From FoxNews (via Phoenix Capital Research) comes the latest alarming news from Cyprus that the government has changed its mind again. It is now saying that the
levy confiscation or looting of “large” (over €100,000) bank deposits can be more than the 30%-40% that had been announced just five days ago on March 25, 2013.
In a television interview with state broadcaster RIC a day after the 30% “levy” announcement, Cyprus Finance Minister Michael Sarris said large deposit holders at Cyprus Popular Bank, the island country’s biggest lender that is slated to be shut down, could face losses of as much as 80% on their deposits.
Sarris also indicated it could take “years” before those depositors see any of their money returned. Even worse, the finance minister admitted that “Realistically, very little will be returned.”
First, the Eurozone said they wanted to “levy” 10% on “large” deposits. Then the Cyprus government negotiated a rate of 30%. Now, they changed their tune again — the rate of looting “can be” as much as 80%. In effect, this is not just a wealth tax, it’s outright robbery.
I looked up Cyprus Finance Minister Michael Sarris (Ph.D. in economics from Wayne State University) on Wikipedia, and found this fascinating piece of information on him:
“At 15th of October in 2011, he was accused by the North State of Cyprus for some type of sexual orgy including a minor. The North State of Cyprus has previously raised similar allegations.”
If you need a human face for the Cyprus bank robbery, here’s an account in the Sydney Morning Herald (via ZeroHedge) of an Australian expat in Cyprus, John Demetriou:
”Very bad, very, very bad,” says 65-year-old John Demetriou, rubbing tears from his lined face with thick fingers. ”I lost all my money.”
John now lives in the picturesque fishing village of Liopetri on Cyprus’ south coast. But for 35 years he lived at Bondi Junction and worked days, nights and weekends in Sydney markets selling jewellery and imitation jewellery.
He had left Cyprus in the early 1970s at the height of its war with Turkey, taking his wife and young children to safety in Australia. He built a life from nothing and, gradually, a substantial nest egg. He retired to Cyprus in 2007 with about $1 million, his life savings.
He planned to spend it on his grandchildren – some of whom live in Cyprus – putting them through university and setting them up. There would be medical bills; he has a heart condition. The interest was paying for a comfortable retirement, and trips back to Australia. He also toyed with the idea of buying a boat.
He wanted to leave any big purchases a few years, to be sure this was where he would spend his retirement. There was no hurry. But now it is all gone. ”If I made the decision to stay, I was going to build a house,” John says. ”Unfortunately I didn’t make the decision yet. I went to sleep Friday as a rich man. I woke up a poor man.”
His money was all in the Laiki ”Popular” Bank which was the main casualty of Cyprus’ bailout package set by the European Union. Laiki is to be dismantled. Savings of less than €100,000 are to move to the Bank of Cyprus. Anything more than that will almost certainly be wiped out as the bank is wound down, its remaining assets taken by the bank’s creditors.
Last week he heard a rumour that the bank was in trouble and went into Aiya Napa to ask his bank manager – a friend – if he should move his life savings. ”There’s no problem, nothing to worry about,” he was told. Not so. ”I go to bed and I can’t sleep. I walk around, I have a coffee. I am thinking about my family.”
John’s tears flow. As he chokes up, his son George, who moved to Cyprus in 1990, explains. ”The whole family, we used to work at the markets. I would work at the markets on the weekend to help my parents while my mates were off having fun. Honest work in honest jobs. Now all that hard work is paying the debts of other people and the government. It’s disgusting, to be honest.”
George says he can start again – if things get worse he and his family might move back to Australia.
”But not my dad. He can’t go back to Australia. He is not allowed to fly because of his heart, and anyway where would he live? He has no house. He will have €100,000 left to live off. Soon he’s not going to have a cent to his name.”
If any American is so deluded as to think this could never happen in the US, Phoenix Capital Research (PCR) reminds us that John Corzine had stolen over $1 billion worth of client funds during MF Global’s collapse. (See “Why the Collapse of MF Global Should Frighten You,” Nov. 23, 2011.)
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. (See “Jon Corzine’s Sergeant Shultz Defense,” Dec. 9, 2011.)
PCR maintains 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 personal bank savings.
- “Eurozone chair says personal bank accounts of other countries can also be raided,” Mar. 26, 2013.
- “Govt confiscates 30% of all large bank deposits in Cyprus,” Mar. 25, 2013.
- “The Left approve of stealing your bank savings,” March 21, 2013.
- “Cyprus copycats: NZ and Spain talk wealth tax on bank deposits,” March 20, 2013.
- “Confiscation of bank deposits: Can it happen in America?,” March 19, 2013.
- “Eurozone confiscation of Cyprus bank deposits: Fallout & Analyses,” Mar. 18, 2013.
- “Unelected Eurozone ministers to confiscate 10% of bank deposits in Cyprus,” Mar. 17, 2013.