Europe Brings Out The "Capital Controls" Bazooka

Tyler Durden's picture

Here we go:


In other words, that money you thought you had... You don't really have it. We can only hope this message was not meant to restore confidence and prevent future bank runs. Because if Europe wanted a continental bank run, it may have just gotten one.

This is getting scary very fast.

Full piece from Reuters:

European finance officials have discussed as a worst-case scenario limiting the size of withdrawals from ATM machines, imposing border checks and introducing capital controls in at least Greece should Athens decide to leave the euro.

EU officials have told Reuters the ideas are part of a range of contingency plans. They emphasised that the discussions were merely about being prepared for any eventuality rather than planning for something they expect to happen - no one Reuters has spoken to expects Greece to leave the single currency area.

Belgium's finance minister, Steve Vanackere, said at the end of May that it was a basic function of each euro zone member state to be prepared for problems. These discussions appear to be in that vein.

But with increased political uncertainty in Greece following the inconclusive election on May 6 and ahead of a second election on June 17, there is now an increased need to have contingencies in place, the EU sources said.

The discussions have taken place in conference calls over the past six weeks, as concerns have grown that a radical-left coalition, SYRIZA, may win the second election, increasing the risk that Greece could renege on its EU/IMF bailout and therefore move closer to abandoning the currency.

No decisions have been taken on the calls, but members of the Eurogroup Working Group, which consists of euro zone deputy finance ministers and heads of treasury departments, have discussed the options in some detail, the sources said.

As well as limiting cash withdrawals and imposing capital controls, they have discussed the possibility of suspending the Schengen agreement, which allows for visa-free travel among 26 countries, including most of the European Union.

"Contingency planning is underway for a scenario under which Greece leaves," one of the sources, who has been involved in the conference calls, said. "Limited cash withdrawals from ATMs and limited movement of capital have been considered and analysed."

Another source confirmed the discussions, including that the suspension of Schengen was among the options raised.

"These are not political discussions, these are discussions among finance experts who need to be prepared for any eventuality," the second source said. "It is sensible planning, that is all, planning for the worst-case scenario."

The first official said it was still being examined whether there was a legal basis for such extreme measures.

"The Bank of Greece is not aware of any such plans," a central bank spokesman in Athens told Reuters when asked about the sources' comments.

The vast majority of Greeks - some surveys have indicated 75 to 80 percent - like the euro and want to retain the currency, something Greek politicians are aware of and which may dissuade them from pushing the country too close to the brink.

However, SYRIZA is expected to win or come a strong second on June 17. Alexis Tsipras, the party's 37-year-old leader, has said he plans to tear up or heavily renegotiate the 130-billion-euro bailout agreed with the EU and IMF. The EU and IMF have said they are not prepared to renegotiate.

If those differences cannot be resolved, the threat of the country leaving or being forced out of the euro will remain, and hence the need for contingencies to be in place.

Switzerland said last month it was considering introducing capital controls if the euro falls apart.

In a conference call on May 21, the Eurogroup Working Group told euro zone member states that they should each have a plan in place if Greece were to leave the currency.

Belgium's Vanackere said two days after that call that it was a basic function of each euro zone member state to be prepared for any eventuality.

"All the contingency plans (for Greece) come back to the same thing: to be responsible as a government is to foresee even what you hope to avoid," he told reporters.

"We must insist on efforts to avoid an exit scenario but that doesn't mean we are not preparing for eventualities.

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YuropeanImbecille's picture

Welcome to the EUSSR!


money? we don't need no stinking money! Money is for capitalist pigs! Here in Euroland we all live on welfare, and it's FAAANTASTIC! 


Cult_of_Reason's picture

Run and withdraw all your money Forest, before they impose the capital controls!

Divided States of America's picture

Dont think the Europeans care, they got their eyes glued to the TV set watching soccer.

j0nx's picture

Just like Americans, only replace soccer with football or DWTS. Same effect.

Dr. Engali's picture

Yeah but what ever the Europeans do we can do better. We are Americans. We are the kings of the slackers.

krispkritter's picture

'It's GOOD to be the King!' 'Oh pissboy!'

sunaJ's picture

The only "Bazooka" that would be worth anything would be one that could be leveled at the heart of the beast and destroy the madness of these financial zombies.  A bazooka by any other name is just a heroin fix.


