The Cyprus decision
Mar 24, 2013
BRUSSELS, March 25 (Reuters) - Cyprus clinched a last-ditch deal with international lenders on Monday for a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout that will shut down its second largest bank and inflict heavy losses on uninsured depositors, including wealthy Russians....
The plan, swiftly endorsed by euro zone finance ministers, will spare the east Mediterranean island a financial meltdown by winding down Popular Bank of Cyprus, also known as Laiki, and shifting deposits below 100,000 euros to the Bank of Cyprus to create a "good bank".
Deposits above 100,000 euros, which under EU law are not guaranteed, will be frozen and used to resolve debts, and Laiki will effectively be shuttered, with thousands of job losses....
Cyprus's banking sector, with assets eight times the size of its economy, has been crippled by exposure to Greece, where private bondholders suffered a 75 percent "haircut" last year....
On Friday, lawmakers voted to nationalise pension funds and split failing lenders into good and bad banks - the measure likely to be applied to Laiki. The plan to tap pension funds was shelved due to German opposition, a Cypriot official said.
Rather than tax everyone's deposits, the new plan simply allows one bank to fail, much like Lehman Brothers that failed in September of 2008. Those who have more than 100,000 euros in their accounts will get back just their 100,000 euros, since that is the amount insured.
Note that the government in Cyprus "voted to nationalise pension funds," but that this plan "was shelved due to German opposition." The pension funds have been spared from government theft, but it must be disconcerting for Cypriots to know that their pensions were saved only by "German opposition." This has served as a wake-up call to the whole world. We have been warning about the confiscation of pension funds for many years, and many thought we were crazy. Now the cat is out of the bag, as it is clear that governments do indeed reserve the right to steal pension funds, IRA's, 401K's, and of course regular bank deposits.
They should instead nationalize the Federal Reserve System, so that the Fed's Class-A stockholders no longer own the Fed Bank, issue new currency that is actually money instead of debt notes, and declare a Jubilee.
Keep in mind that Cyprus did not get free money from the IMF. It is just another loan, putting them deeper into debt than before. This so-called bailout does not solve their problem, but kicks the can down the road. In the mean time, they set some scary precedents for other nations to follow in the future.
Dr. Stephen Jones