Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What actually happened in Cyprus?

What happened?   It's hard to say.  One big bank saved, one on its way to dissolution.  The smaller banks, it seems, will be left to their own devices.  Did the Teutons get their way?  Partly.  Are the Cypriots actually saved?  Not likely.  Greek style depression looks inevitable

Here's the good stuff: the insured deposits remain insured.  Those with up to €100,000 will not suffer losses, but those with larger (some very much larger) accounts will take a hit.  The Russians, needless to say, are not happy.  Amusingly enough, they are talking about starting their own bank, someplace in Asia, where they can avoid paying (presumably Russian) taxes.

What we never hear, though, are what (if any) consequences accrue to the bankers who created the mess, and the bureaucrats who facilitated their activities.  Is it cynical of me to think they might have kept their own wealth someplace other than Cyprus — someplace where the banks were not gambling on long shots like Greek bonds?

Eric Holder seems to believe that American bankers are "too big to jail," and hasn't pursued any prosecutions for malfeasance — but somehow, someplace in the world, I'd like to see some bankers behind bars.

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