By Simon Avery
What’s the best capital haven? Certainly not the euro, and not U.S. Treasuries either, according to some market watchers. The safest place to park assets today is in the Swiss franc.
Switzerland’s currency hit a record high against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, rising 1.4% to 81.94 centimes. A day earlier, the Swiss franc struck a record high against the euro, at 1.155 centimes. A more historical range has been about 1.30 centimes.
The folks at 24/7 Wall St. have christened the Swiss franc “the world’s safest currency.” But how sustainable is the rise in value given that the country has a population of only 7.6 million and a GDP of about $326 billion?
“There is just no way that the currency shift can go on endlessly before the Swiss have to intervene themselves against their own currency. If the move continues in this direction, the country will not be able to do any business outside of its own country other than buying foreign assets on the cheap,” 24/7 comments in a blog post today.
But many investors are confident the Swiss franc will hold its value and more as long as markets worry that Europe's debt crisis is starting to spread to its larger member economies.