Spectacular bank heist in Cyprus

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

18 March 2013

A gang of ruthless bank robbers has been caught red-handed in the tiny Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

The robbers, all foreign, were caught with a haul of nearly € 6 billion in bank deposits.

Unfortunately, they soon overpowered those who rumbled the break-in – the people of Cyprus – and escaped to their lairs overseas.

Even more shocking is the discovery that the recently elected President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has admitted being implicated in the raid.

The robbers have been identified as belonging to a notorious international triad of sado-monetarists – the European Commission from Brussels, the European Central Bank from Frankfurt and the International Monetary Fund from Washington.

It has been known for some time that rightwinger Anastasiades had close ideological affinities with the triad and that he belonged to the same sado-monetarist family. It is also understood that the triad had campaigned actively for his election three weeks ago, on 24 February 2013, so that they would have “their man” in pole position when the heist took place.

Armed with lethal “bail-out” pistols, the safe-breakers threatened Anastasiades with the collapse of the entire Cypriot banking system unless he co-operated with them in the heist.

As a result of the burglary, everyone who has deposits of up to € 100 000 in a Cypriot bank has automatically lost nearly 7 % of their savings. Those with deposits of over € 100 000 have lost nearly 10 %.

According to press reports, Anastasiades had earlier promised the Cypriot electorate that their bank deposits would be safe in his hands.

Cyprus is not the first country that this band of ne’er-do-wells has attacked.

Wielding their notorious “austerity” jemmy, the robbers have an inglorious record of pillage and plunder in other European states rendered defenceless within the strait-jacket of the euro currency that the triad had initially tricked them into donning with the false promise that it would lead them into a land flowing with milk and honey.

However, this is the first time that they have looted the private bank accounts of individual depositors.

Fear is now spreading throughout Europe that Cyprus may be simply a dummy run for the raiders. Savers with bank deposits in other European states, many of which have already been pistol-whipped in triad “bail-outs”, are now quaking in their shoes.

Greece, Portugal and Ireland, in particular, may be in the firing-line alongside Italy and Spain.

International investors are now likely to give the European Union a wide berth when they consider where to place their funds.

And who could blame them?


A more conventional account of what happened might run like this:

In the boom years, like other banks in euro-currency zone, the Cypriot banks had lent out excessively. After 2008, when the boom collapsed, many of the loans turned sour and so today the  banks find themselves critically short of capital.

What to do?

The triad – Brussels, Frankfurt and Washington – have delivered an ultimatum to the Cypriot state: we will bail out your banks with a loan of € 10 billion provided that you get your hands on another € 5.8 billion by raiding your savers’ bank deposits.

The triad’s man on the inside, Presient Anastasiades. agreed.

As a result, savers with deposits of up to € 100 000 are scheduled to lose 6.75 % of their savings. Those with deposits of over € 100 000 are in line to lose 9.9%.

This appears to run directly contrary to a European Union agreement in 2008 which was interpreted to mean that bank deposits of up to € 100 000 at least would be protected under any circumstances.

So what have we here in a nutshell?

The Cypriot banks are being bailed out by robbing the bank’s depositors.

In most countries to walk off with depositors’ hard-earned savings is regarded as an extremely serious crime.

Instead, the seizure of personal bank deposits is being passed off as a “stability levy”.

As a result of the imposition of this “stability levy”, stock markets plunged today throughout the world – in Europe, Asia and America – with billions of dollars being wiped off the value of shares.

Banks in Cyprus have been closed till Thursday (21 March 2013) because of the crisis.

A much-postponed meeting of the Cypriot parliament is due to meet tomorrow evening (19 March 2013) to vote on the “rescue” package.  Anastasiades’ Democratic Rally party has only 20 seats in the 56-member assembly and so will need the support of other parties to ratify the deal. It is by no means certain that he will get it.

International condemnation of the move, led by Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose nationals have invested heavily in Cyprus, has been widespread. Financial analysts across the globe have been scathing in their condemnation of the move, which has radically undermined the European Union’s standing as a safe haven for international investment.

If this is stability, then I’m a Dutchman.

Good night.


 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)

2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)

3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)

4. Capitalism in practice  (4 July 2012) 

5.Ladder  (21 June 2012)

 6. A tale of two cities (1)  (6 June 2012)

 7. A tale of two cities (2)  (7 June 2012)

 8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.


This entry was posted in Economics, Europe, Greece, Russia, USA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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