“I’ll just polish you off,” said Sweeney Draghi, the invisible barber of Wall Street
Yesterday, I posted at length about Britain and Spain mulling their own depositor haircuts for future reference. I thought at first that WordPress had swallowed it, but they didn’t.
Then I started getting comment threads about it. So it had gone up.
After fifteen minutes, it disappeared. It disappeared from the Web, and it disappeared from my postlist here at the site.
But some early readers copied it, for which I’m extremely grateful. I’m reposting the text again, because the detail on Spain, the US and Britain is interesting in the light of German, Italian, New Zealand, Australian and other similar plans now bubbling to the surface.
Let’s see if we have any more luck this time.
EU promises that depositor levies in Cyprus represented “a once-only debt solution” were ringing hollow today as it became clear that other countries are considering the same idea. More positively, admiration for the rebellion in Nicosia – now seen to have almost universal backing among the populace – has been immediate and widespread in Greece. This comes only days before Athens and its lenders resume ‘delicate’ talks on the implementation of the country’s bailout. But some fear that if there are new Greek elections and Tsipras comes to power, a right-wing coup might result.
Thought that debt contagion was the only thing that might emerge from the Cyprus débacle? Think again.
Spanish Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro yesterday sensationally told the media he was “pondering” the idea of a depositors’ levy in the region of 0.1 to 0.2%. He added that “for the time being” the Government would prefer something “more moderate” – whatever that means.
But equally staggering from an Anglo-Saxon viewpoint is this piece at Golem XIV quoting from a joint Bank of England/Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation paper as follows:
‘The U.K. has also given consideration to the recapitalization process in a scenario in which a G-SIFI’s liabilities do not include much debt issuance at the holding company or parent bank level but instead comprise insured retail deposits held in the operating subsidiaries. Under such a scenario, deposit guarantee schemes may be required to contribute to the recapitalization of the firm, as they may do under the Banking Act in the use of other resolution tools. The proposed RRD also permits such an approach because it allows deposit guarantee scheme funds to be used to support the use of resolution tools, including bail-in, provided that the amount contributed does not exceed what the deposit guarantee scheme would have as a claimant in liquidation if it had made a payout to the insured depositors.’
Take a look at the Golem piece: it will help to concentrate your mind about what exactly your own money is worth any more. It looks as if the monetisation of debt is moving globally into grand larceny against the innocent citizen.
This is part of what makes the Cyprus decision about what they will do of massive global significance….set against which, yesterday’s angels-on-a-pinhead effort from Draper Osborne pales into near-total insignificance. But the other part is whether this precedent of rebellion may also be repeated elsewhere…starting with Cypriot kindred spirits in Greece itself.
“Cyprus said ‘No’ on our behalf too,” said Odysseas Panagiotou, a 45-year old clerk in Greece, “It’s about time that our traitors – politicians – say a big ‘No’ to the troika demands.”
The Cyprus political ‘No’ clearly also reflects what the electorate wants: an opinion poll – conducted by Prime Consulting and published today – shows that 91% of Cypriots backed their Parliament’s decision to reject the deposit tax. The poll also found that 67.3% of Cypriots favoured their country’s exit from the Eurozone, and a strengthening of relations with Russia.
Well, Greece’s corrupt élite has its chance next week as Return of the Troika threatens to bring the issue of insistent EU ‘assistance’ nicely to the boil. I wouldn’t hold your breath hoping for much, but Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has been quick to see the opportunity for his Party.
From late January, Tsipras has been renewing his call for further elections, citing even the IMF when he said “The country is on a hopeless course, a new negotiation is needed before the German elections. The implementation of a (austerity) program that does not succeed and it’s wrong – as also confessed by the IMF- cannot continue.”
Now sources close to the situation say he will up the ante still further over the next few days in the light of the emphatic Cyprus ‘No’ vote to the proposed bailin-bailout. But one such tells me:
“Syriza is using the Cyprus thing to try and force new elections… if that happens there may be a coup, as Golden Dawn backed by the army and cops decide they will take over. I am very practically concerned that the Cyprus issue may be what destabilizes Greece into real bad scene.”
This morning the Wall Street Journal confirmed my banker source’s feeling that Russian negotiators are cooling on the idea of a separate bailout for Cyprus. Brussels has been playing on this by insisting that if the Cypriots borrow from Moscow, they will get nothing from the EU.
Pandora’s box is well and truly open.