World Politics

Cyprus: Could There Now be a Run on Spanish, Italian & Greek Banks?

17 Mar 2013 at 21:02

Well if I lived in Spain. Greece or Italy, do you know what I would be doing tomorrow? Trotting off down to my local bank and withdrawing all my savings and then either stuffing it under my mattress, putting it into a German bank, or buying property or gold with it.

Future historians may look back on today and decide it was the day which marked the beginning of the end for the euro, or the European banking system. I could hardly believe my ears when I heard last night that the Cypriots were being forced to levy money from savings accounts by Brussels. Even if you ignore the fact that it is totally unfair on people who have saved up money for their retirements (or other purposes) and they have already paid tax on it, it is surely economically stupid too. The only conclusion will be that savers in other countries will take the hint and launch a stampede on their own banks. Frankly, if they don’t they will be acting irrationally. It might not happen tomorrow or next week, but the next time there is any future crisis with the euro, you can bet your bottom euro it will happen.

Thank God we are not part of it. And that may well turn out to be Gordon Brown’s biggest legacy.