The news coming out of Cyprus only gets worse.
It was bad enough that the political class even promoted the idea of STEALING depositors’ savings. But now we’re finding out that they lied time and again about how much they’d take.
Initially the plan in Cyprus was the following:
- Simply TAKING 6.75% of ALL savings accounts up to the official insurance limit of €100,000
- A 9.9% levy (THEFT) on all deposits above the official insurance limit of €100,000.
The idea was put to a vote by the Cyprus Government, which rejected it. However, the facts remain that this idea WAS suggested. In fact, the original proposal from Germany and IMF was even more dramatic:
Cyprus state broadcaster CyBC reported on Saturday that German Finance Minister actually entered the Eurogroup meeting on Friday proposing a 40 percent haircut on Cypriot bank accounts. Sarris stated on Saturday that this had also been the proposal of the International Monetary Fund.
Sarris stated in Brussels that in view of the threat from the European Central Bank for banks in Cyprus to shut down and chaos to ensue, the increase in interest taxation and the haircut to bank accounts became necessary. “A disorderly default, that was a genuine possibility, has been averted,” he said.
Please reread that first paragraph: Germany and the IMF wanted to take 40% of all depositors’ accounts. Imagine nearly half of your savings being simply TAKEN one day to bail out a bank. That’s what Germany and the IMF proposed.
And we now find out that it could be far worse than even that:
Cyprus’s finance minister said Tuesday that large deposit holders at Cyprus Popular Bank PCL (CPB.CP), the island’s second biggest lender, could face losses of as much as 80% on their deposits as the government moves to wind down its operations.
Speaking in a television interview with state broadcaster RIC, Michalis Sarris indicated that it could also take years before those depositors see any of their money returned.
“Realistically, very little will be returned,” Mr. Sarris said.
So… first it’s 10% on savings about €100,000… then we find out actually 40% was proposed… and NOW they reveal that realistically it could be as much as 80%.
As a quick aside, anyone who believes this could never happen in the US should consider that John Corzine stole over $1 billion worth of client funds during MF Global’s collapse in the US. Corzine is not in jail and in fact remains one of the most connected financial elites in the US. Indeed, NO ONE went to jail for MF Global’s theft.
There can be little doubt that European elites took note of the MF Global case and believed a similar idea could be foisted upon the European public during extreme times of Crisis. The only difference between MF Global and Cyprus is that in the former case the funds that were stolen were invested in commodity futures and other securities whereas in Cyprus they were savings.
Investors take note: a major development is at hand. As bankrupt nations and banks continue to spiral downward there will be more and more desperate attempts to plug the holes in their balance sheets by any means necessary.
The idea of confiscating savings is now on the table. And under an extreme enough crisis, this idea could indeed be implemented: the proposal will likely be “you, the people of this nation can choose…we can take 7% of your savings and your bank remains afloat or you lose everything.” Be prepared for this.
Given what is happening in Europe right now, we wanted to alert investors to a major development we’ve noticed in the markets.
The markets look to be setting up for the next Crisis. Indeed, multiple metrics we track are flashing RED ALERT.
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Chief Market Strategist