Regions and monetary policy

Jean-Pierre Roth, Chairman of the Governing Board

Opening ceremony for the academic year 2001/2002 at the Faculty of Law and Economics of the University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, 22 October 2001, 22.10.2001

In his speech Jean-Pierre Roth investigates the relationship between the regions and monetary policy. This relationship is primarily characterised by tension since regional conditions are divergent in nature whereas monetary conditions apply to the country in its entirety. This tension cannot be easily eliminated. To this end, Mr Roth examines and rejects various theoretically feasible scenarios including the creation of a regional currency, the use of the euro on a regional level, the fixing of various exchange rates and the application of a fixed exchange rate between the Swiss franc and the euro. Abstaining from fixing the exchange rate does not imply that the Swiss National Bank is indifferent to its development. By duly taking into account the development of exchange rates in laying down monetary policy, the Bank contributes, within its means, to dampening the adverse effects of exchange rate developments on certain regions. The latest monetary policy decisions are a clear example of this line of action.