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Old 03-18-2013, 11:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Cypress banks shut till Thursday

Surprisingly enough, confiscating the savings of ordinary citizens to keep European central bankers happy is *not* wildly popular with, well anyone except European central bankers. No one could have seen that coming. /sarcasm off.

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus banks will remain closed until Thursday as lawmakers try to amend a measure to raid bank accounts in the country.
Aliki Stylianou, a spokeswoman for Cyprus' central bank, says Monday's bank holiday has been extended by two days.
The extension comes after a proposal to seize a percentage of all bank deposits in Cyprus, a move that was demanded as a condition for a €10 billion ($13.09 billion) international rescue package.

Cyprus: banks shut till Thursday as government scrambles to amend savings levy - live | Business | guardian.co.uk

and

Cypriot banks to remain closed until Thursday - Yahoo! News

holy shit what a terrifying cluster fuck. this is going to cause a run on banks everywhere.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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holy shit what a terrifying cluster fuck. this is going to cause a run on banks everywhere.
This is why I don't have a bank account anywhere.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Cyprus is seen very much as a special case by the EU. The European Central Bank's main reasoning for insisting on a levy on savings is because of the role Cyprus plays as a major tax haven. It's estimated that about 75% of savings are owned by foreign individuals and companies, 1/3rd being Russian but also is thought to include many EU tax dodgers avoiders . Of course the implementation originally proposed by the Cypriot government is far from progressive and would have a horrible impact on smaller savers , but it's likely to be made more progressive in the next day or so prior to implementation. The Cypriot Government is not really in a position where they could just apply this to foreign holdings , it would seriously damage external investment and , in the case of non Cypriot EU holdings, could be illegal. Unfortunately only a non-discriminatory (other than by fund size) savings levy is really open to them.

ETA: I would add that the long term policy of keeping Cyprus as a low tax regime to encourage and grow it's Tax Haven status has helped fuel the current financial crisis in Cyprus.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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OK so, shitty governing has forced Cypress to confiscate a portion of people's money held in it's banks, but it's ok because it's mostly wealthy foreigners. Got it



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This is why I don't have a bank account anywhere.
I tried that for a minute. It's really hard (and ironically, expensive)
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Doesn't Europe have ENOUGH tax havens?
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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OK so, shitty governing has forced Cypress to confiscate a portion of people's money held in it's banks, but it's ok because it's mostly wealthy foreigners. Got it
If their culture is anything like that of their Greek cousins, they're probably not paying any other taxes, and Cyprus is likely just looking for some kind of tax they can actually collect in order to meet EU obligations. This whole thing in Cyprus, Greece, and any other country that hasn't met its Eurozone requirements is so messy it cannot be boiled down to a single sentence about greedy rich folk. Each one of these bailouts directly affects the economies of every other participating nation. Cyprus has to prove they're willing to do what it takes to get back on track. Doesn't mean what they're doing is the right decision, but they don't have a whole hell of a lot of options at the moment.

Strongly recommend these podcast episodes to anyone wondering what's really going on economically in that part of the world. It will drive you insane.

How A Computer Scientist Tried To Save Greece : Planet Money : NPR

Who Loaned Money To Greece, Anyway? : Planet Money : NPR

Episode 331: How Office Politics Could Take Down Europe : Planet Money : NPR
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Conclusions
The likelihoods of these three scenarios – benign, less benign, and total disaster – are difficult to assess.
What is clear is that the Cyprus bailout has created a new situation, more perilous than ever before.
Once more a deeply dangerous policy action is decided apparently without any awareness of its unintended consequences.
It is also another violation of sound existing arrangements. We have a no-bail-out clause in the Maastricht Treaty – a clause that was essential to the Eurozone’s stability. Putting it aside in the case of Greece was the heart of the today’s problem – the reason the crisis spread (Wyplosz 2010). This no-bail-out clause has once again been put aside summarily.
We are now witnessing another radical change as a perfectly reasonable deposit guarantee is being undermined. 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.
PRAGMATIC CAPITALISMCyprus: The Next Blunder - PRAGMATIC CAPITALISM

Reading the article and reviewing the literature on Argentina does seem like a fairly "erk!" situation. The EZ has floated Greece for the most part, can they float Cyprus as well?
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Whatever the outcome, it will certainly be the less powerful that suffer for this. Isnt democracy grand.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This whole thing in Cyprus, Greece, and any other country that hasn't met its Eurozone requirements is so messy it cannot be boiled down to a single sentence about greedy rich folk.
Actually it can be boiled down quite succinctly ... first the rich predatorily loaned Cyprus (substitute Greece, Spain, Italy etc.) money knowing full well they didn't have, and very likely would never have, the tax collections to cover the debt and now the rich are trying to negotiate a further profit on the debt by insisting those who profited least from the loans in the first place give up a percentage of their savings, suffer high unemployment, lower incomes, depreciation on what's left of their savings, and ever increasing austerity that won't ever end and that the rich won't experience.

