(Reuters) – At a discreet farewell dinner in Davos for Swiss National Bank chief Philipp Hildebrand, a handful of guests including central bankers past and present were handed blank sheets of paper.
Before they began eating they were asked to write down the probability, in their view, that the euro would collapse in the next five years, according to two of those present at the meal. They were also asked what likelihood they thought financial markets assigned to such an event.
The result, announced at the end of the dinner, can hardly have helped the Europeans’ digestion.
On average the guests – from Switzerland, the euro zone, North America and Latin America – saw a 21 percent risk of the 17-nation single currency breaking up in five years, one participant said. They concluded markets envisage a 35 percent chance the euro will not exist in its current form.