Bank runs, bank holiday & 10pct bailout tax on deposits in Cyprus

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The EU finance ministers decided yesterday that all depositors at Cyprian banks will have to pay for the bailout of the government, regardless of whether their bank is in trouble or not. Collectivism at it's best. It's also gonna hit local and smaller depositors more heavily, because smart money (Russian money launderers and hedge funds) has left the country long ago anyway. This is a primary example of the immorality of bailouts. There are bank runs happening all over Cyprus today, but the bailout tax has already been substracted from the account balances. I also haven't read a word about the participation of government and/or bank bondholders in the bailouts. It seems they haven't been asked to give something which makes perfect sense, because the bondholders are mainly foreign banks and not domestic depositors...

I'm predicting that this is gonna cause capital flights from other weak Eurozone countries' banks to "safe" countries like Germany, the Netherlands or Finnland, thereby increasing the Target2 ( ) imbalances between the Eurozone countries.

Here's the news by AFP:
Cyprus depositors hammered in radical EU-IMF bailout

By Roderick Thomson (AFP) – 6 hours ago

BRUSSELS — Eurozone leaders and the IMF on Saturday announced an unprecedented levy on all deposits in Cypriot banks as the sting in the tail of a 10-billion-euro bailout for the near-bankrupt government in Nicosia.

Intended to apply to everyone from pensioners to Russian oligarchs alleged to have billions stashed away in what officials say is a bloated Cypriot banking sector, the "stability levy" immediately raised a flood of concerns among finance experts over a possible bank run in bigger eurozone economies, where fragile public finances are also under scrutiny.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, after chairing some 10 hours of talks to strike the deal with counterparts including International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde and the European Central Bank's Mario Draghi, said the "upfront, one-off" tax is expected to raise 5.8 billion euros on top of the loans still to be finalised by eurozone parliaments.

The levy will see deposits of more than 100,000 euros in Cypriot banks hit with a 9.9 percent charge when lenders re-open their doors on Tuesday after a scheduled bank holiday on Monday. Under that threshold and the levy drops to 6.75 percent.

Top ECB official Joerg Assmussen said the only way to drive down what was originally requested as a 17-billion-euro rescue was to claw back money from the Cypriot banking sector, which is estimated to hold assets worth five times the country's economic output.

"In order to have burden-sharing, you extend the tax base," Asmussen said. "To residents and also to non-residents."

Lagarde said she would recommend that the IMF board now agree to chip in what one diplomat said could amount to another billion euros ($1.3 billion) in loans.

Lagarde said "the exact amount is not yet specified and will take a little bit of time" to arrive at.

Officials including the EU's economy and euro commissioner Olli Rehn also cited "positive" parallel talks with Russia on possibly easier terms on a 2.5-billion-euros loan it gave to the Cypriot government.

Cyprus Finance Minister Michalis Sarris will reportedly fly to Moscow for talks Monday about extending that loan, due to be repaid in 2016.

Under the deal, the Cyprus government will also have to hike corporate tax to 12.5 percent from 10 percent and sell off state assets so as to help balance the public finances.

"As it is a contribution to the financial stability of Cyprus, it seems 'just' to ask a contribution of all deposit-holders" to the rescue, Dijsselbloem said.

"The challenges we were facing in Cyprus were of an exceptional nature," the Dutchman said, under tough questioning from journalists at a press conference after the meeting in Brussels.

"We did what we had to," said French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici on exiting the talks.

"It's something that compared to other possible outcomes, is the least onerous," said finance minister Sarris,

This arrangement notably meant his government "avoided salary and pension cuts" for public sector workers
, he said.

Cyprus accounts for just 0.2 percent of the combined eurozone economy but officials said it had to be bailed out to safeguard the principle that no eurozone state could be allowed to default and so compromise the credibility and integrity of the single currency.

A "withholding tax" will also be imposed at source on interest earned in Cypriot banks in a further hit .

The talks had dragged on as the Cypriot government fought its ultimately doomed battle to avoid a "bail-in" or haircut, which it argued would trigger a run on its banks and ricochet on through the wider eurozone financial system.

Cyprus President Nikos Anastasiades attended the talks.

