(Bloomberg) -- More than a decade ago, Thomas Jordan, who is calling time on his period as president of the Swiss National Bank, was drafted in to bring stability to an institution in turmoil. While at times following Mervyn King’s mantra to make central banking “boring,” his tenure was marked by moments of high drama that shook both global currency and banking markets.

Here are some of the key moments from his tenure:

April 2012: Stability Candidate Emerges

Jordan was appointed as a stability candidate in 2012 after scandal at the SNB. An academic with a reserved demeanor, he was seen as a perfect antidote to the hedge fund and banking profile of Philipp Hildebrand. Hildebrand resigned after controversy over a currency transaction by his then-wife, just weeks before the central bank imposed a ceiling on the franc against the euro. 

Jordan’s early days on the job were dominated by the seemingly unstoppable strength of the franc, a well-known haven in times of crisis. He repeatedly called it overvalued and pledged to defend the 1.20 francs per euro cap that his predecessor Hildebrand had put in place. That remained the case until...

Dec. 2014: Rates Cut Below Zero

In December 2014, the SNB made an out-of-schedule policy decision, cutting interest rates below zero to stem inflows into the franc in part driven by Russia’s financial crisis. Negative rates were relatively novel at the time, and indicated the scale of the pressure on the SNB to keep the franc’s strength in check and defend the euro peg. The central bank also restarted currency interventions after a two-year pause. 

It was a prelude to something much bigger.

Jan. 2015: Scrapping of Peg Shakes Global Markets

Jordan will likely be best remembered for what happened next: A month later, on the morning of Jan. 15. 2015, he took a decision that shook global markets. 

Without warning, Jordan scrapped the franc cap to the euro. The currency surged 40% causing turmoil that ripped through foreign-exchange markets — nicknamed the Frankenshock — and causing huge loses for some. At least one broker went out of business as a result.

The decision was particularly surprising — and to some galling — as it came just days after Jordan’s vice president at the SNB reaffirmed the central bank’s commitment to the ceiling, saying it “must remain the pillar of our monetary policy.” 

Jordan never wavered from his position that it was the right move. As pressure on the franc grew, the cost of defending the cap was growing higher and higher. Speaking to Bloomberg a year later, he said: “We have no regrets because we believe it was exactly the right decision at exactly the right time... Sometimes you have to take tough decisions.”

It was not what many investors expected from Switzerland.

June 2022: Jordan Surprises Again on Rates

It wouldn’t be the last surprise in his policy arsenal. Switzerland didn’t escape the inflation surge that hit after the pandemic and Jordan was forced to hike borrowing costs, ending the SNB’s long-term negative rate. He unexpectedly jacked up rates by 50 basis points in summer 2022. The central bank also changed its tone in a major pivot that effectively ended its long-running battle against franc strength. 

March 2023: Credit Suisse Rescue and AT1 Wipeout

After months of crisis, scandal and mismanagement, Credit Suisse was pushed to the edge of collapse. The SNB, the government and Switzerland’s financial regulator stepped in to help engineer an emergency takeover by UBS Group AG. The SNB stepped up to offer 100 billion francs of liquidity assistance to support the deal. But the country again caused global shockwaves by imposing about $16 billion of losses on AT1 bondholders as part of the rescue.  

The country is still coming to terms with what happened, with questions about responsibility and whether authorities should have acted sooner or differently. A parliament commission is investigating the collapse and may report later this year. Swiss authorities pointed to the fine print of the AT1 documentation which they said permitted the writeoff, but some global investors are still trying to sue.

As with the franc cap shock, Jordan was unrepentant, maintaining the decisions were the best ones for Switzerland and financial stability. 

“It was indispensable that we acted quickly and find a solution as quickly as possible,” he said at the time.

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