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I'm shellshocked by the Eurogroup imposing a depositor haircut on the Cypriot banks. This is the most stupid "macro-prudential" decision the EU has made since October 2008.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 04:51:24 PM EST
Can you explain this, (perhaps in a diary)?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 05:54:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As Michael Ledeen put it
Every ten yearsmonths or so, the United StatesMerkel needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the worldBILD's readeship weshe means business
Maybe I'll write a diary.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 06:08:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See the Statement by the President of the Republic Mr Nicos Anastasiades (16/03/2013)
In the extraordinary meeting of the Eurogroup, we faced decisions that had already been taken and came across faits accomplis through which we were faced with the following dilemmas:

On Tuesday, March 19 we would either choose the catastrophic scenario of disorderly bankruptcy or the scenario of a painful but controlled management of the crisis, which would put a definitive end to the uncertainty and restart our economy.

A possible choice of the catastrophic scenario option would have the following consequences:

1. On Tuesday, March 19, immediately after the holiday weekend, one of the two banks in crisis would cease to operate, since the European Central Bank, following the decision already taken, would terminate the provision of liquidity. The second bank would suspend its work, and neither could avoid collapse. Such a phenomenon would instantly lead 8.000 families to unemployment.

  1. The State would be obliged to compensate depositors in response to the obligation regarding guaranteed deposits. The capital required in such a case would amount to about 30 billion euros, which the State would be unable to pay.

  2. A proportionate amount corresponding to the deposits of thousands of depositors for deposits over 100.000 Euro, would be led to a vicious cycle of asset liquidation, and these depositors would suffer losses of over 60%.

  3. Such an uncontrolled situation would push the whole banking system into collapse with all the attendant consequences.

  4. Thousands of small and medium enterprises, and other businesses would be driven to bankruptcy due to their inability to trade.
As a result of the above, the service sector would be led to a complete collapse with a possible exit from the euro. That, in addition to the national weakening of Cyprus, would lead to devaluation of the currency by at least 40%.

The second choice was the controlled management of the crisis, through the decisions taken and which can be summarized as follows:

1. Ensuring the liquidity of the banks and the rescue of the banking system through their recapitalization.

  1. Rescuing 8.000 jobs in the banking sector and thousands of others which would be lost as a corollary of not maintaining the operations of banks.

  2. Total rescuing of deposits, with just the exchange of a small percentage of savings with shares of the two banks. Currently, these shares do not have their full value, but with the economic recovery they will repay most it not all of the amount that will be cut.
  3. This option results in a drastic reduction of public debt, makes it manageable and sustainable and relieves future generations from the burden of repayment.

  4. It saves provident and pension funds and avoids taking other tough measures such as wage and pension cuts that were put on the negotiations table.

  5. It avoids further recession and the risk of the vicious circle of a second memorandum.
We are not aiming to gloss over the situation. The solution chosen may be painful, but it was the only one that would allow us to continue our lives without adventures. It's a decision that leads to the historic and permanent rescue our economy.

In the next few hours we will all have to take responsibility. Tomorrow I will address the Cypriot people.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 06:26:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sharon Bowles MEP: "The Cyprus bailout deal is a disaster for EU rules and Single Market principles"
"This grabbing of ordinary depositors' money is billed as a tax, so as to try and circumvent the EU's deposit guarantee laws. It robs smaller investors of the protection they were promised. If this were a bank, they would be in court for mis-selling.

"The lesson here is that the EU's Single Market rules will be flouted when the Eurozone, ECB and IMF says so. At a time when many are greatly concerned that the creation of the 'Banking Union', giving the ECB unprecedented power, will demote the priorities of the Single Market, we see it here in action.

"Deposit guarantees were brought in at a maximum harmonising level so that citizens across the EU would not have incentive to move funds from country to country. That has been blown apart.

She nails it.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 06:38:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a decision that leads to the historic and permanent rescue our economy.

Given recent history I wouldn't bet on that

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 04:00:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see why you're surprised.  The history of this fiasco has been for the ECB & et. al. to make the stupidest possible decision at the time it will do the most damage.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 06:25:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How would you deal with the Russian money?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 06:53:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The issue is that the depositor guaranteed parts of the accounts have also been included. This obviates the point of the depositor guarantee. Which is Bad.

Now, you may argue (and I would agree) that a depositor guarantee of € 100.000 is way too high. But it beats a non-credible depositor guarantee.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 07:26:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Council: Council Conclusions - Ecofin Council of 7 October 2008 [PDF]
In the current troubled situation in the financial sector, and building on our Heads of State and Governments' declaration of 6 October, we agree that the priority is to restore confidence and proper functioning of the financial sector.