The Cyprus price tag is very small compared with two rescues for Greece worth some 380 billion euros ($496 billion), Ireland's 85 billion euros, Portugal's 78 billion and 41 billion for Spanish banks.

Russians are among the biggest investors in Cyprus, and hardline lenders like Germany had pressed for months for a clampdown on banks' alleged involvement in money laundering.

The total annual output of the Cypriot economy is 17 billion euros, and the IMF was concerned that a bailout on that level would take the country's debt burden to unsustainable levels.

Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved.
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This gives even more credence to the discussions that not only could this happen in other countries including the US, but that one day, sooner or later, there may also come a mandatory 401k retirement fund "tax" to help bail out the US Govy's debts.
When money is electronic ones and zeros stored in a bank's computers, it's very easy to steal.
So this is how it begins. Wait and see what the peripheral effects will be. Do you think Greek and Spanish banks were in trouble before this iddotic plan? Just wait until this news flash sinks in to depositors heads. When they start making folks who had absolutely nothing to do with a banks troubles pay through the nose for bailouts, don't cry a river when they flee those countries perceived as weak.

What a monumentally stupid thing to do. I sincerely believe this will be the straw that broke the camels back. The Technocrats just signed their own death warrants.
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Financial commentators can't believe it:
Authored by Lars Seier Christensen, CEO Saxo Bank; originally posted at his blog at ,

It is difficult to describe the weekend bailout package to Cyprus in any other way. The confiscation of 6.75 percent of small depositors' money and 9.9 percent of big depositors' funds is without precedence that I can think of in a supposedly civilised and democratic society. But maybe the European Union (EU) is no longer a civilised democracy?

I heard rumours about this when I visited Limassol last week, but dismissed them as completely outlandish. And yet, here we are. The consequences are unpredictable, but we are clearly looking at a significant paradigm shift.

This is a breach of fundamental property rights, dictated to a small country by foreign powers and it must make every bank depositor in Europe shiver.
Although the representatives at the bailout press conference tried to present this as a one-off, they were not willing to rule out similar measures elsewhere - not that it would have mattered much as the trust is gone anyway. It is now difficult to expect any kind of limitation to what measures the Troika and EU might take when the crisis really starts to bite.

If you can do this once, you can do it again. if you can confiscate 10 percent of a bank customer's money, you can confiscate 25, 50 or even 100 percent. I now believe we will see worse as the panic increases, with politicians desperately trying to keep the EUR alive.

Depositors in other prospective bailout countries must be running scared
- is it safe to keep money in an Italian, Spanish or Greek bank any more? I dont know, must be the answer. Is it prudent to take the risk? You decide. I fear this will lead to massive capital outflows from weak Eurozone countries, just about the last thing they need right now. Even from the EU as a whole, I suspect, as the banking union is in place in most countries already.

Another open question is what will happen to the huge number of brokerages based in Cyprus? There is about 100 or more FX and other brokers currently operating under the relatively light Cypriot regulation. How will this impact the trustworthiness of these many small institutions? What IS the exact impact on the client deposits they might be holding in Cyprus? Will anyone dare to do business with them going forward?

This is a major, MAJOR game changer and the fallout will be with us for a long time to come. I believe it could be the beginning of the end for the Eurozone as this is an unbelievable blow to the already challenged trust that might be left among investors. Talk about a possible own goal.

Market reaction? it must be very good for gold - and for safe-haven countries
like Switzerland, Singapore and economically more healthy non-Euro countries in, for example, Scandinavia. I would think the EUR and associated markets will be undermined by increasing lack of confidence when the full implications become clear for investors.

This is full-blown socialism and I still cannot believe this really happened.

Be careful out there...
This is just one more step that Warlord Dragon (Mario Draghi) is taking to consolidate the power of the ECB worldwide. Sacrifice Cyprus to force other countries to toe the ECBs line. Once the Warlord has Europe toeing the line, watch for him to extend his reach across the Atlantic. Unfortunately, our spend-fake-money policies are playing right into his hands.

