"I Went To Sleep Friday A Rich Man, I Woke Up Poor"

Tyler Durden's picture

Another non-Russian, non-oligarch, non-billionaire, non-tax-evader speaks up...


So much has been written of the Cypriot bail-ins and massive haircuts for the uninsured depositors - assumed to be nasty oligarchic Russian money-launderers - that, it appears, the reality for people living in Cyprus has been forgotten. We noted earlier the small business issues, but as the Sydney Morning Herald reports, real lives have been destroyed. 65-year-old John Demitriou retired (back) to the picturesque fishing village of Liopetri, Cyprus, with his life-savings of around $1 million living off the interest it paid from Laiki 'Popular' Bank and spending it on his grandchildren. He was in no hurry to invest it; to spend it on big purchases.

Then, after being told just last week by his bank manager, "there's no problem, nothing to worry about," he so painfully notes, "I went to bed Friday as a rich man. I woke up a poor man," as Laiki's depositors over EUR100,000 were devastated thanks to the bail-in. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs notes, "there is no need for special measures," to help John (or the other 5000 Cypriot-Australians on the island) as he exclaims, "it's not Russian money; it's not black money; it's my money."


Via Sydney Morning Herald,

''Very bad, very, very bad,'' says 65-year-old John Demetriou, rubbing tears from his lined face with thick fingers. ''I lost all my money.''


John now lives in the picturesque fishing village of Liopetri on Cyprus' south coast. But for 35 years he lived at Bondi Junction and worked days, nights and weekends in Sydney markets selling jewellery and imitation jewellery.


He had left Cyprus in the early 1970s at the height of its war with Turkey, taking his wife and young children to safety in Australia. He built a life from nothing and, gradually, a substantial nest egg. He retired to Cyprus in 2007 with about $1 million, his life savings.


He planned to spend it on his grandchildren - some of whom live in Cyprus - putting them through university and setting them up. There would be medical bills; he has a heart condition. The interest was paying for a comfortable retirement, and trips back to Australia. He also toyed with the idea of buying a boat.


He wanted to leave any big purchases a few years, to be sure this was where he would spend his retirement. There was no hurry. But now it is all gone.


''If I made the decision to stay, I was going to build a house,'' John says. ''Unfortunately I didn't make the decision yet.


''I went to sleep Friday as a rich man. I woke up a poor man.''


His money was all in the Laiki ''Popular'' Bank which was the main casualty of Cyprus' bailout package set by the European Union. Laiki is to be dismantled. Savings of less than €100,000 are to move to the Bank of Cyprus. Anything more than that will almost certainly be wiped out as the bank is wound down, its remaining assets taken by the bank's creditors.


Last week he heard a rumour that the bank was in trouble and went into Aiya Napa to ask his bank manager - a friend - if he should move his life savings.


''There's no problem, nothing to worry about,'' he was told.


Not so. ''I go to bed and I can't sleep. I walk around, I have a coffee. I am thinking about my family.''


John's tears flow. As he chokes up, his son George, who moved to Cyprus in 1990, explains.


''The whole family, we used to work at the markets. I would work at the markets on the weekend to help my parents while my mates were off having fun. Honest work in honest jobs. Now all that hard work is paying the debts of other people and the government. It's disgusting, to be honest.''


George says he can start again - if things get worse he and his family might move back to Australia.


''But not my dad. He can't go back to Australia. He is not allowed to fly because of his heart, and anyway where would he live? He has no house. He will have €100,000 left to live off. Soon he's not going to have a cent to his name.''


John has a thin hope. His money was sitting in the bank in Australian dollars instead of euros, so he wonders if it would be exempt from the bank's collapse. But the bank's doors are closed, so he doesn't even know to whom he should put that argument.


''For the moment I am 'sitting on charcoal', as they say,'' waiting to see if he gets burnt.


''It's not Russian money, it's not black money. It's my money.''


There are almost 5000 Cypriot-Australians on the island. Most are - or were - self-sufficient veterans of the 1950s engineering boom or the 1974 war who came back to retire or to be with family (John is looking after his 90-year-old mother).


This week Britain stopped paying pensions into Cypriot accounts, advising expatriates to open a British bank account instead.


Australia's high commission in Nicosia has already fielded inquiries from dual nationals seeking advice on their pensions. They were told to set up different payment arrangements, a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.


