JPMorgan On The Inevitability Of Europe-Wide Capital Controls

Tyler Durden's picture

With the Cypriot government still 'undecided' about what to 'take' and the European leaders very much 'decided' about what to 'give', the fact of the matter is, as JPMorgan explains in this excellent summary of the state of affairs in Europe, that because ELA funding facility is limited by the availability of collateral (and the haircuts applied to those by the central bank), and cutting the Cypriot banking system completely from ELA access is equivalent to cutting it from the Eurosystem making an exit from the euro a matter of time. This makes it inevitable that capital controls and a capital freeze will be imposed, in their view, but it is not only bank deposits that are at risk. A broader retrenchment in funding markets is possible given the confusion and inconsistency last weekend's decision created for investors relative to previous policy decisions. Add to this the move by Spain, which announced this week a tax or bank levy (probably 0.2%) to be imposed on bank deposits, without details on which deposits will be affected or timing, and the chance of sparking much broader deposit outflows across the union are rising quickly.


Via JPMorgan,

Capital Control Risks

What was widely viewed as an ill-conceived Cyprus deal last weekend renewed fears of a re-escalation of the euro debt crisis. The original proposal to hit insured depositors below €100k caused a bank run and set a new precedent in the course of the Euro area debt crisis, with potential negative consequences for bank deposits not only in Cyprus but also in other peripheral countries. Once again, as it happened with the Greek crisis last May, the Cyprus crisis exposes the fragmentation of the deposit guarantee schemes in the Euro area and its inconsistency with a monetary union.

Even if the original deal is eventually revised and the guarantee for depositors with less than €100k is respected, the damage from the original proposal will be difficult to undo, in our view.

Cypriot banks are relying on ECB’s Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) to avert a collapse once they open next week. ELA reflects collateralized borrowing from the national central bank rather than the ECB directly, not only at a more punitive interest rate relative to refi rate but more importantly with much larger collateral haircuts. The ECB is still on the hook under ELA because the national central bank borrows these funds from the ECB, i.e. it generates a liability against the Eurosystem. The ECB’s provision of liquidity via ELA is admittedly not a given but it will be provided to Cypriot banks for as long as Cyprus is looking to finalize its revised bailout plan, the so called Plan B.

Although the ECB always states that it provides liquidity to only solvent and well-capitalized institutions, past experience with Irish and Greek banks and even with Cypriot banks shows that the ECB has tolerated long periods of liquidity provision to undercapitalized institutions. Greece is the most characteristic case. Greek banks had access to ELA even when the bank recapitalization was pending between April and December 2012. And Greek banks had access to ELA in-between the two Greek elections when it was not even clear whether Greece would stay in the euro. Cutting the Cypriot banking system completely from ELA access is equivalent to cutting it from the Eurosystem making an exit from the euro a matter of time. This is a political decision rather than a decision that the ECB can take alone. This would effectively cut the Central Bank of Cyprus off from TARGET2 and force it along with the Cypriot government to eventually issue its own money.

But even assuming that a new deal is agreed between Cyprus and the Eurogroup and ELA continues for the Cypriot banking system after Monday, this does not mean that this ELA is unlimited. ELA is limited by the availability of collateral and the haircuts that the central bank applies to this collateral. The Greek case is the most characteristic example of how punitive haircuts on ELA collateral can be. As of the end of January Greek banks used €122bn of collateral to borrow €31bn via ELA, i.e. an implied haircut of 75%. In contrast, they borrowed €76bn via normal ECB operations posting collateral of €97bn, i.e. the implied haircut on their normal ECB borrowing was 22%. The higher haircut on ELA collateral i.e. is mostly the result of the lower quality of this collateral, typically credit claims, vs. that accepted in normal ECB operations, typically securities. But it perhaps also reflects the higher riskiness the ECB sees with its counterparty, i.e. the national central bank and eventually the sovereign, when a country's banking system has to resort to ELA.

Because of the recapitalization issue which has been pending since last April, post the Greek PSI, Cypriot banks had been steadily losing access to normal ECB operations and had been increasing their reliance on ELA steadily since then. By November 2012 Cypriot banks had access to ELA only. This ELA borrowing peaked at €10bn last November and stood at €9bn as of the end of January.

