The red-hot Swiss franc weakened a bit Thursday after the Vice President of Switzerland's central bank said a temporary franc peg is one option policy-makers could use to stem the currency's record-breaking rally, Bloomberg reported.
The Swiss President has gone on record saying he's concerned that the world's investors are taking to his tiny nation's currency in droves as a hedge against slumping currencies walloped by the latest economic crisis. True, the Swiss franc has always been a haven during times of economic uncertainty, especially now that the euro has replaced the sundry currencies of Old Europe. Not to mention the fact that the dollar is in free fall as the result of several rounds of so-called quantitative easing.
Like the Swiss franc, we can't help but think of another Frank that's a gold standard of sorts. We're talking, of course, about Frank Sinatra, the chairman of the board. Whether he was serenading bobbysoxers during the dark days of World War II or belting out upbeat tunes in Las Vegas, Nev. when the blackjack tables were tilting decidedly in the dealers' favor, Ol' Blue Eyes' record as the 20th century's greatest entertainer helped generations of people endure the challenges and hardships of life -- including bear markets.
Considering the strain that the current global economic mess is placing on humanity, we wondered which is a more effective force to battle the blues: the Swiss franc or Frank Sinatra? Here are the results of our study:
As a currency, the Swiss franc is a terrific hedge against other, more volatile pieces of paper. But at the end of the day, it's a currency of a small country that can -- as it is now -- show the effects of massive global buying sprees. A precious metal it is not. Frank Sinatra, however, was at a career low in the early '50s when his records took a beating from the new sounds of rock-n-roll. Plus, the beautiful Ava Gardner dumped him. Yet he secured a part in "From Here to Eternity" that won him an Academy Award, and his recording of "Come Fly With Me" was a chart-topping success. Winner: Frank Sinatra.
In the early 1960s, Sinatra paid for a state-of-the-art helicopter landing pad to be built at his Palm Springs estate so that he could host President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy. At the last minute, the Secret Service decided that Sinatra's alleged ties to the Mafia put the president's safety in jeopardy. Kennedy ended up stayed at Bing Crosby's estate instead. Sinatra always made a point of taking a side, even when that side consisted of unsavory mobsters. The Swiss franc, on the other hand, is the currency of a neutral country. Winner: Swiss franc.
True, the Swiss cantons have been among the most sophisticated examples of representative government and free-market capitalism throughout the centuries. And Swiss banks, the repository of so many Swiss francs, are consistently the most reliable haven in times of uncertainty. But Frank Sinatra not only had a career that spanned six decades in both the motion picture and recording industries. His music and movies are selling as well today as they did 60 years ago as a new generation discovers the King of Swing. Winner: Frank Sinatra.
So there you have it. The tale of the tape shows that Frank Sinatra, the gold standard for generations, tops the Swiss franc, a paper currency at the end of the day. Listen to a few of his songs as the markets crash around you and the trading day won't seem as bleak.