''We expect the main impact will be for Australians who have invested large sums in Laiki Bank or the Bank of Cyprus,'' she said. ''There is no need for special measures at this stage.''

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Rick Blaine's picture

Yeah...and what really sucks is that things probably have to get worse (for everyone, everywhere pretty much) before they can get better in any remotely sustainable fashion.

WayBehind's picture

I usually joke around but this is a sad story!

Spider's picture

Bastards - I bet you the bankers and the rich oligarchs found ways to get their money out.

If you are Greek, Slovenian, Spanish, Portugeese, or Italian and still keep more than 100k in bank accounts in those countries banks you deserve what is coming to you.  Time to buy gold and be able to sleep at night...

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

You could get your face ripped off even if you keep less than $100k in the bank.

CH1's picture

Let's state it clearly:

Keeping the rules gets you screwed.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is go to bed poor man. Wake up middle of night and is rich. But realize is actual dreaming, so when wake up in morning, still is poor man. Rubbing eyes and wipe away is tears.

Xibalba's picture

"Do your fair share" - Per Obama

Big Slick's picture

John, that's why Jamie Dimon is now EVEN MORE richer than you.


!! FLIPNESS ASIDE, people need to look at this link and think about how the question of the UBS analyst relates to the Cyprus crisis.  This is human slaughter - and human greed - on par with the worst in history.

Harlequin001's picture

'He was in no hurry to invest it; to spend it on big purchases.'

But that's the problem isn't it? He did invest it. He invested it in Laiki bank for which he received interest as full compensation for the risk of total loss.

When everyone else wakes up to that simple reality and then begins to question the validity of 'insured' deposits from a government that has run out of money they will all move to something more stable, more real, like gold, and of the physical variety...

Either that or they will all quite rightly lose their money in a bankruptcy.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

The really disgusting part of all of this is that most Americans don't think this is going to happen to them. Somewhere in the back of my mind is the Bluto Blutarski bit where he tells Flounder that he screwed up by trusting his frat brothers, (about something of value, his brother's car). I can see the Cypriot bank manager doing the same thing right about now.

"You screwed up, you trusted me." Serve you right. I hope the fact that his deposits are in Oz bucks saves him, but I would tend to think that sort of little technicality won't stand in the way of their confiscatory thievery.

Scarlett's picture

DO NOT TRUST ANY BANK; take out your money now.  There is zero excuse for having more than one month's bills at ANY bank.

TwoShortPlanks's picture

For blame, look no further than the UN's Agenda21 program.

This has been another announcement from the team at Agenda21: Shaking trees and picking up the fruit is how we do things.

GoldForCash's picture

Agenda 21 destroyed my company and my life.

myptofvu's picture

GoldFor...could you expound on that? I have learned a little bit about agenda 21 but would like to know more. If its too painful to talk about I will understand.

Seer's picture

Um, I think that he thought he was in "savings."

Let's make this distinction perfectly clear, and this is WHY TPTB are able to pull this scam.  TPTB allowed regular deposit banks to double (down?) and do "investment banking."  I thought that everyone knew that "investing" came with risks.  "Savings," however, wasn't ever supposed to be "risky" (though, that, clearly, was always a bit of a lie).

NoTTD's picture

Not to worry.  Is only dream.

mkkby's picture

I feel terrible for this poor old guy.  But nobody screwed him.  Nobody.  He kept his money in a bank way over the deposit guarantee. 

Hardly a month goes by where a bank doesn't go under and the guarantee is tested.  How could he not know the risk?  Yes, the EU bureaucrats said a lot of stupid things the past 2 weeks, but in the end the deposit guarantee was honored.  You didn't have to be "awake" or understand fractional reserves.  BANKS FAIL ALL THE TIME, everywhere.

merizobeach's picture

He thought his banker was his friend, and he trusted the words of his banker, even after rational warnings to the contrary.  Game, set, match: Lose.

Your assets can be touched with your hands; your gambles can be tabulated in bank books, stock portfolios, and on web sites.  Distinctions, bitchez.

Unfortunately for me, my retired parents--despite history, current events, and my admonitions--still have their archaic faith in the system.  They feign concern and promptly forget.  And all that, unbelievably, despite their ongoing misadventures in REITs and with ever-encroaching tax laws.  WTF?!

espirit's picture

As the saying goes...