It may signal the end of the Euro, but if the Euro goes, the ONLY thing I see that could replace it would be the return of the German Mark (probably backed by gold), as no other country can possibly fill the gap.
Germany Told Cyprus They Could Tax Their Depositors, Or Leave The Eurozone


Faisal Islam — who is the crack economics reporter at U.K. network C4 — tweets that Germany basically gave a quid-pro-quo. Take the deal, or leave the Eurozone.

... A few hours ago, this meeting was delayed until 4 pm local on Monday "after signs lawmakers could block the surprise move.... If [parliament fails to ratify the bail-in], President Nicos Anastasiades has warned, Cyprus's two largest banks will collapse." ...

Yeah, we heard that same story here in the USA when legislators were pressured to pass TARP.

In a capitalist market, bad actors get punished for risks gone bad and new actors fill the void when they implode.

Of course, this isn't about the bad actors - the "two banks" - this is about the foreign banks and contagion from the debt dominoes.

Global finance is a house of cards.

Jim Sinclair said:
... The wire reports on the Cyprus situation are working overtime to try to make the case that 80% of the deposits belong to the people of Cyprus, and only 20% of the deposits belong to the Russians. That’s absolutely false. After 1985, when the ‘Robber Barrons’ of Russia took over the general economics of Russia, that was the transformation from the KGB to private business. The primary place for exported Russian funds was Cyprus.

Now, there is one leader in the world that would be very dangerous to challenge and that is Putin of Russia....

“What’s just happened is the IMF has backed up, lauded, supported, and publicized, as if it were a victory, the taking of 10% of what really turns out to be 80% of Russian ‘black money.’ Russian ‘black money’ is KGB money, now in business. The leader of Russia (Putin) was a former KGB official. Whose money do you think they have taken? This is the biggest mistake the IMF could possibly have ever made.


Are they going to accelerate their transition into gold?
I find the discussion on the web very very telling today. People around the world are furious and demanding that Cuprus tell Brussels to take a flying fuck at a rolling donut. While a bailout is still the stealing of the "peoples" money, this is simple thuggery and outright theft. It is not even veiled or disguised; it's pure unadulterated theft. These arrogant fucktards actually think thy can get away with stealing the honestly earned money of Joe Six-Pack to pay the banksters their blood money. If this thing goes through as advertised, Europe will come down in a giant smoking ball of fuck, and could ultimately take out the entire financial system. Tonights open in Asia will be most telling indeed.

The arrogance here is absolutely breathtaking.
Yeah, but I think we all know Strauss-Kahn was set up with that "sex scandal". Anyone think Lagarde is gonna rock the boat when the puppet masters tell her to jump after that "in your face" exercise?
This weak excuse to blame all this on the Russians is beyond stupid. When the people of Europe realize that the Euro experiment had nothing to do with unity, and everything to do with enslavement to the banks, the revolt will be unstoppable.
When the people of Europe realize that the Euro experiment had nothing to do with unity, and everything to do with enslavement to the banks, the revolt will be unstoppable.

The people of Europe basically have no say-so in the matter. Any revolt will be quashed by those in power.

This is a power play amongst those in power to force economic, and eventually political, integration of Europe. Cyprus is just the "example" to show the others what will happen to them if they don't surrender their economies and taxing authority to the beast called the ECB.

Cyprus was chosen because it is so small that no matter what the Cypriots do, it will not economically affect Europe as a whole. Basically the same as your school yard bully going after the weakest to show others what they could be subject to. And, of course, the rest are so cowardly that they fall for the scam.
Now they're discussing adjustments to the current plans, ie even higher tax rates than 10% for the larger deposits and lower rates for small ones in the name of "justice". This is just going to increase the panic amoung foreign depositors in other peripheral countries, thereby causing even more capital flight.

Politicians are such giant idiots.