What is the maximum ELA borrowing for Cypriot banks? Looking at their assets, Cypriot banks had €72bn of loans to non MFIs as of the end of January, roughly equal to total non-MFI deposits of €68bn. Assuming that all these loans are acceptable as ELA collateral with the same average haircut as in the case of Greek ELA, i.e. 75%, results to only €18bn of total ELA. Given that Cypriot banks have already €9bn via ELA, this leaves them with another €9bn of potential additional ELA. Of course the ECB could be more lenient with its ELA haircuts with Cypriot banks relative to Greek banks, and indeed even in the case of Greek banks, ELA haircuts appear to have been as low as 50% at certain points of time during 2012. But we doubt that total ELA could exceed €30bn, which represents more than 40% of the loan assets of Cypriot banks. In the case of Greek banks ECB reliance never exceeded 40% of total loan and security assets. So further liquidity support from the ECB seems limited, and not enough to offset the €21bn of non-euro area deposits with Cypriot banks, largely Russian (80%) and British (20%) and the €5bn of deposits with other euro area residents outside Cyprus.

This makes it inevitable that capital controls and a capital freeze will be imposed, in our view, even if a deal is reached by the end of the week, to prevent depositors, especially non-domestic depositors, fleeing the country. Article 63 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union prohibits “all restrictions” on the movement of capital between Member States and between Member States and third countries. But there would be certain exceptions for measures justified on grounds of public policy or security, see Article 65 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. But even if allowed in exceptional circumstances, these capital controls and capital freezes are contagious and appear inconsistent with a monetary union.

The obvious risk is the impact that these capital controls will have on deposits in other peripheral countries. Large deposits, above €100k, and uninsured deposits are mostly at risk as these are the ones to be likely frozen in the Cypriot case. While a modest deposit tax might be acceptable to large depositors, a freeze of deposits for an un identifiable time period would likely be unacceptable to most large depositors such as corporations and institutional investors.

There are no recent data of how big this universe of large deposits is. Data from the European Commission suggest that in 2007 large deposits of above €100k and uninsured deposits comprised more than half of all deposits in peripheral countries. See Figure 1. The current shares are perhaps different from those reported in Figure 1 for 2007, but most likely the share of large or uninsured deposits is likely to be close to half of total deposits.

What cushions other peripheral countries relative to Cyprus is that these large deposits are mostly domestic. As explained in the next section, the share of non--domestic deposits in peripheral banks is rather modest at 7% as of the end of 2012.

But it is not only bank deposits that are at risk. A broader retrenchment in funding markets is possible given the confusion and inconsistency last weekend's decision created for investors relative to previous policy decisions:

1) In the case of Cypriot banks, depositors are hit while senior bond holders are spared, so seniority is not respected.


2) Deposits of foreign branches are protected while deposits of domestic branches are hit. This is the opposite of what happened to Iceland.


3) In the case if Ireland which also had a big banking system relative to the size of its economy, only sub debt holders, accounting for a very small portion of total creditors, were hit. No depositors were hit, in either domestic or foreign branches.


4) In the case of SNS sub debt holders were wiped out and reports suggest that the Dutch government came close to imposing losses on senior bond holders and was only prevented from doing so because of unsecured intergroup loans between SNS bank and Reaal insurance that would be subjected to the same losses as senior bond holders.

But beyond the confusion and inconsistency, all these trends and the case of Cyprus in particular, are not only showing bailout fatigue on the part of creditor nations, especially in Netherlands where economic conditions have been deteriorating rapidly, but they are also pointing to a shift towards bailing in private creditors in future sovereign bailouts or bank resolutions to avoid using taxpayers’ money.

Which funding markets do we need to track going forward? In our view, the excess cash in the Euro area banking system is the most important metric to track on a high frequency, daily, basis. This metric reflects the amount euro area banks borrow from the ECB in excess of their normal liquidity needs due to reserve requirements or autonomous factors. A loss in deposits or a loss in funding in wholesale markets forces banks to either access ELA or the Marginal Lending Facility at any time or, in less urgent situations, to access the standard weekly Main Refinancing Operation (MRO) every Tuesday. So euro area banks can borrow from the ECB and the excess cash in the euro area banking system can rise at any day of the week and not only with Tuesday's MRO. Any potential increase in ELA, such as from Cypriot banks, is reflected in the excess cash in the Euro area banking system via a decrease in autonomous factors rather than an increase in outstanding operations. The excess cash in the euro area banking system actually declined this week, with a decrease in outstanding operations and an increase in autonomous factors, indicating no signs of broad contagion yet.