If you have a friend and you love that friend, and that friend loves you, you better fuck that friend before he fucks you.

Goner's picture

John, why dont you, your son(s) and a few friends go talk to your bank friend again tonight. Bring some rope


Seer's picture

And it's the American Dream!  Supersize my lifestyle for FREE!  It's my fucking right as an American! (er, a, Cypriot)

Rogue Trooper's picture

Boris still have Makarov and pre-Yeltsen AK in deep-freeze-wonderous-chicom appliance next to Vodka????

If so, have job from comrade, bidding competitive but cannot trust albanians and chenchens have issues from last time like rabid dog no follow orders like comrade from old - learnings!

it is time comrade... it is time?

/Nicolai (former KGB, retired '91, Instanbul field office now business man)




eatthebanksters's picture

How is this different from Barney Frank and the US Government and the NAR telling everyone back in 2007 that the housing market was just fine and there was no problem in the loan market?  Fuck these guys. They ruin lives with the excuse that they're doing it to save the masses...fuck it...the shit needs to hit the fan.  All these fucking liars in government that have been wasting tax dollars to buy votes so they can take care of themselves and their corrupt buddies and have run the world economy into the ground, along with all the corrupt self dealing liars in the banking world need to be called out and dealt with, swiftly and harshly.  This shit just makes me sick.   Just to give you an idea of how fucked up it is in this country, I lost my home in foreclosure after my business of then 28 years dried up.  Two years after my house was foreclosed upon I get a bill from the department of forestry in my state saying I owe for a retroactive fee for fire protection.  I owned the home for 4 months of the 12 month period the bill covered.  I called the dept of forestry and told them the situation and they told me that the law was written so that there is no proration, that the owner at the time of the bill is responsible for full payment.  WOW!  So because my state is broke (you can guess which state), they are now trying to create revenue from past services and they want full payment from me, and I'm sure any other owner during that 12 month period. What a fucking scam...if I did this I would go to jail. Time to tear this shit down!!!

Skateboarder's picture

Logged in to vote you up. That shit is fucked up beyond belief man, I'm sorry for your loss.


eatthebanksters's picture

Thank you, and yes Cali.  I don't mind paying my share and I certainly won't bitch when I fuck up, but when someone out and out bald face lies to the world and millions of people are financially ruined, I get pissed off.  When government makes decisions that are slimy - meaning they fail the integrity test: is this fair and do people understand it - to take more of our money, then they are no different than the rips offs they put in jail.  Here's my question...how can the government expect people to continually obey the law when they and their friends so blatantly disobey it?  I hope the time is soon that people stand up and say enough...but with Bernanke pumping the stock market with QE they (TPTB) win the game, they make sure there always is a majotiy of people who have more to lose, even if they have to manipulate th stock market to make that happen.  One more thing I have ot laugh about, when someone on Wall Street is found to be guilty of manipulation or insider trading (not very often), they go to jail...when Bernanke does it its for the good of the country.  Go figure...

Skateboarder's picture

The illusion must be maintained at all costs, until it cannot be maintained. There is no legitimate law, never has been in the history of the species. Only natural law exists, and if you violate it, we will know. You can make theft look like restructuring, but you can't hide the fact that it's theft.

People simply do not understand the difference between money and wealth. They will not give a fuck until they money they thought was wealth is rendered useless. You cannot expect sound judgment from a population that doesn't (and perhaps never will) understand the parameters of the ecosystem.

When the boot stomps on your face, it is too late.

Big Slick's picture

The central bankers will keep doing this to people until you start hanging them from trees.  It would stop pretty quick after that.

SilverRhino's picture

Sounds like it is time to start ahooting.   Fuck the state.  

unununium's picture

So you have tried setting up a meeting with your congressperson, and failed?

And you have tried starting a petition to recall your congressperson?

Just sayin' ... since those options are, you know, legal.  And non-violent.  And part of the system that people fought and died to create.


tarsubil's picture

Talk to your Congressman? Holy shit, are you serious? You think a fucking Congressmen gives two shits about your opinion? I know of a relatively new Congressmen who was the 'real deal' common man patriot. Two days after going to DC he stopped caring about the little people. Wake the fuck up.

BoNeSxxx's picture

I remember Jesse Ventura discussing his surprise victory as Governor of MN... say what you want about him but this was before all his conspiracy shows and crap...

