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« Whom to Believe on Gold: Central Banks or Bloomberg? | Main | Another Gold Shortage? ABN To Halt Physical Gold Delivery »
Monday
Mar252013

Europe Announces, and then Retracts, a Plan to Destroy Its Banks and the Euro

The euro crisis quietly entered -- and left -- a new and destructive phase, all in the space of a few hours, on Monday afternoon. All it took was a single interview and a single retraction.
Eurogroup president (and Dutch finance minister) Jeroen Dijsselbloem shocked markets when he told Reuters that the Cypriot bail-in -- which was supposed to be a "very special" case that wiped out uninsured bank depositors of €100,000 or more -- would actually be a "template" for future bank rescues. In other words, if you have more than €100,000 in a euro-bank: "RUN!" This promptly sent euro-bank stocks tumbling, and Dijsselbloem scrambling to reverse himself.
Dijsselbloem meant Cyprus wasn't a template when he called it a template. Get it?
This short-lived plan was a reasonable idea done in the least reasonable way. The reasonable idea was making bank creditors, rather than taxpayers, pick up the costs of bank rescues. In practice, that means bank shareholders are in line for the first hit, bank bondholders for the second hit, and uninsured deposits the third hit. Insured deposits and taxpayers are spared.
But there's a problem. 

 

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I guess somebody had to say what we were all thinking....

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