In terms of the impact on wholesale bank funding markets, we can also track peripheral bank debt issuance directly. This week peripheral banks issued only €600m of bonds vs. €4bn in the previous two weeks. The represents a marked slowing, suggesting that Cyprus might be having some impact on peripheral wholesale funding markets.

On a lower frequency basis, we need to track the monthly Target2 balances for peripheral countries, which typically become available during the first two weeks of the following month, and the ECB data on MFI balance sheets which are published at the end of thee following month.

In what we view as another ill-conceived and ill-timed move, the Spanish Minister of Finance & Public Administration announced this week a tax or bank levy (probably 0.2%) to be imposed on bank deposits, without details on which deposits will be affected or timing.


This is adding to the Cypriot crisis in sparking deposit outflow risks.

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machineh's picture

The awful ruin of Europe, with all its vanished glories, glares us in the eyes.

When the designs of wicked men or the aggressive urge of mighty States dissolve over large areas the frame of civilised society, humble folk are confronted with difficulties with which they cannot cope. For them all is distorted, all is broken, even ground to pulp.

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.

AlaricBalth's picture

Freedom and confidence (trust) are the foundations of capitalism. Yet each of these bedrocks of our economic system are slowly being eroded by inept government coinciding with rigged markets and laws in favor of the oligarchs of our society.

toys for tits's picture

With all these articles that we've been getting about capital controls, the bank runs have begun, IMO.

knukles's picture

But Krugman said it was all OK, Fink said it didn't matter, Ben wouldn't answer the fucking question as to whether the US'd have depositors take a haircut, Liesman couldn't find his ass in broad daylight with Santelli showing him the way (anywhere, Steve, anywhere) Biden spent a $1.0 million on hotel rooms in Europe (pumping their economy!) and Jesse Jackson wants a demonstration against the dude sent in to manage Detroit.  (Is he white?)

Where's Timmah when we need it fixed all over again?

Dsintermediation Bitxchez!

Means there'll be no cash left in the banks, the liability side of the balance sheets collapses!
Where oh where will the loans come from?
The ECB?
The Fed?
Holy Shit and Shinola Kids, and you thought it was a Lehman moment?
Lehman was but one single Second Tier B rated brokerage firm

We're talking the whole fucking banking system in Europe.

Booyah, motherfuckers!

Who, and I mean WHO was it bought the $900mm notional August S&P puts 2 days ago?
Shades of 9/11 front running.



LOL  Been sayin' this shit gonna happen and nobody listens... in just a few days all them wonderful gains gonna be gone POOF!

El Oregonian's picture

Love your thinking Knuks, You should start a religious cult.. oh, I don't know... maybe call it "KNUKOLOGY" or sumthin...

otto skorzeny's picture

just don't piss off the FBI to receive some Waco-style justice

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

I don't disagree, but don't forget that at the individual level there are plenty of exceptions of excellence. E.g., their guy at the Phoenix office, who warned his bosses repeatedly about terrorists, and who died in the Twin Towers shortly after he was relocated there.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

El Oregonian

Right, don't believe any of them.  Free yourselves from the system.


Getting money out of the bank is a small step, first of many...

NoDebt's picture

I'm three drinks into my Friday unwind and I think I'm signing off.  Tomorrow I'm going to come back and read the following comment to see if it still makes sense (currently I think it does):

Why's it always fucking Europe?  What the fuck is up with that place?  Is it so close to the middle east that it's somehow contracted the same disease of "unfixability"?  It's worse, in fact.  It's the middle east WITH BANKS. 

England is the slick 3-piece suit con of the family, Germany wants everyone to do as they say and rule the family, France is just.... who gives a fuck about liberal asshole France, all of southern Europe is the deadbeat cousins constantly borrowing money they will never repay and Switzerland is just trying to stay out of it, praying like mad nobody notices them.