He said that almost immediately after he shocked the world and actually won that election that he was ushered into a van by a bunch of guys in suits - they never identified themselves.  In no uncertain terms, he was told who his bosses were.

I don't know how much, if any of it, he stands behind today but I don't doubt that it happened for a second.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

"So you have tried setting up a meeting with your congressperson, and failed?

And you have tried starting a petition to recall your congressperson?"

You must not have read his post.  He pretty obviously has no money.  What member of congress is going to meet with anyone that didn't contribute at least $100K to his campaign?  Recall petition?  Do you have any fucking idea how much that costs to accomplish?

People fought and died to build an maintain an empire.  Empires are built and maintained in order to extract wealth.  Ergo, if you want to get shit done in the political system of this country, you have to have skin in the game.  Specifically, you have to give them a portion of your wealth (above and beyond what you involuntarily give through our tribute system, which we now call "taxes").  Your influence is directly tied to the value of what you give.  That can be in the form of:

1.  Straight up money

2.  Favors of value

3.  Blackmail

Considering that this individual can't affect 1 or 2 at a significant enough value to pull strings, 3 is his only remaining option.  Considering that blackmail can include "do this shit for me and I won't shoot you in the fucking face" is a form of blackmail, I would suggest that this is morally/ethically consistent with our present political/economic system.  While I share your distaste for violence and would not recommend this course of action, you can hopefully at least see just how fucking stupid you sound in advocating for "fighting within the construct", when the construct is specifically set up to ensure that people without means have absolutely no power whatsoever. 

trader1's picture

sounds like the only real non-violent options left are:

1.  leave the system; go off grid

2.  stay within the system and practice civil disobedience (hoping that enough people also see "the injustice" that you see)


tarsubil's picture

Blackmail is a legit option. I even have a lead for you. It is common knowledge among Pentagon Police that Congressmen service homeless men in the woods north of Crystal City. If you really want to blackmail someone with actual power, go there.

eatthebanksters's picture

I called my congressman and both my senators...I got form letters and iip service.  Why would they care about me...I'm just one of millions with no money now...they're hanging out with the cronies that pay their bills.  Just so you know, I have nothing against wealthy people, honest bankers and politicians...but there are some lyng sacks of shit in all these groups that don't deserve to die quickly and painlessly.  The corrupt bastards and bitches need to understand the pain they have inflictedon so many and need to be made an example of so others don't follow down thier path.  

Rogue Trooper's picture

Just logged in and this...

For what it is worth brother, I understand what you feel and I am saddened by what those, those statist psycopaths have done to you and all the rest of us.  I understand your loss and I can feel your understandable rage. When the time comes I will not sit back and let them take what is left. I'm all in for freedom and I will not be a fucking FEMA experiment for some deranged "Dr No" with a CDC uniform doin' shit for the greater good.

Take stock and some small comfort from many of US on this blog. We will all face this alone, in our own way, but at least there are others that see what is coming.

Godspeed all of you... when the time comes I hope some can be counted on.

Lock and fucking load and stay vigilant (Someone remember the pliers cause if we get get lucky and corner a 'banker' I suggest taking it real slow, real fuckin slow.  In fact why not hand carve 'eatthebanksters' on his fuckin forehead would be ironic and all would get the 'meme'.

Chuck Walla's picture


"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living."






Dark Space's picture

Burn it to the ground! Burn it all, and then let's put some heads on spikes. The revolution has to start somewhere.

trader1's picture

eatthebanksters, thanks for posting.  i agree with your assessment that it's no different fundamentally - just a different flavor.

besides tearing shit down, what are the possible solutions to restore trust and faith in an economic system without having to hurt/kill any people in the process?