Pms are probably going to open lower in 5 minutes due to a massive 1+% surge in the DXY. Don't worry about that too much :wave:
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I was wrong gold is up even challenging 1600, so is silver

EDIT: 1603 and counting. Markets are finally making sense here. Let's see if we hold these gains.
If people don't wake up and smell the coffee right now, they likely never will. Caveat emptor fiat bugs!
As usual, ZH is all over this important story...
... as Handelsblatt reports, the gross distortions of wealth distribution among both core and peripheral nations (evident in the chasm between 'mean' and 'median' net assets - or wealth) makes some nations more 'capable' of 'giving' and as Commerzbank's chief economist notes, median wealth in Italy is EUR164,000 (as opposed to Austria's median of around EUR76,000 and mean of around EUR265,000) meaning that in theory Italy has no debt crisis (with net assets at 173% of GDP) - significantly more than the Germans at 124% - "so it would make sense, in Italy a one-time property tax levy," he suggested.

"A tax rate of 15% on financial assets would probably be enough to push the Italian government debt to below the critical level of 100% of gross domestic product." So there you have it, the 'new deal' in Europe, as we warned, is 'wealth taxes' and testing the "capacity of Cypriots" appears to be the strawman on what the public will take before social unrest becomes intolerable.

... news from both the WSJ and the FT that the original confiscation thresholds of 6.75% and 9.9% for deposits below and over €100,000 is about to be revised.

From the FT: "a revised deal being discussed in Nicosia, with the blessing of the European Commission, would shift more of the burden on to deposits larger than €100,000, according to officials involved in the talks. Under a controversial deal struck with international bailout lenders in the early hours on Saturday, a 6.75 per cent levy would be imposed on all deposits under €100,000 while accounts over that threshold would be hit with a 9.9 per cent levy. The depositor levy was demanded by a German-led group of creditor countries to bring down the bailout’s price tag from €17bn.... Officials involved in last night’s talks said the changes in the levy’s rates were in flux, but they could see the higher rate increase to as much as 12.5 per cent while the smaller deposits could be about 3.5 per cent."

Elsewhere, according to the WSJ, the deposit "tax" would be under 5% for deposits under €100K, under 10% for deposits between €100 and €500K, and over 13% for deposits greater than half a million.

While this idiotic last minute revision will only infuriate Russian oligarchs even more, it will achieve absolutely nothing to streamline the passage of the bill through Cyprus parliament where it appears to have hung without enough support: the damage has already been done, and it is a virtual guarantee that Cyprus banks will suffer a full blown bank run the second banks reopen, which may be Tuesday, Wednesday, or never, at the current pace. ...

... RBS has put together an excellent summary of everything you need to know about what the Europeans did, why they did it, what the short- and medium-term market reaction is likely to be, and the big picture of this "toxic policy error." ...

Best I can tell, the ECB is demanding ~6B Euros or Cyprus can GTFO:
The euro zone has indicated that changes [to the levy tax - pmbug] would be acceptable as long as the return of around six billion euros is maintained. If the Cypriot parliament votes the deal down, the euro zone would face a real risk of being dragged back into crisis.

"It is up to the government alone to decide if it wants to change the structure of the ... contribution (from) the banking sector," European Central Bank policymaker Joerg Asmussen, who was pivotal in the weekend negotiations, told reporters on the sidelines of a Berlin conference.

"The important thing is that the financial contribution of 5.8 billion euros remains," he said.

Oh.. and Putin mad?
Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized on Monday a levy imposed by the European Union on bank deposits in Cyprus as unfair and setting a dangerous precedent.

"While assessing the proposed additional levy on bank accounts in Cyprus, Putin said that such a decision, should it be made, would be unfair, unprofessional and dangerous," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov earlier said the tax would be acceptable if it was levied only on interest earned by savers.

Yeah, he mad.

RT reporting that the Cyprus vote is only delayed until Tuesday. ZH's claim that the vote is postponed until Friday was not sourced, so I'm not sure where they got that info.

A meeting of the Cyprus parliament had been originally scheduled for Sunday but was postponed until Tuesday in order to try and broker a deal between the parties, Cypriot state media reported.

At the same time authorities have extended for another day Monday’s bank holiday, so the levy is unlikely to come in force on Tuesday morning as was initially planned.
Daniel Hannan op-ed is a good read (can't help but read it in his voice):
Morgan Stanley yesterday described the bailout as a ‘worrying precedent with potentially systemic consequences’. This is about as close as a bank will ever come to saying, ‘Panic! Panic!’

