gnomes of zurich meaning

  "gnomes of zurich" in a sentence
AmE / noun [pl.]

Swiss bankers who control foreign money:

The gnomes of Zurich are better known for their skills in international banking than on the golf course.

NOTE This phrase is often used to suggest that these bankers are powerful in a secret way. You can also refer to bankers in any city who control foreign money as gnomes:

the gnomes of Brussels.

A term used by British labor ministers during the 1964 Sterling Crisis to refer to Swiss banks.


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  1. "Gnome Sweet Gnomes " was written about Gnomes of Zurich, which is a disparaging term for Swiss bankers.
  2. Japan's economy is wallowing because Japanese central bankers are pursuing a stringent monetary policy, not because the gnomes of Zurich are mean.
  3. Not since Hannibal crossed the Alps has Switzerland been conquered, and the gnomes of Zurich are not about to cede leadership in an increasingly competitive global banking market.
  4. He followed that project with the gold book because " I always hated gold and gold bugs and the Gnomes of Zurich, and the gold standard ."
  5. And like the governors of the Federal Reserve, the gnomes of Zurich and other European capitals are inclined these days to err on the side of fiscal and monetary prudence.

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