Dear Media Representatives,

We would like to draw your attention to some incorrect information from the Swiss National Bank (SNB) regarding the Sovereign Money referendum, which will take place in Switzerland on 10th June this year.

The FAQ document published by the SNB on the Sovereign Money Initiative has some information which is based on misunderstandings about Sovereign Money, and other information which is merely the opinion of the SNB but is stated as fact.

For example, a misunderstanding is that the SNB assume they can no longer target interest rates (as they do now) after implementing the sovereign money system: this is wrong. It is quite possible for the SNB to continue to target interest rates under the sovereign money system. 

Full text of the SNB FAQ with our clarifications.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Best wishes,

Emma Dawnay
Tel. +44 7958458386 

What is sovereign money?

Sovereign money is full-value legal tender which is created and brought into circulation by public institutions, typically a central bank, rather than private banks. Currently coins and banknotes are the only forms of sovereign money available to the public. The money in people‘s bank accounts is neither sovereign money nor legal tender.

What is electronic money?

It‘s the numbers in bank accounts, also known as "book money". Currently the money in people‘s bank accounts is not created by the Swiss National Bank, but by private banks when they make loans. This "virtual" money on our bank accounts isn‘t legal tender, it‘s just a promise made by the banks to pay us cash and settle payments on our behalf, when requested. Legally it belongs to the bank, not to the holder of the bank account.

What is a Swiss people's initiative?

It's Switzerland’s system of direct democracy: if 100,000 people sign an official petition for a change to Switzerland’s written constitution, there has to be a binding national referendum on the proposed change.

Over 110,000 signatures supporting the Sovereign Money Initiative were formally handed over to the Swiss authorities in December 2015. The referendum on adopting a Sovereign Money system will be held in Switzerland on 10th June 2018.

General Information
The Background to the National Referendum on Sovereign Money in Switzerland (this 15 page booklet explains Sovereign Money, the Swiss system of direct democracy and gives the proposed changes to the text of the Swiss constitution as well as explanations and technical details)
Yes to the Swiss Sovereign Money Initiative: Campaign Messages

The Swiss Sovereign Money Initiative: Five questions with answers
The Swiss Sovereign Money Initiative: Answers to Criticisms

Scientific Advisory Board

Technical Studies on Sovereign Money

Articles and Interviews
The Cobden Centre in London has interviewed us about the Swiss Sovereign Money Initiative.
Further articles and press cuttings in English can be found on our website

The Sovereign Money Initiative was launched by the independent NGO Monetäre Modernisierung (MoMo).
The advisory board has 23 members including Philippe Mastronardi, Professor em. for PublicLaw, Sergio Rossi, Professor for Macroeconomics
and Monetary Economics and  Peter Ulrich, Professor em. for Business
Our mailing address is:
Postfach 3160
Wettingen 5430

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Vollgeld-Initiative · Postfach 3160 · Wettingen 5430 · Switzerland

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