Swiss central banker says credit crisis worsened

ZURICH - The crisis in financial markets has worsened significantly since August, the Swiss National Bank’s vice president, Philipp Hildebrand, told a newspaper.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Sun 25 Nov 2007, 4:34 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:22 PM

‘I consider the situation to be very serious,’ Hildebrand was quoted as saying in the SonntagsZeitung newspaper on Sunday. ‘We are experiencing a second wave of symptoms of this crisis in financial markets.

‘In some respects it is even more pronounced then the first wave from August 9,’ he said, referring to the day on which the Federal Reserve pumped $24 billion in temporary reserves into the US banking system.

‘The crisis has worsened significantly,’ Hildebrand added.

He noted, however, that the global economy was more robust now that it had been at any point in recent decades.

‘If we have to live through a crisis like this, there’s probably no better moment than today,’ he said.

The crisis is not expected to spread beyond the large financial institutions in Switzerland, Hildebrand said.

From the perspective of monetary policy, the risk of inflation was making the situation more difficult, the central banker added.

‘Central banks are not only confronted with the credit crisis, which could worsen. We also have various indications that the risk of inflation has increased,’ he said, citing oil, energy and food costs, high capacity utilisation and rising import prices for goods coming from Asia.

‘Therefore monetary policy cannot just react to this crisis simply by reducing interest rates,’ he said. ‘Our room for manoeuvre is very limited. We always have to keep an eye on inflation.’

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