Every few decades they get together for a family reunion, somebody gets drunk and mouths off, then there's a fight and everyone swears they will never talk to eachother again.... but thei always do, eventually.  It's like they're a giant disfunctional family.

I just want to know who's the perverted uncle who molested all of them when they were kids?

Lore's picture

Chris Martenson and others stress the important point that these collapses always start small on the periphery and work their way to the center as they grow, like turds circling the drain or debris orbiting a black hole. In this instance, Europe is peripheral to the United States.  The crisis really escalates when it finally manifests here.  Continuing the analogy, our banks are TBTF ("Too Big To Flush"), and Bernanke thinks adding water eliminates the need for a plunger.

tooktheredpill's picture

Draghi where are youuuuuuuuuuuu?

flyingpigg's picture

Draghi: “Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro,”

Cyprus: "I call"

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

I think you're capable of answering your last question: Who was it who can mess and bugger them up to that extent, generation after generation, in every European country? Who, besides the feudal aristocracy with their ultimate Entitlement program? Besides them, who else?

Hint: for bonus points, think of Diderot and his thoughts on peace.

chindit13's picture

When you figure out the core problem in Europe, and maybe the Middle East, turn your sights on Asia and answer me this:

In 1900, Asia had one half the world's population, but a larger percent of the world's GDP than it did in 2000, when it then had two thirds of the world's population...and this relative GDP decline in spite of a plethora of self-claimed "economic miracles".

Perhaps it's not Europe or the Middle East or Asia (or Africa).  Perhaps it's humanity.  Perhaps we are hard wired to trip ourselves up.  China today is incapable of being the scientific cutting edge it was three thousand years ago (though they might make a comeback after missing out on those five centuries since the Renaissance).  Egypt is incapable of building the pyramids today, but had cutting edge technology forty-five hundred years ago.  Greece couldn't build the Lion Gate at Mycenae, much less the Parthenon today, but they once could.  Byzantium?  The Coliseum and Rome's aqueducts?  The Mongols could slaughter 20% of the world's population and rule the largest landmass in history, while today they have a few yurts, export a few Sumo wrestlers to Japan, and negotiate deals with Ivanhoe & its partners to mine copper.

We all fall down.  It's just become our turn.

prains's picture


speaking of mongols, a genetic study(wish i could site it) found that the male Y chromosone of (sic) Gubla Khan (son of Ghengis) is found in 1 in 200 males on the PLANET. At his peak he added 30 new virgins to his harem every year.

chindit13's picture

Sounds as if another part of Kublai was found in 30 of 30 virgins a month.  You know what they say:

A virgin a day keeps the gene pool in play.

prains's picture

And with it the "rape and pillage" chromo is passed on for generations to come. Seems a lot has ended up on Wall St. Thanks for the correct spelling on Kublai

Cathartes Aura's picture


speaking of mongols, a genetic study(wish i could site it) found that the male Y chromosone of (sic) Gubla Khan (son of Ghengis) is found in 1 in 200 males on the PLANET. At his peak he added 30 new virgins to his harem every year.

so, what you're saying is 1 in 200 males today have something of the sociopath in their genetics?

"30 new virgins" in his stable yearly. . . most likely very, very young girls, what would be considered "pedophilia" by most standards today - perhaps this is where the predisposition to rape children comes from?  I'm sure Khan's army didn't make much of a distinction when they raped whole villages, boys included.

eventually, perhaps, many people see this type of war on humanity behaviour as harmful to the whole, as something that destroys lives, destroys community, destroys humans at their core, demeans the whole notion of what is "human" and what "civilisation" even stands for.

warriors.  village destroyers. rapists and murderers, in organised corporate/military gangs, on behalf of their overlords, the scourge of nature.

yeah, humans haven't really evolved much these past centuries. . .


newworldorder's picture


Interesting historical observations. They make for a frightfull possibility for the future. These civilizations did not decline in a matter of a few years.