Eurocrats have lost all credibility on this subject. Every single bailout, including this one, was preceded by sonorous assurances that it wouldn’t happen.

The underlying financial situation, we kept being told, was strong. Only last month, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, declared that the euro crisis was over.

Yet again, the ‘experts’ have been spectacularly wrong. Not only the Eurocrats, but the central bankers, the economics graduates who write for the Financial Times and all the other clever-clogs who backed the bailout-and-borrow racket have been awry in their predictions.

Meanwhile, the eccentrics who kept their money out of banks, the handful of Austrian School economists and the bearded survivalists who kept telling us to buy gold have been proved right.

Summary of the current events from my perspective:

The first announcement of the deposit tax was a trial balloon. They've gotten the reaction they wanted. The main focus is on small savers. Now they can ride to the rescue and exempt amounts up to 20k or a little more. Meanwhile the tax on larger amounts will be increased, ie class warfare tactics.
Should the Cyprian parliament not ratify the plan for some reason, the bank holiday will be prolonged. Officially, the choice for the goverment is to accept or leave the Eurozone and default as a sovereign as well as have your banking system collapse. That is NOT the choice, however, because the Eurocrats know that they can't let one country be the first dominoe to leave the common currency. The Cyprian government should call their bluff therefore. The Eurocrats have much more to lose then Cyprus, so they're gonna make concessions.
My guess is that they'll eventually find a compromise to "help" small depositors in the name of "justice". This will cause panic amoung large foreign depositors in other peripheral countries.
Another aspect of the story, the GIANT Aphrodite gas (and oil) field off the shores of Cyprus:
According to Noble Energy, a total gross unrisked deep oil potential is 3.7 billion barrels. The field has a gross mean average of 7 trillion cubic feet (200 billion cubic metres) of natural gas with an estimated gross resource range of 5–8 trillion cubic feet
Another aspect of the story, the GIANT Aphrodite gas (and oil) field off the shores of Cyprus:

Ahaaa! Now we know what the real deal is. These greedy fucks want Cyprus to sign over those energy resources in exchange for some Euro's. What a load of crap. Once Cyprus is subsumed within the bellies of the Brotherhood of Darkness their plan will be nearly complete. A broken nation will make any deal necessary to quell the pain and certainly the hunger of her people. These folks are simply afraid of their masters in Brussels and do not see a Euro exit as something they can feasibly do, when in reality, if they walk away now, allow the banks to shit the bed, the Cypriot phoenix would certainly rise from the ashes and within a few short years begin to bear fruit. They could exploit their national energy reserves and become net exporters of oil and gas. Instead I fear, they will kneel before their masters as the human carnage of what once was a jewel in the Mediterranean is swallowed whole by the Dark Princes.

What a fucking waste.:paperbag:
Separation of powers, eh. There's absolutely no connection to the bailout, nothing to see here:

Looted Art
Cyprus gets treasure worth millions back from Germany

(DPA) The Republic of Cyprus from Germany receives frescoes, icons and other artifacts back in millions of value, a Court of Appeal decided in Munich on Monday. Accordingly, the vast majority of the art that was stolen more than 15 years in Munich is to be returned to Cyprus. An appeal against a corresponding judgment of the District Court was largely rejected as the presiding judge said. The ownership of most of the 214 works of art were clarified in Opinion. In 1997, the works of art worth tens of millions were insured by a Turkish merchant. They should come from looting during the Turkish occupation of Cyprus and stored since the major part in securing the evidence room of the Bavarian State Office of Criminal Investigation. The German Foreign Ministry had at first rejected the return of the art to Cyprus as previous ownership should be clarified.

"Politicians however — apparently surprised at the boiling rage — are fiendishly working to rework the deal in a way that would decrease the pain felt by small depositors while increasing the amount to be confiscated out of larger bank accounts."

How out of touch do you have to be if you are suprised that people would be furious over this?!
Maybe it's possible that the powers that be, realize the Euro is a lost cause.

However they still control the Federal Reserve, BOE, Israel and BOJ.

So rather use the fall of Europe & Japan to strengthen the US, UK and Israel's agenda.

This is their gift to Russia -The planned outcome of this is that Cyprus will accept a bailout from Russia, giving Russia a strategic island & the Aphrodite gas field. In return Russia will back off Syria and Iran.

