Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eur in trouble

The Cyprus bank deposit grab has triggered the law of unintended consequences.  It does not seem to have occurred to the wise idiots at the European Central Bank who came up with the idea of a levy on bank deposits that, far from strengthening ailing banks, it would further weaken public confidence in banks generally, with depositors in other countries rushing to keep their money safe under the mattress at home rather than leaving it where the "banksters" (as a protest placard in Cyprus called them) can grab part of it.  And ordinary Cypriots may well conclude that if troubled banks can't keep their money safe for them, then those banks do not deserve to survive anyway.

The "tax" - now rightly rejected by the country's legislature, with not a single member voting for it - was supposed to compensate those affected with shares in the worthless banks - hardly an attractive prospect.  But it was blatantly unfair, hitting those who keep their wealth in cash in the bank while not touching those whose riches are in other forms - stocks, bonds, artworks.  Maybe they should open up every safe deposit box in the banks and seize 10% of any jewellery inside?  It also aroused fierce opposition among overseas depositors, many of them Russian (which doesn't say much for their confidence in their own country's banks), who are being forced to "share the burden" of a problem that is none of their business.

You really have to wonder sometimes how stupid politicians can be.

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