The modern world however and especially the debt based banking system do not have a lot of time when confidence is lost. At current world population, what happens when billions of people are suddenly deprived of their "money?"

mmanvil74's picture

Why the different treatment between Greece and Cyprus by the Troika?  Seems clear to me... the losers in the Greek meltdown would be French and Italian bankers while the losers in Cyprus appear to mostly Russian? (apart from the Greeks and the Cypriots themselves of course, but, when you are part of an elite banking cartel, they are just peasants)

knukles's picture

Lemme tell y'all sumptin'
Just sos you all think I'm not crazy, I even took some bucks out of bank deposits and the like and placed it in bonds this last week.
Not just a natterin' and a jawin' about the shit.
Shithellfire, dudes and dudeettes.

Ain't heard nobody yet nattering about mutual funds, even money market funds, exposure to European Banks.

Ding ding ding ding

That's what I did.
I'm too old to take risk and measure it by how well I sleep at night.
Which I really like to do, anymore.

prains's picture

Think of all the peaches and mongos you could sell for me _ Frank Ocean




Knuks 2016

Urban Redneck's picture

The Russians are depositors and don't own the (traditional) debt or equity of the banks in Cyprus, so in effect the treatment is exactly the same, anyone pays EXCEPT the Eurozone ponzi bankers

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Yeah, isn't it amazing how the spin was that 'depositors' and their money "stinks", but not when they accepted it?

Sanctimonious hypocrisy all around: if it had been Americans, then they'd be "innocent investors and job creators"; if they had been, say, Israeli depositors (although this is unrealistic), it would have probably been 'anti Semitism'.

Clearly the casting, dialog, effects and music is adapted to suit the play of the banking directors and producers. If the play is a flop, it's never ever the fault of these 'leaders'.

new game's picture

we are hearing only one side of the story.

boris-out there? chime in!

so are humans (everywhere)really this afraid of these bankstas?

i mean isn't this the heart of the matter?

or are the bankstas this shrewd-either more debt or you are fucked(collapse).

do they have bullets to back there implied power?

something tells me, because the people are gunless, therefor ultimately powerless to this new financial terror brought on by ruthless people operating behind a political curtain of spinless paid off chicken shit two faced cock sucking snake oil selling   mutha fucks commonly called politicians...

macholatte's picture just a few days all them wonderful gains gonna be gone POOF!


rumors of "DisInflation" and Gold @ $900 and Silver @ $12    ..... if only for a few hours.

Uh oh. Gotta go. That tooth fairy getting out of the closet again.

disabledvet's picture

when the Third Reich rule the roost there was no money. Was there hyperinflation? Nope. In fact the first thing that made Hitler "a sensation" was that he crushed the hyperinflation of the 1920's. Germany went back to work...their depression ended with that election. I will admit the whole "war thingy" didn't go that well...nor was it "functioned" in a way i could possibly fathom. But the USA which had to run flat out in order to be "the arsenal of democracy" experience in terms of gold and silver basically zero inflation. i freely admit i'm struggling with a deflation thesis even in theory given all the debt monetization reckless spending (we're not simulataneously fighting the Nazi's and Imperial Japan did we go bankrupt fighting 500 terrorists in Afghanistan again?) but QE looks to me like a real downer for the "hot money" crowd. sure the equity market has surged...but trading volume has dried up the economic reocovery seems to have hit a soft patch here. it's at this point my eye's gloss over and i think "isn't this the point where the bankruptcies finally hit?" how do i buy gold with no ANY price? the rest of the world is collapsing it acre of land in India is now $750,000? really? this really has the feel of an epic "bug meets windshield" moment coming. cash is King in this world. "assets get depreciated to at or near zero...and are simply paid for by what's in one's wallet." forget the bank...who believes in these asset prices? if it ain't a working asset and it ain't got cash flow i say NOBODY. "and the stock market agrees with me 100 percent" i might add.

Mentaliusanything's picture

And answer me this. Germany because of War reparations were so broke they couldnt borrow a cup of sugar. Yet Hitler put Germany back ot work with........?

It was a brillant move but the banks hated it because they were shut out.

The only way out of the Euro is this way and it works (until you build armed forces with its purchasing power.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Where did Hitler get the collateral to fund his "miracle"?  He offered the gains from war with the USSR and the banks bought it.  Enough about Hitler.  Among other things he was a war-making statist.  Hitler?  No friend of mine.

blabam's picture

Hitler re-fucked the economy. Why do you think he went to war? 

zdk45's picture

wonder if the elite even meet any more...