We have agreed to support systemic financial institutions. We all commit to take all necessary measures to enhance the soundness and stability of our banking system and to protect the deposits of individual savers. EU authorities and Member States will remain in daily contact through the EFC in order to share information and ensure a comprehensive and coordinated response to the current situation and our continued effort to work on our common principles, ahead of the European Council.

Yet another European Council resolution that is not even good as toiled paper.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 07:42:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Council: BRUSSELS EUROPEAN COUNCIL 15 AND 16 OCTOBER 2008
PRESIDENCY CONCLUSIONS
[PDF]
The European Council met on 15 and 16 October 2008, against a backdrop of international economic and financial crisis. The European Council expressed its resolve to act in a concerted and comprehensive manner to protect the European financial system and depositors.
I guess we're back to September 2008, ladies and gentlemen. The month of Lehman Brothers, Icesave, Dexia, Fortis, and the Irish banking guarantee.

Woo fucking hoo! Go Europe!

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 07:48:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not by imposing a tax on Cypriot residents in order to circumvent the deposit guarantee, and having the banks freeze the corresponding fraction of the deposits until Tuesday when they presume the Cypriot Parliament will have approved the tax.

Also, does Russian money have cooties?

And how about we have an actual banking union with mutualised deposit insurance, and bank supervision, resolution and recapitalization? Oh, and an actual central bank, would be nice, too. And a pony.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 07:35:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, does Russian money have cooties?

Will the EU need Russian gas next winter?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 09:33:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good thing Germany planted Gerhard Schroeder inside Gazprom.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 06:56:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or possibly the other way round.
by generic on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 09:52:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russian gas imports to Europe are down, because (i) demand is down and (ii) buyers are switching to other sources of gas as Russian gas is more expensive (price indexed to oil). Norwegian gas deliveries to Europe have taken over Russia's for the first time last year.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 10:18:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Down by how much?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 01:11:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Coppola comment: Sowing the wind (16 MARCH 2013)
Small depositors have long been regarded as sacrosanct. Although in theory they rank alongside bondholders and large depositors in the queue for funds, in practice they have always been protected - usually by taxpayers.  There is a widespread belief that because small deposits are insured in nearly every developed nation, therefore they should not take losses when banks are bailed out instead of being allowed to fail. Depositors losing money when banks are kept afloat, when they would have escaped unscathed if the banks failed, seems both unfair and illogical.

Hence the reason for the "shock and awe" response to the Cyprus bailout terms. A 6.75% one-off "stability levy" will be imposed on deposits covered by deposit insurance (under 100,000 Euros). The levy on larger deposits will be 9.99% - not a great difference, really, and much less than might have been expected: after all, depositors could lose 100% of deposit value above 100,000 Euros. Additionally, there will be higher withholding taxes on interest. These penalties will be applied to all deposits, including those in well-managed banks that don't require bailout.

The description of this as a "tax" or levy is a bit of a fudge. Under what type of taxation scheme are people provided with shares to compensate them for the taxes they have paid? But that is what is happening here. Depositors will be provided with bank shares to the value of their losses. They are being "bailed in" in the same way as junior bond holders: a percentage of their deposits are being converted to equity. The money taken from the depositors will go to the sovereign to compensate it for the cost of bailing out the banks. At the end of the process, the sovereign will be left with a manageable amount of debt, and the banks will be owned by their depositors and junior bondholders. In effect they will have become mutuals.

Gather ye non-Euro hard currency while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying
And this same Eurozone that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 08:11:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just WOW! And I presume that there is no legal mechanism to challenge the appropriateness of any of this. I presume that the personal security of the ECB board members and their families has been appropriately increased.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 09:29:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So does this mean that the Euro is de facto over?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 05:03:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Euro has been de facto over since 2010.

The debtor countries just have yet to redenominate their debts into non-D-Mark currencies.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 05:08:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Until September 2012 there was hope, but then Germany said that the June Council declaration was not worth the toilet paper it was written on, and that there would not be joint deposit insurance, or joint bank supervision, resolution or recapitalization. Since then the only way left out of the crisis is uncontrolled collapse. Germany is playing a dangerous game of brinksmanship - you only have to fall off the edge once.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 06:34:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, thanks for the details, that's indeed a crazy kind of bail in. touching deposits from the first euro, and not touching the senior bondholders? We are indeed reaching new levels of misplace priorities...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 07:01:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How would you deal with the Russian money?