Did that boil it down enough? If the EU doesn't abandon austerity and get back to investing in infrastructure capable of generating economic growth this will not end well.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Did that boil it down enough? If the EU doesn't abandon austerity and get back to investing in infrastructure capable of generating economic growth this will not end well.
Defeat in German regional elections dents poll hopes of Merkel and heir | World news | guardian.co.uk



With some luck, austerity will be history after Germany's upcoming federal election in September.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Actually it can be boiled down quite succinctly ... first the rich predatorily loaned Cyprus (substitute Greece, Spain, Italy etc.) money knowing full well they didn't have, and very likely would never have, the tax collections to cover the debt and now the rich are trying to negotiate a further profit on the debt by insisting those who profited least from the loans in the first place give up a percentage of their savings, suffer high unemployment, lower incomes, depreciation on what's left of their savings, and ever increasing austerity that won't ever end and that the rich won't experience.
Nah, sovereign debt doesn't work like that. I can boil it down even more succinctly: When the EEC/EU decided to adopt a single transnational currency, all of the nations involved agreed to limits on how much debt they could issue. Over here in the USA, a lot of people pointed out that these limits were inevitably going to be broken. We were told to stop being pessimistic and that we couldn't possibly understand anything integrating dozens of autonomous state economies ( ).

The problem isn't just caused by the nations facing default. Yes, they budgeted well beyond their means and failed to invest properly in economic growth. However, the use of a single transnational currency also meant that they were dependent upon their domestic economy, they can't export their way out of the problem very easily.

Exports within the EU mean competing with exporting powers like Germany using the same currency, thus giving smaller nations no advantage of having cheaper goods due to currency value differences. Exports outside of the EU have a similar problem: the Euro is trading higher than the USD, making their goods more expensive to export to the largest single-nation economy. The Chinese are literally laughing all the way to the bank at that! They can't believe that the Europeans are giving them such a great trading advantage!

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Did that boil it down enough? If the EU doesn't abandon austerity and get back to investing in infrastructure capable of generating economic growth this will not end well.
It won't end well while individual nations of the EU are still all allowed to run deficits and issue sovereign debt in a single currency. That means either abandoning the Euro, which will be incredibly messy and require a lot of USD and GBP. Bet that'll be politically popular. The other option is to create a real unified European nation-state. Given that this has been attempted by, let's see, Charlemaign, Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin, and never seemed to accomplish much besides getting a lot of people killed, good luck with that one.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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According to the BBC's business editor, Robert Preston,
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Reform of how to mend broken banks, which has been negotiated globally and in Europe since the Crash of 2007-8, has been based on two central principles.

First, that the savings of ordinary people should be protected, up to a high threshold - or 100,000 euros in the European Union for example.

And that financial institutions which lend to banks by buying their bonds should incur losses when banks are bailed out: bondholders should, to use the jargon, be bailed in, as part of resolution plans.

The logic behind these tenets is simple: financial institutions ought to be sophisticated enough and informed enough to assess the risks of lending to a bank, and therefore deserve to be punished when their judgement is awry; most of the rest of us can't possibly know if our high street banks are making reckless gambles.
[...]
So what is seen by many as profoundly shocking about the terms of the rescue of Cyprus by the rest of the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund is that both of these principles have been broken.
BBC News - Cyprus rescue breaks all the rules

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OK so, shitty governing has forced Cypress to confiscate a portion of people's money held in it's banks, but it's ok because it's mostly wealthy foreigners. Got it
Again, according to Robert Preston's blog on Saturday:
Quote:
A well-placed official rings to tell me why investors should not be panicking that the punishment of Cypriot depositors is a precedent, or that lenders to Spanish and Italian banks will be spanked as well before too long.

He says the structure of the Cypriot bailout has been determined by German politics. (Aren't all eurozone bailouts fixed in that way?)

