Swiss National Bank Chief Out

Jan 9 2012 | 1:13pm ET

Sullied by a controversial currency trade by his wife, a former hedge fund trader, the head of the Swiss National Bank has resigned.

Philipp Hildebrand quit as chairman of Switzerland's central bank today, a weekend after a defiant press conference at which he steadfastly refused to do so. But this morning, he said, "I have to come to the conclusion that it is not possible to provide conclusive and final evidence that my wife did indeed initiate the foreign exchange transaction on the 15th August without my knowledge," he said.

But Hildebrand stood by his claim that he had no knowledge of the trade.

"The fact is: My word is my bond," he said. "I had no knowledge of my wife's transaction on that day."

Hildebrand's wife, Kashya, formerly of Moore Capital Management and now an art-gallery owner in Zürich, apologized for the trade, in which she bought 400,000 Swiss francs' worth of U.S. dollars just weeks before Hildebrand unveiled a successful plan to weaken the franc, sending the dollar soaring.

"I failed my husband by not considering the perception of a 'conflict of interest' created by my purchase of dollars," she said. "My husband is a man of the utmost integrity, and I deeply regret that my actions might have led anyone to question this."

The scandal broke late last year, when a Bank Sarasin employee leaked word of Kashya Hildebrand's trade to her husband's political opponents. That employee has since been fired and is now the subject of a criminal investigation.


In Depth

GSAM’s Papagiannis on Liquid Alternatives

May 25 2016 | 5:07pm ET

The popularity of liquid alternatives strategies has blossomed in recent years,...

Lifestyle

From Modern Trader: Stephen Curry is a Black Swan

May 18 2016 | 7:43pm ET

What do the rise of the Internet, the sinking of the Titanic, 9/11, and Stephen...

Guest Contributor

LendingClub and the Question of Internal Hedge Funds

May 19 2016 | 8:42pm ET

Peer-to-peer lending platform LendingClub Corp. has been in the news since the firm...