- “All The Conditions For A Total Disaster Are In Place”!
by Tyler Durden, www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Charles Wyplosz, originally posted at VOXeu,
Cyprus: The Next Blunder
The Cyprus bailout package contains a tax on bank deposits. This column argues that the tax is a deeply dangerous policy that creates a new situation, more perilous than ever. It is a radical change that potentially undermines a perfectly reasonable deposit guarantee and the euro itself. Historians will one day explore the dark political motives behind this move. Meanwhile, we can only hope that the bad equilibrium that has just been created will not be chosen by anguished depositors in Spain and Italy.
The decision to tax all Cypriot bank deposits has attracted massive attention (Spiegel 2013) – and rightly so. It is a huge blunder:
– In the unlikely event that all goes well, the government will receive a bit of cash – but not enough to cover the loan generously offered by its European partners – and the Cypriot banking system will be history.
– The alternative is a massive bank crisis in many Eurozone countries – a huge blow to the euro, maybe even a fatal one.
Not an emergency measure
Policymakers have been debating the Cyprus bailout for nearly a year; this cannot be classified an ’emergency action’. They engaged in a lively debate whether Cyprus is ‘systemic’ or not, the answer to which can only be ‘it depends’. It depends not on the size of Cypriot banks but on the way the Eurozone acts. They also debated the Russian deposits that apparently represent a sizeable proportion of bank liabilities. The debate turned around the issues of how dirty this money is and how to do the laundry. They also debated on the size of a possible loan to the Cypriot government. The government itself requested something to the tune of 100% of its GDP, why not? After all this amounts to 0.2% of Eurozone GDP.Eurozone’s help: Suffocating solidarity