The term Gnomes of Zurich can be used in either a general or a particular sense: generally, it refers to the powerful bankers of Switzerland, especially those who speculate in foreign currency markets. More particularly, it can refer to a hypothetical specific group of super-elite bankers who are thought by some to actively control the world money markets. How you use it depends on what you think of world conspiracies.

The term was coined by Great Britain's Labour ministers during the 1964 sterling crisis.