Gnomes of Zurich


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Gnomes of Zurich

A pejorative term for bankers in Switzerland. They acquired this nickname because of their reputation for discrete and indeed secretive policies. Harold Wilson coined the term in 1956 when he was the British shadow chancellor of the exchequer and believed that Swiss bank speculators were artificially weakening the pound.
References in periodicals archive ?
But then what do the gnomes of Zurich know about finance?
All that wonderful technology and the footballing gnomes of Zurich are still sitting around in the stone age resisting anything more technologically advanced than a whistle.
He wants the land of the cuckoo clock, the gnomes of Zurich and Alpine mountains abolished -- and the land shared between its neighbours France, Italy and Germany.
Mind you, this is Switzerland, that neutral nation of cuckoo clocks, money and gnomes of Zurich.
The Gnomes of Zurich, a phrase coined by a disparaging Harold Wilson in 1956, are not immune from the credit fall-out.
And he knows, above all, that cannabis is so harmless that even Switzerland - no-one's idea of an anarchist paradise - decriminalised it last year, with no disturbing reports so far of vastly-increased chocolate consumption among the Gnomes of Zurich.
The day he played an idiot the Gnomes of Zurich decided to cough up on money stolen by the Nazis from their victims.
The gnomes of Zurich (Zurich Premiership, that is) would have winced last weekend when they saw the cash returns on the sixth round of the Powergen Cup.
Yesterday 1,300 of them set out to prove that there's more to Switzerland than the Gnomes of Zurich by becoming the Nudes of Neuchatel.
This is not necessarily bad, some argue: at the helms of central banks, it is better to have the gnomes of Zurich than the kleptocrats of Kinshasa.
But the faceless gnomes of Zurich had other ideas and blew a hole in the hopes of those struggling to get a life by acquiring a home.
A nation of bankers, known as the Gnomes of Zurich, they keep most of the world's money stuffed in their vaults.