"I told that asshole Ben what's his nuts to rip off the minions, then have the african american go to war! Don't bother me again!

Buck Johnson's picture

Big time, big time.  This system is about to come down and for the EU to do what they did last saturday was stupid.  They essentially scared the sheep into running and they are trying to run.  All our gains are going down the tubes in a week or two.

e-recep's picture

"Who, and I mean WHO was it bought the $900mm notional August S&P puts 2 days ago?"

Lemme guess... A Jew?

Bicycle Repairman's picture

My guess is someone who knows the plan or can shape events.

Cdad's picture

That's just it.  We had runs on US banks in 2008...but you didn't see folks lined up at cash machines.  Money was being wired out of banks with the click of a mouse...and it was this big corporate cash exodus that no one could see that caused the FDIC to raise its deposit insurance amounts.

My guess is...the big money has been moving very rapidly already...out of Europe and to who knows where.  Seems to me Tyler put a chart this week which revealed that euro inter-bank lending stress has already fact, has been underway for some time now.

It's pretty easy to time your quick and quiet exit...if you're a bank causing the stress to begin with.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

That's why having even small bank accounts in various places in the world (even a few hundred or few thousand in each) makes SO much sense. With signs of trouble, a few clicks of the mouse greater amounts can be relocated at least temporarily out of the incremental financial or currency weather. The exact same way you'd shelter anything of value from a storm front.

ebworthen's picture

toys for tits said:  "With all these articles that we've been getting about capital controls, the bank runs have begun, IMO."

I'm doing my best.

sunnydays's picture

Of course control the money.  After all it is just the little inconsiquential people that have their money in the bank.  The elite are the ones who deserve the money, not those who work hard slaving away and after paying their taxes put their savings in the bank.  the people should be slaves only to support the elite, thus they feel they have a right to all the money. 

CheapBastard's picture

The Smart Rats already jumped ship last year or two:


Super-rich investors buy gold by ton(Reuters)


GENEVA | Mon Oct 4, 2010 1:13pm EDT


(Reuters) - The world's wealthiest people have responded to economic worries by buying gold by the bar -- and sometimes by the ton -- and by moving assets out of the financial system, bankers catering to the very rich said on Monday.


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

If so, then isn't the PM suppression convenient for them also, not just for the dollar's dominance?

CunnyFunt's picture

In other words, "Let's see how this Guinea pig cooks."

Coming to shores near you ...

Rainman's picture

Like I been telling everybody forever, it will be the Eurozone political brainiacs who kick off the next big shitstorm. I get dismayed at being right all the time. 

Gromit's picture

"Take not thy thunder from me, but take away my pride"

W B Yeats

knukles's picture

I seriously am sick and tired of being called a tin foil hat conspiracy theorist, bad omen, sky is falling person...
So them non believers can go "fugemselves".

Long treasuries and PMs gonna come thru this the best
And cash, of course....

I am seriously fed up with the namby pamby everything's all A fucking OK propaganda and media perceptions management.

CunnyFunt's picture

According to the state-$ponsored orifices, we have been in a recovery for four years. "I feel your pain."

moonstears's picture

Knuks, just because everyone tells you they're not REALLY watching you, doesn't mean it's true. I've got ME thinking.

Crash Overide's picture

Me too knuckles, not to rant but I'm just saying... everywhere you look fraud, fraud, fraud, psychopaths running shit, good ole boys smacking dicks to the tune of the average folk on this space rock getting the shaft.

To me the "normal" people are the fucking TV programmed Prozac izombie idiots sheeping along with the illusion that has been sold to them in many forms. We are all being bombarded by bullshit from every direction it's enough to make one mad as hell which many are but still most slave on in denial of the deception that has them. People should have figured out by now that pretty much EVERYTHING is rigged, fixed, cooked, etc...   nothing left is sacred, nothing left but for Rome to burn once again, truth is treason in all the empires of lies. Just know a little bit of history and you can see where this goes. 

Long PM's, gardens, barter, communities, and people eventually figuring it out.


knukles's picture

It's all fucking fixed, rigged, 00's and boxcars.
Unless you own or regulate the Casino.

Brit_Abroad's picture

Yeah, I think most us here at ZH are in good company.

Thanks Knucks