By the way, it doesn’t seem to be settling at 39% up (18% as of late), but that was the FT headline. The Economist offers some commentary:
Some analysts speculated that political pressure may have caused the Swiss to abandon the policy; in November last year, a referendum campaign to force the SNB to hold 20% of its balance sheet in gold (which would have made it more difficult to maintain the cap) was defeated. But others felt that the SNB may be expecting the European central Bank to announce quantitative easing in the near future; a shift that would weaken the euro and require even more intervention to cap the franc. In a hole, the SNB may have decided to stop digging.
Swiss equities were down over thirteen percent. And this means a revaluation of Swiss-franc denominated mortgages, which are plentiful in Eastern Europe, Russia and Hungary come to mind first. And it raises the question of how much we can trust central bank commitments, looking forward…
Here is summary coverage from Neil Irwin.