Gnomes of Zurich

Definition

A colloquial and derogatory term used to refer to bankers and financiers from Zurich, Switzerland. The word 'gnomes' comes from Western folklore defined as imaginary beings that live underground and are accompanied by their wealth, and has therefore been applied to Swiss bankers due to their occasional adoption of secretive policies. This phrase was coined in 1965 by the British politician, Harold Wilson. At that time, he blamed Swiss bankers for pushing down the value of the Pound through speculation on the foreign exchange markets.
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