Very carefully, considering whose money it likely is and how much of a sense of humor they might have about losing it.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 16th, 2013 at 09:38:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Allegedly Schäuble wanted to impose a 17% haircut on deposits above €100k and none below, but the Cypriot government came up with the alternative finally adopted.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 06:29:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Schauble proposal would have made a lot more sense.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 07:00:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but still senior bondholders are untouched.

I think what happened was the following:

  • Merkel cannot get the bailout passed inthe German parliament
  • At the EU Council, Draghi tells the ministers that on Tuesday the ECB will pull the plug on the Cyrpiot banking system
  • Schaeuble offers Cyprus a deposit haircut or a euro exit
  • Anastassides replies: if Im going down, you're going down with me. Let's blow up EU deposit guarantees so there's a nice big panic.

Now the Troika has gone 'oh, shit' and are trying to convince Anastassides to backtrack. The Cypriot parliament vote that was to take place today has been postponed to tomorrow while the Troika descend on Cyprus to strongarm/bribe parliamentarians and Anastassides.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 07:28:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That has the feel of truth about it. Blowing up deposit guarantees will wreck the eurozone


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 07:47:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Coppola Comment: Sowing the wind (16 MARCH 2013)
UPDATE: It appears that Cyprus came very close to actual default. This tweet from Yiannis Mouzakis shows that the ECB was preparing for collapse of Cyprus's two main banks:
@YiannisMouzakis

Local reports, the blackmail to #Cyprus peaked at 3.00am on Sat when Asmussen called Draghi, said ECB to prep for collapse of two Cyp banks

The timing of this is exquisite and it is hard not to conclude, as Mouzakis does, that it was done to put pressure on the Cypriot government in order to obtain a deal at any price, regardless of the consequences for the Cypriot economy and for its people. If that is true then it exposes the European Union for what it is rapidly becoming - a nascent totalitarian state.  


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 07:57:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shall we have a live thread on this?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 08:45:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I could collate the sources quoted in this thread into a FP story...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 08:49:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes please. I was going to grab your quotes. I guess the president's release, together with your guess as to what happened, would be enough or the front page itself, and the rest can go into the thread.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 08:57:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And thus the most crucial monetary decisions affecting the stability of the European sub-continent are reduced to the political needs of the current leadership of one nation - Germany. If war is too important to be left to the generals what then is monetary policy?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 01:17:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really - they are puting their money in foreign banks because they've "enjoyed" confiscation (by the Russian government) of their money on domestic accounts several times in the 90s.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 07:00:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Confiscation - coming soon to a Eurozone near you.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 07:29:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What it sounds like to me:

If you live in a Troika-run country -- or a country that might be run by the Troika soon -- and are not pulling your deposits and putting them in banks in which you don't have to fear a haircut, you're insane.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 08:22:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the UK troika run ? We're outside the euro so I don't think so, but we were Ground Zero for the 2008 implosion and the banking system is zombied.

So, is anywhere safe here ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 08:33:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cash? Bullion? Bitcoins?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 08:37:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Switzerland?  I don't know.  You're English, so I wouldn't be too worried about your deposits in British banks.  I'd be more worried if I were (say) Romanian or Polish.  Foreign depositors may get hosed in all these countries eventually.

This may literally be the dumbest thing the Troika could've done.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 08:38:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany is likely to renege on nonresident deposit insurance when the Eurozone blows up.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 08:43:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure thin-lipped George can contrive some excuse to fleece British depositors of their savings too.

But it might not be for a year or two yet. (Unless the Tories give up on the next election completely.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 09:30:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously you should be in government bonds rather than deposits. Senior bank creditors and holders of treasuries are protected, is what the message is. So German government bonds, then probably Swiss. Maybe French. Or Danish or German covered bonds.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 09:49:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Over here, gold coins and bars. Just keep hoping that the economy in India doesn't collapse, because that's where most of the gold not held in the basements of banks is...
http://dailyreckoning.com/indias-gold-mania/
by asdf on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 05:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@hughbs
Tactful as ever, Spiegel asks why not Spain and Italy too? http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/zypern-muss-auf-druck-der-euro-staaten-seine-bankkunden-te ilenteignen-a-889255.html ... via @eurocrat


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 08:57:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that or they're realised what a stupid thing it is and are firing a warning shot about consequences.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 09:25:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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