Here is the logic behind imposing a hefty levy on Cyprus deposits, according to this official:

1) Regulators and politicians are convinced that a vast amount of cash in Cypriot banks belongs to Russian money launderers.

2) Few German politicians of any persuasion would have voted for a Cyprus rescue that simultaneously rescued these launderers.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21812853
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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My nation is tiny, yet we are one of the biggest exporters of pharmaceuticals in the world, one of the largest zinc exporters in the word and lead concentrate. We export software, raw chemicals, beef, eggs ect ect... we have natural gas and oil coming online over the next few years. The EU has not harmed our exports, in fact, it has grown and grown since we joined the EU. 92 billion last year.

China will be out 4th largest market soon after the US and europe.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Gee Richie. I wonder what makes that possible. Could it have something to do with this?

Ireland Continues to Flex Tax Haven Muscles: Will Their Luck Run Out? - Forbes

Tax Research UK » Ireland maintains it’s not a tax haven, but they all say that

Double Irish arrangement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Tax Haven That's Saving Google Billions - Businessweek
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I am always amazed how people so easily rationalize things that arent going on in their own country.

If they froze 20% of your account because your country was a "tax" haven what would you do or think?

The excuses used to do this are insane. This measure was required by the EU and IMF before any bail out funds were issued to the country. They are basically stealing money to pay off debt. Debt that was actually generated by bailing out banks in Cyprus to begin with. All the EU debt is funneled bank bail out money, if you follow the trail back to the real source.

Who ever came up with this idea was out of their minds. It will not only destabilize banking in Cyprus but in all of Europe. The run on the banks forced the Cyrus to issue a bank "holiday" til Thursday. But with so many European countries that are on shakey ground it will cause run on other banks; even if they are silent runs.

The EU have basically just screwed themselves out of alot of foreign investment as well.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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so let me get this straight. Multinational corporations make weapons, like drones. The more the weapons are used, the more that are purchased. Making those multinational corporations very wealthy. Ireland then supports them further by giving them a tax haven.

i think you might have dropped your moral compass.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Did that boil it down enough? If the EU doesn't abandon austerity and get back to investing in infrastructure capable of generating economic growth this will not end well.
I'm guessing that things will "end badly" (meaning we'll pass through troubled economic times), no matter what governments try to do. This won't be limited to Cypress, the PIIGS, or even Europe, but will include the US, Japan, and perhaps even China.

It there's government-planned austerity, these troubles will probably come sooner. If governments try to "kick the can down the road" (is anyone else tired of this phrase, besides me?) or "invest in the future", the troubles will probably come later.

It's hard to say what kind of troubles we'll see. Some governments may rob savers with deliberate currency debasement or big-time inflation. (This is easier politically than confiscating bank deposits.) Other governments might levy asset taxes on 401K's, bank deposits, real estate, brokerage accounts, etc., or even confiscate physical assets like gold, in order to keep running a bit longer. Maybe we'll just see a deflationary collapse, and investors/savers/depositors will just lose money through defaults.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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so let me get this straight. Multinational corporations make weapons, like drones. The more the weapons are used, the more that are purchased. Making those multinational corporations very wealthy. Ireland then supports them further by giving them a tax haven.

i think you might have dropped your moral compass.
Google and Pfizer? Or Oracle and Facebook? Maybe Microsoft? Apple?
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm guessing there's a whole lot more companies that weren't listed.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:45 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I'm guessing there's a whole lot more companies that weren't listed.
The only US defense contractor in Ireland that I can think of is Accenture plc. I can't find anything about those in the talk of double Irish.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:52 PM   #22 (permalink)
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The only US defense contractor in Ireland that I can think of is Accenture plc. I can't find anything about those in the talk of double Irish.
Raytheon was there back when I was working on defense stuff. Buncha' fuckheads those guys are
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:52 PM   #23 (permalink)
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oh i see. so its fine unless say boeing uses ireland (boeing does, in fact, both make drones and use tax shelters but i cannot find out which they use.)

anyway i guess if they found ireland then your tax shelters would be bad?
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:57 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Raytheon was there back when I was working on defense stuff. Buncha' fuckheads those guys are
That was in Northern Ireland, no? That's the UK.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:58 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Raytheon was there back when I was working on defense stuff. Buncha' fuckheads those guys are
Worst... employer... ever....
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