Cyprus Suspends Probe Into Who Withdrew Money Early
In a day full of stunners, we next get news from Cyprus, where a few weeks after the start of the "investigation" into who pulled their cash out of the country's doomed banking system in advance of the confiscation news on March 16 (and where even the current president was implicated in transferring over €20 milion in family money to London) the parliamentary committee tasked with tracking down the leaks, has suspended its probe.
As it turns out, it was "all the central bank's fault", which was charged with providing the data. The head of the Cypriot parliament's ethics committee, which was due to look into a list detailing transfers of more than 100,000 euros from the two major banks - Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus Popular Bank - said on Tuesday that the list fell short of what he had requested. "It was with great disappointment and anger that, when we opened the envelope, we realized it contained data for only 15 days even though we had asked for a year," lawmaker Demetris Syllouris told reporters. "This kind of behavior is unacceptable."
This "kind of behavior" also provides a very convient alibi for all those members on the committee who may have incidentally been among the lucky ones channeling funds while the banks were still subject not subject to capital controls. Them, or those who have been generous enough to provide "lobby" funding in order to quickly and quietly crush the inquiry.
But it gets better. Apparently the reason the central bank limited the list to only those who transferred funds in the two weeks prior to the Cypriot bank default, is that it would result in a "huge volume of information" - something the central bank believed the parliamentary committee would never be able to handle. From Reuters:
In a letter to Syllouris, then central bank deputy governor Stavrinakis said he was only attaching a list of individuals and companies who transferred money out of Cyprus between March 1-15 this year.
"We believe your request would lead to a huge volume of information, which would possibly not help the aim of your committee," Stavrinakis said. This included foreign companies that transfer large sums of money each day, as well as Cypriots who bought property, he said.
Stavrinakis was appointed by the former communist administration three weeks before it lost power in a February election, a move the then opposition decried as political.
The main party in the new government, the Democratic Rally party, has for months claimed the needs of the island's now-crippled banking sector were artificially inflated to divert attention away from fiscal mistakes by the previous government.
"Actions in Cyprus and beyond over recent months resulted in making the needs of the banks larger ... some people rolled out the carpet to lead us to this," Finance Minister Harris Georgiades told state radio.
Syllouris said the ethics committee had requested a list of who transferred money dating back to a year because it wanted to look into possible loans given with favorable terms. He expressed doubt that the list he received, which included the names of about 6,000 individuals and companies that shifted money abroad, was complete.
"The wording of the letter has caused concern that not all names are included," he said.
And so on.
Between this, and the endless race between Bitcoin and the S&P for who is most exponential, one can't help but sit back and laugh.