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On the Credibility of the Euro/Swiss Franc Floor: A Financial Market Perspective


  • Hertrich, Markus

    () (University of Basel)

  • Zimmermann, Heinz

    () (University of Basel)


The sheer existence of EUR/CHF put options with strike prices below the EUR/CHF 1.20 ?oor, trading at non-zero cost, challenged the full credibility of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in enforcing the lower barrier implemented in September 6, 2011 and abandoned on January 15, 2015. We estimate the risk-neutral break probabilities of a realignment of the ?oor from market prices of put options, using an extension of the Veestraeten option pricing model which assumes that the underlying security price exhibits a lower barrier. We estimate probabilities considerably di?erent from zero, even when the exchange rate traded far above the EUR/CHF 1.20 ?oor. We observe a drastic increase in the break-probabilities after August 2014, reaching a level of nearly 50%. The credibility of the SNB in maintaining the ?oor, as seen from the option market, was thus substantially lower than publicly claimed.

Suggested Citation

  • Hertrich, Markus & Zimmermann, Heinz, 2015. "On the Credibility of the Euro/Swiss Franc Floor: A Financial Market Perspective," Working papers 2015/09, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2015/09

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    Cited by:

    1. Hui, Cho-Hoi & Lo, Chi-Fai & Fong, Tom Pak-Wing, 2016. "Swiss franc's one-sided target zone during 2011–2015," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 54-67.
    2. Berhold, Kerstin & Stadtmann, Georg, 2017. "Who put the holes in the Swiss cheese? Currency crisis under appreciation pressure," Discussion Papers 391, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    3. Hertrich Markus, 2016. "The Costs of Implementing a Unilateral One-Sided Exchange Rate Target Zone," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 67(1), pages 91-120, May.
    4. Markus Hertrich, 2015. "A Cautionary Note on the Put-Call Parity under an Asset Pricing Model with a Lower Reflecting Barrier," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 151(III), pages 227-260, September.
    5. Michael Funke & Julius Loermann & Richhild Moessner, 2017. "The discontinuation of the EUR/CHF minimum exchange rate in January 2015: was it expected?," BIS Working Papers 652, Bank for International Settlements.
    6. Alex Cukierman, 2019. "Forex Intervention and Reserve Management in Switzerland and Israel since the Financial Crisis: Comparison and Policy Lessons," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 403-424, April.
    7. Nikola Mirkov & Igor Pozdeev & Paul Söderlind, 2016. "Toward Removal of the Swiss Franc Cap: Market Expectations and Verbal Interventions," Working Papers 2016-10, Swiss National Bank.
    8. Francis Breedon & Louisa Chen & Angelo Ranaldo & Nicholas Vause, 2018. "Judgement Day: Algorithmic Trading Around the Swiss Franc Cap Removal," Working Papers on Finance 1808, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    9. Yang, Yan-Hong & Shao, Ying-Hui & Shao, Hao-Lin & Stanley, H. Eugene, 2019. "Revisiting the weak-form efficiency of the EUR/CHF exchange rate market: Evidence from episodes of different Swiss franc regimes," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 523(C), pages 734-746.
    10. Iain J. Clark & Saeed Amen, 2017. "Implied Distributions from GBPUSD Risk-Reversals and Implication for Brexit Scenarios," Risks, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(3), pages 1-17, July.
    11. Mirkov, Nikola & Pozdeev, Igor & Söderlind, Paul, 2019. "Verbal interventions and exchange rate policies: The case of Swiss franc cap," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 42-54.
    12. Gregor Bäurle & Daniel Kaufmann, 2018. "Measuring Exchange Rate, Price, and Output Dynamics at the Effective Lower Bound," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 80(6), pages 1243-1266, December.

    More about this item


    currency options; central banking; credibility; Euro/Swiss franc floor; Vanna-Volga method; barrier;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing

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