We have spent a considerable amount of time in the last week or two explaining just why depositor withdrawals (or bank runs) are the death knell for the Euro experiment. We first described the 'run on banks and governments' on the basis of the potential for overnight loss of 'fungibility' back in December but the escalation last week in Greece (and the contagion to Spain's Bankia) signals things are shifting to 11 on the amplifier of Euro-Fail. This evening brings new information from The Guardian that 'Police are urging Greeks to keep their money in bank accounts rather than putting it at risk of theft, amid further uncertainty about whether the austerity-struck country will remain in the eurozone.'
Greece's national police spokesman, Thanassis Kokkalakis, told Reuters:
"Many people have withdrawn their money from the banks fearing a financial crash, and they either carry it on them, find a hideout at home or in storage rooms. We urge people to trust the banking system, leave their money there, or at least in a safe place, not hide it at home."
Uhm, does anyone remember Cramer and his 'Bear Stearns' call? Or are we just "being silly?"
Speculation of a Euro-wide deposit guarantee scheme was quashed somewhat by yesterday's dismally predictable non-event summit - especially given the only three-week span to the next elections. That leaves Greek citizens juggling the possibility of having their home robbed against the probability that the government, via GEURO-isation, will do it for them in the bank.