It is in their blood. Bankers are born believing they can risk people’s assets and then come back to ask for financial rescues to pay for the losses that weren’t even theirs.
What are the real chances that the European Union applies the same medicine to other members nations in an effort to ‘save’ the Euro? According to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch chairman of the eurozone, more looting is possible in places like France, Italy and Spain, three of the most heavily burdened countries in the economic bloc.
Dijsselbloem said yesterday that the European technocratic organization would do what is necessary, that includes taking more money from depositors and investors in other countries, the keep the Euro afloat. The statement sent shocks and sounded alarms all over European markets.
The plan revealed by Mr. Dijsselbloem should not be a surprise for those who closely follow what’s going on in the old continent and almost everywhere in the world. The openness of many other countries to apply for the same kind of aid that Cyprus did this week will hold shareholders, bondholders and even bank depositors hostage to the thirst of the European bankers who in in addition to causing the debt crisis are now demanding that the poorest in the continent pay for the losses of their gambling.
Given the uproar caused by his words, Dijsselbloem’s communication department quickly tried to soften them, but the stone had been already thrown. Now that people all over Europe and the world know of the bankers’ plans, it is likely they will proceed with caution. It is even possible that they delay further raids in other countries in order to calm the markets and the insecurity created by the statement issued on the same say when most details about the so-called Cypriot bailout was completed.
Dijsselbloem has revived fears that awoke while the Eurogroup endorsed and then rectified the confiscation of deposits in accounts with 100,000 euros or more by imposing a new tax. This measure is the first in the history of the European Union.
Banking professor Juan Ignacio Sanz Esade of Spain says it is possible that something similar might happen in Spain in the “medium or long term”. He emphasizes that “there is a great suspicion when trying to recognize our own responsibilities.” For Sanz, Spain’s Bankia is one of the first candidates to suffer the same fate as Litzki and Bank of Cyprus. “Bankia is likely to continue falling if the market remains in this situation” and states that “no banking unit will be strong in Europe until all banks are cleaned up.”
The European currency fell after Jeroen Dijsselbloem, announced that example of Cyprus can be the model for future takeovers anywhere in Europe. “If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be ‘Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalise yourself?’,” he said. “If the bank can’t do it, then we’ll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we’ll ask them to contribute in recapitalising the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders.”
The problem with this is that the bankers are only partners in crime with the largest banking institutions in the continent, so the public would do a disservice to themselves by believing that their local banks have their best interests in mind. Cyprus is a clear example of that. Neither can depositors or investors trust their politicians, because as it has been seen in Cyprus, they are easy pray for technocrats who use baseless threats to inflict fear on them.
It is important to remember that with the banking takeover in Cyprus two things became apparent. First, no one’s savings or investments are safe in any bank, and second, previous policies that protected savers’ funds according to the amount they had in their accounts have also been ditched. Now, according to Mr. Dijsselbloem, all accounts are fair game. It is expected that private investors and depositors be hit to pay for bad banking debts.