In the next few weeks events will unfold in Asia, that make Japan and the West seem crazy but workout very favorably for China.
In return China will also back of Iran & Syria.
Jim Sinclair said:
The people at the IMF, which have spearheaded this disaster, never expected the ‘Cyprus Solution’ to blow up in their face the way it has....

This has quickly turned into a PR nightmare because it is not a ‘tax,’ but instead a ‘confiscation.’ They have stolen KGB money in order to meet the liabilities of the banks. Up to this point, bank depositors have been held whole in this most serious Western, and by consequence international financial meltdown.

Up to now the psychology has been that if you have money in the bank you really don’t have to worry too much. This represents a complete change in the strategy that has existed up to the present time, which has been crucial in holding together the financial world after the meltdown of the over-the-counter derivative has done so much damage.”

Eric King: “The aftermath of this debacle and some of the chess moves that are going on here, your thoughts?”

Sinclair: “Taking Russian money is very foolish. You have to understand the culture of the people you are dealing with. The government leaders in Cyprus have no ability to protect themselves from the retribution of the former Russian KGB agents, including Putin himself.

The government leaders in Cyprus are trying to back-pedal right now in order to save their lives. Let me say it again, they are trying to save their own lives. Remember, ‘revenge is best served cold.’ This means the revenge never comes at the moment of the miscreant act. But it will come in time.

To take money from the leading economic entities in Russia, is to take money from the former KGB officers, and taking money from them is extremely dangerous. I think the reality has quickly set in for the leaders of Cyprus that they have aided in the confiscation of the most serious and dangerous money you could possibly touch. It has these leaders more afraid for their lives than their bank accounts.

I would also add that this was the biggest mistake made by the IMF and the ECB in their history. Every time you do business with a Russian company, you do business with a bank in Cyprus. Money goes in, it goes out, but it all funnels through Cyprus.

Coming down on Cyprus as a test case for the new ‘Bail-In’ rather than ‘Bailout,’ the utilization of the depositors money to pay for the losses, could very well derail the entire efforts so far to maintain the appearance of solvency in the West.

Trillions upon trillions of dollars have been put into the system in order to maintain this appearance of solvency, and so this Cyprus miscalculation is extremely serious. This was a ‘test case’ and the IMF firmly believed the ‘Cyprus Solution’ wouldn’t mean anything.

The real catastrophe here was the misidentification of the capital present in the banks, which, in fact, turns out to be KGB money they are confiscating. And as I said earlier, taking money from them is extremely dangerous.”
Moments ago the state-run CYBC media reported ... that yet another key Cypriot party, DIKO, has come out and decided to vote against the depositor-loss law on the Parliament's docket tomorrow. This is notable because while yesterday JPM, in its "bazooka" assessment speculated that DIKO would vote for the law which made sense previously as DIKO had supported president Anastasiades in his election bid, which gave a pro-bailout vote a one vote margin. As a result of today's flip, the party's 9 votes will now be aligned with the "anti" votes of AKEL and EDEK, whose combined 33 votes mean the proposed bailout law has no chance of passing as they have the needed 29 votes to block any bail-in out proposal! ...
Read a comment on a another forum that I found hard to reconcile.

This whole crisis is teetering on a fulcrum of ~6B euros. That's roughly ~$7.8B. That's fucking peanuts in today's money printing world. Hell, the Fed is injecting $80B per MONTH into the US economy. WTF!?!?

The risk of systemic banking runs across the Eurozone surely wasn't worth a measly ~6B euro. I can't imagine that this line in the sand is really about economics.

Maybe the speculation I've read that this was ultimately a shot across the bow to Russia to back down on support for Syria/Iran has legs.
What that commentor is missing is that it is not 6B euros that people care about, it is that everyone is scared of the thugs stealing their money literally out of their accounts.

But as the articles have said, pissing off the Russians is not a good idea. I wonder if this is happening now, as the weather is warming up, so that TPTB can try this nonsense with less of a threat from the Russians of closing the spiggot. Gas shortage in Europe over winter and the contitent is frozen.
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