eatthebanksters's picture

It's pretty easy...the government (Fed, state and local) has been using this trick to raise money.  First you pass a retroactive law called the the Golden Rule law and then you take any suspected corrupt banker or politician and and put him or her in front of a jury of their peers.  The trial is about a couple of things:  honesty and fairness (integrity).  The prosecutor gets to question the defandent's any way they wish and the jury gets to hear the answers. The jury gets to conclude if the defendent's were acting in the best interests of their constituents (remember, making the right choice is often the hardest choice and doesn't always benefit us personally). If the defendent is found to be reasonably acting in the best interests of those around them, they are free to go.  If they are found to be acting selfishlly and for personal gain and being dishonest about it, then the are given a bag of clothing, a bag of seed, a young pig and a chicken.  Then they are put on an island with every other violent criminal in our system that costs us a fortune to feed and take care of...we patrol the perimeter of the island (would save taxpayers a buttload of money), what happens on the island is between them and God. We wash our hands and move forward. This is a good way to deter crime as well.  Diversity in society is good. People who lack morals, vaues and ehtics is bad. Time to clean up the cesspool.  Short of this solution, they ought to let the red states secede from the union..they don't seem to have the same problem as the blue states with the big cities and liberal group think and rampant crime and theu certinly would have no problem deporting someone who did not share their thoughts on taking care of their fellow citizens.  Leeches bring down the world...even when they are not politicians or the heads of big banks.  Remember, Barney Frank's platform was to help all those who could not afford to own houses to be able to afford a house...nice idea but flawed.  In the end his naive ideas (that were shared by many) destroyed the housing market in this country and created millions of financial casualties.  Being charitable is noble, being charitable with other peoples money to get elected is corrupt.

Seer's picture

Just imagine what wonders all of this has done on the poor natives in poor countries over the many decades.  MANY aren't around anymore to tell their stories: for them "collection" was never an option; no lingering pain though.

Nature is deceptive.  Humans are OF nature.

Oh!  And if you think tall the liars and cheats are ONLY in government.. (who the fuck do you think is pulling the political puppet strings?  Human nature...)

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is have Bulgarian made Makarov. Can is field strip in 24.5s. Fully inebriate with 100 proof vodka, too! Very impressive, no?

Problem is cannot reassemble and lose hammer, sear, and extractor spring. Poor Boris!

Papasmurf's picture

Boris still has his pride though.  That's something a banking oligark will never have.

Mentaliusanything's picture

Glass - Steagall NOW.. Separate Investment banks (gambling Banks) from Savings banks (lower returns but fully covered)

How did it ever get to this stage. Perhaps Nations should have a National Bank which invests in Infrustructure of its own country paying savers a small dividend in return for the safety of National assets. These assets become like the family silver, a common wealth for both the nation and the savers that can be passed down over............ oh who am I kidding, the fuckers will privatize them and issue shares to the wealthly to pay off the debts of bad and ill thought out disfunctional Goverments

We Are All Screwd

Dugald's picture


Ah, now I understand why Australians had their guns confiscated, and we all thought it was for our safety and wellbeing. Suckers we were...

To quote a local magazine...What have they got planned for us that would have us reaching for our guns if we  knew what it was...


Rogue Trooper's picture

Yes, Howard (the so-called CONservative) a 30 year career politician ceased the chance to remove those dangerous semi-autos from law abiding hands in the wake of Port Arthur on 28 April 1996. Everyone is so much safer in corrupt/crime/cop land Australia. Thanks John CUNT Howard.

In fact they only got around 30% of the shit loads of FN FALs, AR15s and the rest.  The other 70%, one can only assume, have been loast in either boating accidents or just misplaced when your average aussie went walk-a-about.

Long PVC Drainage pipes... Insurance Bitchez.

PhilofOz's picture

Have been getting adverts on South Australian radio stations of late from the SA police. They are offering as much as a $10,000 reward for information that leads to them confiscating illegal guns. (Conditions apply)

Seer's picture

Sigh... it's WAY TOO LATE NOW.  The cow is out of the barn.

I'd mentioned that people should understand that this very co-mingling has allowed this tragedy to be judged as an investment loss vs. theft.  The rich write the laws that allow them to stay that way: write laws that firewall them from the rest.

Even IF we were to fix this banking system we'd still have to deal with the debt- debts don't disappear without some sort of Debt Jubilee.  And in a way it's been this notion that someone will swoop in and take care of the bad debts that has ratcheted up the disaster.  So, even IF debt were then to be resolved, what then about standards of living?  There's STILL the issue of insufficient resources to maintain, let alone generate "growth."

No matter how you slice it up per-capita consumption IS going to drop.  This isn't so much by design from nefarious banksters/politicians, rather it's a design from Mother Nature.  Fight it all you want, but there's no winning This battle: Mother Nature ALWAYS bats last.

Offthebeach's picture

There are no rules, save power by force, threat of force, takings and killing. Everything else is popular delusions.
It's harvest time, and the crop is 7 billion suckers.