at a High Level

October 19, 2017

We do not like Purchasing Power or Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) as measurement for currencies. For us, the trade balance decides if a currency is overvalued. Only the trade balance can express productivity gains, while the REER assumes constant productivity in comparison to trade partners.
Who has read Michael Pettis, knows that a rising trade surplus may also be caused by a higher savings rate while the trade partners decided to spend more. This is partially true.
Recently Europeans started to increase their savings rate, while Americans reduced it. This has led to a rising trade and current surplus for the Europeans.
But also to a massive Swiss trade surplus with the United States, that lifted Switzerland on

Read More »

Swiss Retail Sales, August 2017: -0.6 percent Nominal and -0.3 percent Real

October 2, 2017

The Used Goods Question
Retail sales in several countries like Germany, Japan and Switzerland continue to fall or they remain steady for years.
In the United States they have strongly risen recently. We should remind readers, that used goods sold via Ebay or similar, are not contained in this statistics. Still they create economic value for the purchases. By mentality, Swiss, Germans or Japanese pay more attention so that used goods do not lose their value so quickly. Hence used goods have higher economic value in these countries than in others.
From the press release:
Neuchâtel, 02.10.2017 (FSO) – Turnover in the retail sector fell by 0.6% in nominal terms in August 2017 compared with the previous year. Seasonally

Read More »

Swiss Trade Balance August 2017: Dynamism of Imports

September 21, 2017

We do not like Purchasing Power or Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) as measurement for currencies. For us, the trade balance decides if a currency is overvalued. Only the trade balance can express productivity gains, while the REER assumes constant productivity in comparison to trade partners.
Who has read Michael Pettis, knows that a rising trade surplus may also be caused by a higher savings rate while the trade partners decided to spend more. This is partially true.
Recently Europeans started to increase their savings rate, while Americans reduced it. This has led to a rising trade and current surplus for the Europeans.
But also to a massive Swiss trade surplus with the United States, that lifted Switzerland on

Read More »

FX Weekly Review, September 04 – 09: Draghi Dovish? EUR and USD falling against CHF

September 10, 2017

EUR/CHF
The euro rose close to CHF 1.15 with the ECB meeting this week. Finally traders realized that the ECB committed not to hike rates for a very long time.
The ECB will review and take a first decision on the bond purchasing program this autumn. However, this program will come to an end only when the inflation target of 2% becomes in reach.
Strangely the EUR/CHF reacted with losses only on Friday.

Where will Euro area inflation be in December?.

 

FX Rates
The US dollar had one of its worst weeks of the year, as its interest rate support eroded. Despite prospects for a further upward revision in Q2 US GDP above 3.0% and continued above trend growth, the market continues to downgrade the chances of another rate

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Weekly Speculative Positions (as of August 29): Speculators Make Minor Position Adjustments, but Like that Aussie

September 4, 2017

Swiss Franc
Speculators were net short CHF in January 2015, shortly before the end of the peg, with 26.4K contracts. Then again in December 2015, when they expected a Fed rate hike, with 25.5K contracts.
The biggest short CHF, however, happened in June 2007, when speculators were net short 80K contracts. Shortly after, the U.S. subprime crisis started. The
reverse carry trade in form of the Long CHF started and lasted – without some interruptions – until the peg introduction in September 2011.
In mid 2011, the long CHF trade became a proper carry trade – and not a reverse carry trade anymore – because investors thought that the SNB would hike rates earlier than the Fed.
CHF Speculative Positions
Last data as of

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FX Weekly Review, August 28 – September 02: The end of big euro rise?

September 3, 2017

EUR/CHF
Let us remember why the euro has risen from 1.08 to 1.14 between June and August:
Hopes that the French president Macron will help the French economy, similarly to the Trump reflation trade.
Hopes that the ECB will finish their bond buying program earlier combined with quite good economic data.
We are of the opinion that both points may be illusionary. The euro should not rise further.
Politicians cannot  improve the economic reality, in particular Macron. He does not do any big spending programs that could raise inflation.
And we often stated that core inflation with 1.3% is too low for any big ECB surprise.
USD/CHF
The US dollar was whipsawed ahead of the weekend. The greenback had been pulling back

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Swiss Retail Sales, July 2017: -0.8 percent Nominal and -1.1 percent Real

September 1, 2017

The Used Goods Question
Retail sales in several countries like Germany, Japan and Switzerland continue to fall or they remain steady for years.
In the United States they have strongly risen recently. We should remind readers, that used goods sold via Ebay or similar, are not contained in this statistics. Still they create economic value for the purchases. By mentality, Swiss, Germans or Japanese pay more attention so that used goods do not lose their value so quickly. Hence used goods have higher economic value in these countries than in others.
From the press release:
Neuchâtel, 01.09.2017 (FSO) – Turnover in the retail sector fell by 0.8% in nominal terms in July 2017 compared with the previous year. Seasonally

Read More »

Weekly Speculative Positions (as of August 22): Sterling Bears Press, but Too Much?

August 28, 2017

Swiss Franc
Speculators were net short CHF in January 2015, shortly before the end of the peg, with 26.4K contracts. Then again in December 2015, when they expected a Fed rate hike, with 25.5K contracts.
The biggest short CHF, however, happened in June 2007, when speculators were net short 80K contracts. Shortly after, the U.S. subprime crisis started. The
reverse carry trade in form of the Long CHF started and lasted – without some interruptions – until the peg introduction in September 2011.
In mid 2011, the long CHF trade became a proper carry trade – and not a reverse carry trade anymore – because investors thought that the SNB would hike rates earlier than the Fed.
CHF Speculative Positions
Last data as of

Read More »

FX Weekly Review, August 21 – August 26: Dollar Loses its Gains Against CHF

August 26, 2017

USD/CHF
The dollar had some gains versus the franc during the last month, but it lost all during the last days.
EUR/CHF
The euro is still around 1.14, this is up 2.5% against one month ago. The rising momentum for EUR/CHF, however, seems to be fading.

EUR/CHF and USD/CHF, August 26(see more posts on EUR/CHF, USD/CHF, ) Source: markets.ft.com – Click to enlarge
Swiss Franc Currency Index (3 years)
The Swiss Franc index is the trade-weighted currency performance (see the currency basket)On a three years interval, the Swiss Franc had a weak performance. The dollar index was far stronger. The dollar makes up 33% of the SNB portfolio and 25% of Swiss exports (incl. countries like China or Arab

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