Pinto Currency's picture


We need a global currency and global government to solve this problem.

The corruption and central planning of a world body will lead to a very good result - Forward!

HoofHearted's picture

What we really need is Charlie Munger sewing euros into his corset. Aw, screw it. Gold is much better...

Ima anal sphincter's picture

Did we forget the <sarc> tag???

If not....cold wall at your back...cold steel in front of you.

The "top" will drop.

Bananamerican's picture


"make it so"-Capt. Picard

Pinto Currency's picture


IAS - you've been watching too much Seinfeld.

Laugh when things are amusing not when the laughtrack or "laugh here" or "sarc" sign is posted.

Central planning as a solution is pretty funny with or without any sarc tag.

Ima anal sphincter's picture

I've got-ya. I was merely pointing out what I would like to see for the bankers and traitor politicians.

You can stay on the "steel" side. If you need to borrow some, I can help you out on that issue.

Dr. Engali's picture

Rollover was a good movie. They will tell us what they are going to do before they do it. The funny thing is that movie was made in 1981 yet they'll say today "who could've seen this coming?"

Floordawg's picture

"...bullion: grab what you can get. All right let's hit it... and pray.

HungrySeagull's picture

Not anymore. Homelessness is Illegal now in some cities.

francis_sawyer's picture

Oh great... Make a 'law' against homelessness (so that the court costs & prison costs can be heaped on the taxpayer)...

You can't take a shit these days without some banker trying to figure out how to make some money off of it...

Cathartes Aura's picture

gotta make more laws to justify the law enforcer wages.

and the toys for the enforcers, like drones, water cannons, noise machines, stun guns, and all that fancy helmetry, etc.

which is all taxed-payers monies - all of it, used against us all, on a long enough time line.

Oldrepublic's picture

People who travel on the New York subway system in the middle of the night in empty cars have been arrested by subway policemen because they put their feet on the opposite seat!

JohnG's picture



We have that here.  The charge is "urban camping." No shit.


americanspirit's picture

It's not being homeless that's illegal. It's being homeless in place. As long as you keep moving it's OK to be homeless. However you better keep moving at a steady pace - not too fast, and not too slow. Too fast and it looks like you're running - a sure attention-getter. And too slow looks like you're trying to find a place to rest for a little while. Not allowed. It's called loitering. So just keep moving - and keep those damned kids quiet too - we have noise ordinances you know. What - they're hungry? Let them eat cake ha ha ha ha ha.

francis_sawyer's picture

Whew... I'm so glad you cleared that up... LOL

Shocker's picture

This whole Greece, Spain, Eurozone troubles are all going to spread globally.

Everyone is getting affacted, but on different levels.

Our Economy is already on shaky grounds


So this is just another blow.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

This doomer fear mongering is just extension of the backlash against reasonable state controls on the movement of people and capital. Being anti-TSA, anti-DHS etc. was cool for a while, but now it's just getting lame. The new youth get that we need to take measures against terrorism, foreign and domestic, and while it may have been trendy to be against it, it's become immature and annoying.  

Eternal Complainer's picture

Bonehead! Face it, you're a twit!
I love laughing at, you posts!

francis_sawyer's picture

I was walking into the gym the other week and this (no joke), twit looking mofo was walking out wearing a pair of perfectly pressed khakis and a powder blue golf shirt with FEMA embroidered in it... Perfect haircut, looked like a real dweeb...

First thing I thought of was its either MDB or Max Fischer...

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture


If really want to know, my preferred attire for around the house and out and about is a "forever lazy":

Yes, I'm not afraid to admit it. Forever Lazy's are a smart convenient way to keep warm without the hassle of regular clothes. I'm always ahead of the curve - never afraid to adapt to new fashions, regulations or state-controls. I'm part of a new generation of American citizens - Smart, Patriotic, and willing to make sacrifices in order to be a responsible citizen, even when those sacrifices involve social disapproval or scornful attacks.

francis_sawyer's picture


MDB... You're a 'National Treasure'!... I'm guessing MF wears the 'Hanky Pinky'...

Note: francis_sawyer has firsthand knowledge of this... His friends call him 'Cruiser' (because he likes fast cars & fast women)...

HoofHearted's picture

We should all go out and join the Hitler youth. We don't understand how der Fuhrer just has our best interests at heart. Finally, after watching a little Leni Riefenstahl, it is all very clear.

