|Jean-Pierre Roth, Vice-Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank|
|22nd Annual FT World Gold Conference, London, 14 June 1999, 14.06.1999|
"I would like to thank you for inviting me to participate in this gold conference and for the opportunity to give you some insight into the present state of the discussions on the demonetisation of gold in Switzerland. I must admit that I have accepted your invitation with mixed feelings: why play the role of trouble shooter here among people worried about the activity of central banks on the gold market? How to communicate the SNB's intentions when its room for manoeuvre depends on a complicated political process? All this makes me dream of comfortable situation of my colleagues in Belgium and Holland who were able to implement their strategy without outside interference and could communicate their sales as a fait accompli. I also look with envy at the Bank of England which will be able to proceed with sales shortly after the Treasury has made its intentions public.
Firstly, I will show you the importance of gold in the National Bank's monetary reserves;
Let me address the following issues:
- Then I will outline why the revaluation of our gold holdings will necessarily lead to disposals:
- In a third part, I will describe the different political stages down the road, the uncertainties surrounding this process, and the timetable we can expect to adhere to.
- Finally, I will conclude by indicating in what spirit we plan to tackle the delicate task of disposing of an important part of our gold holdings..."