Submitted by Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,
After the Dutch Finance Minister indicated that Cyprus would be a template for future European bail-outs there was a lot of consternation. Senior debt was hit and bank accounts were confiscated in Cyprus and the plan just seems lovely for future problems. The notion that the second largest bank in Cyprus went belly up on its own is just not the truth and so the argument that depositors are responsible for where they put their money is not even applicable!
The nation of Cyprus was in trouble, Germany and the rest did not want to pick up the whole tab to bail them out, they had the ECB threaten to pull the funding and forced the bank closure so that they could use the depositor's money to help pay off the loan to the country. There was no "due process," no judicial review and the bank's actual creditors will get zero so let's at least deal with the reality of what happened and not try to paint it as something else.
Then this morning the 20%-40% seizure of the depositor's money, which was the range that had been discussed, was now admitted by the Finance Minister in Cyprus today to be more like an 80% expropriation and a timeline to get any money back of six to eight years. This is, I suspect, because while the banks were closed in Cyprus that they were still open in Greece and Britain so that certain monies crept out during the night, and probably big money, so that the banks in Cyprus are in far worse condition than previously thought or admitted.
Then, of course, because the EU Finance Ministers were not going to meet again and re-open this fiasco; more money had to be seized from the depositors. Now the Dutch Finance Minister chaired the meeting on Cyprus. He was the one that directed the entire affair on Cyprus and the template that he revealed was fist denied then admitted, then denied by the ECB and confusion reigned supreme. Now here comes the first pig; the representatives of the Eurozone finance ministries released a document this morning stating that Cyprus was not the template for future bail-outs. I suppose it was initially written in German and translated into English however they must have forgotten to translate it into Dutch. This is because when the Dutch Finance Minister was asked about this document, and he is the Chairman of the Finance Minister group remember; he said he knew nothing about the document.
I am not making this up. My imagination is good but not this good.
It has finally happened; the pigs are flying!
The good news this morning is that we already know which country is going down next. That country is Luxembourg. We know this because the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, told Reuters yesterday that "Germany does not have the right to decide on the business model for other countries in the EU. It must not be the case that under the cover of financially technical issues other countries are choked." Now Luxembourg is not so far different than Cyprus. They have a large financial sector, a lenient tax structure and a lot of foreign money. They have just also spoken out again the ubermeisters in Berlin which is not permitted under the EU treaty somewhere I am sure.
It was then reported this morning that the Cyprus Central Bank Governor, Panicos Demetriades, summoned the Bank of Cyprus CEO this morning and asked him to resign. Let me guess; the new Administrator will be Franz Stupenmeister or some name of that ilk. Then the European Parliament President just said that the way "the Cyprus case was handled is no way to do business in the EU." I don't know; the Press must have gotten it wrong. It must not have been the EU that handled the Cyprus fiasco, it must have been Mongolia and no one has told us yet.
The pigs are flying I tell you; the pigs are flying.
To top all of this off, the cherry on the whipped cream, the banks of Cyprus just re-opened in Greece this morning. I don't know, the flights from Moscow to Athens must be jammed. There are no capital controls in Greece so you can take out what money you like while the banks in Cyprus are still closed and now subject to capital controls. "Sense" and her brethren "logical," "rational" and "coherent" must have all departed from Europe in a huff. No one could make this up; no one.
"Mother of God! Flying Pigs!"
-The Eagle Has Landed