I'm just glad that instead of those silly uniforms, we all get to wear ForeverLazy this time around...hopefully in the hot pink variety. (Don't bother to correct me by saying it is fuchsia.)

Nobody For President's picture

Joy Through Strength!

no, wait - Strength Through Joy!

no, wait -

Screw it, I hate fuchsia anyway.

balanced's picture

I can't figure out whether you are a scumbag traitor to your fellow Americans, and getting paid to spew this drivel, or if you are just a coward who craves the approval of those whom you perceive to be "authorities".

Treason Season's picture

You may be a freak but you are OUR freak MDB!

lincolnsteffens's picture

$, Which government agency did you say you worked for???

GCT's picture

MDB your good for laughs, but you hit a spot with me that sets me on fire.  Go read some history my friend.  A young Jew asked a survivor of the concentration camps why he never left before he was taken to the camp.  His response was one I see from people all the time.  His response was, "they took our rights very, very slowly until one day the Gestapo appeared at his door".  " We thought it would get better in time. The same thing is happening to us in the USA right now.  Our rights as citizens are being taken away silently and being eroded daily.  Some day your bonus will belong to the Government when they come and confiscate all you own and all you have.  I am old and will be dead most likely but there is no doubt in my mind where the USA is currently headed.  To be honest if the problems in Europe were not there right now, things would be alot different right now in the USA.  Once the Euro problem blows we are next.  I have no doubt about it. 

The federal government is not even hiding it anymore.  Go apply for the new FEMA camp job positions the fed is advertising.  You might as well be a guard as opposed to  a resident of the camp.  Security is one thing but giving up all your rights in the name of security is just plain stupid and you will deserve what you get.  We always repeat mistakes that happened in the past. 

Hell France had more freedom when voting for their president then we do, but I am sure you will never see it.

sdmjake's picture

If you haven't ever read Mayer's "They Thought They Were Free" then I highly recommend it. Interesting accounts from across german society on how the Nazi bullsh*t could ever happen...

krispkritter's picture

Oh yeah, the 'new youts'...turning out like mini-me's of Jon Corzine...

This actually is painful to watch...

GeezerGeek's picture

I wonder if this happened before or after Obama came up with the phrase about redistributing the wealth. The girls exhibit the perfect liberal mentality: what's yours is mine. If it were up to me, I'd have thrown the girls' parents into jail.

Temporalist's picture

Syme is that you?  How's the work going on the 12th Edition of the Newspeak dictionary?

Colombian Gringo's picture

Quoting MDR: This doomer fear mongering is just extension of the backlash against reasonable state controls on the movement of people and capital. Being anti-TSA, anti-DHS etc. was cool for a while, but now it's just getting lame. The new youth get that we need to take measures against terrorism, foreign and domestic, and while it may have been trendy to be against it, it's become immature and annoying. 


Best laugh I had this morning. 

So when they ship you to a FEMA camp after your usefulness as an idiot is done, you will finally learn that  'reasonable state controls' also applied to you.  Remember to skip the showers.

Thorny Xi's picture

Hell, I hope these FEMA Camps are opening soon... since after the bankers looted my life's savings by blowing the housing fraud bubble and then by paying no interest on any cash savings I managed to sock away, which forced me to dip into the principle every month, FEMA has become my retirement plan!  A bologna sandwich and a cot, surrounded by like minded former gold and silver owners, health care - anything's better than having none at all, which is what I have now - I can't wait to get on the FEMA Train to the Camp Nearest Me.  :)

jus_lite_reading's picture

I am not replying to MDB... simply taking his place marker...

Anyways, the way I see it, TPTB are saying "GET YOUR MONEY OUT NOW!"

The whole thought of "trying to prevent a bank run" creates the deliciousness....

Bob's picture

Of course they have contingency plans, but the reason they're letting the cat out of the bag,imo, is to fear-monger the Greeks to not elect guys they don't like, i.e., "don't make us hurt you."

I'd love to see every Greek at the polling place look up at the survellance camera and boldly flip a big "fuck you" middle finger before entering the booth to cast their vote.

It could catch on.

This is their chance to take down the banksters. 

Sure, they'll be scapegoated in some quarters, but being Greek will forevermore mean that you'll be welcomed with respect by many more wherever you go in this world. 

Bring back the Spartans, bitchez!