Response to Demeter (Reply #12)
Mon Mar 25, 2013, 12:44 PM
Demeter (85,373 posts)
48. Estimate now 40%
Mainstream Media Says Cyprus Salvaged By EU Deal, I Say Cyprus Is Sacrificed By Said Deal - Thrown Into Depression by Reggie Middleton
...I was curious to see how they could impose losses on insured accounts in the first place, after all the accounts were insured basically (through implied backstop) by the same entities (EU/EC/ECB) that were attempting to force the loss, no?
It imposes losses that two EU officials said would be no more than 40 percent on uninsured depositors at Bank of Cyprus Plc, the largest bank, which will take over the viable assets of Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl (CPB), the second biggest.
Losses of 40% are outrageous, particularly considering this is the most liquid and presumably the most sacrosanct tier of the capital structure. How can one assume that this will not have extremely negative repercussions?
Cyprus Popular Bank, 84 percent owned by the government, will be wound down. Those who will be largely wiped out include uninsured depositors and bondholders, including senior creditors. Senior bondholders will also contribute to the recapitalization of Bank of Cyprus.
Here we see the bondholders, both junior and senior taking losses. This is interesting, like in Ireland, all of the market risk takers are assuming losses, many of these losses are absolute. Of even greater interest is what happens when the depositors are added into the fray. Now, junior and senior bondholders, as well as depositors are on guard. The ONLY likely scenario to occur when these banks re-open is capital flight, capital controls or not!
Banks in Cyprus, which have been shut for the past week, will remain closed until further notice. Lawmakers in Cyprus voted last week to impose capital controls to prevent a run on deposits when they reopen. “This solution we reached tonight doesn’t have the downsides that the solution of last week did,” said Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chairman of the euro ministers’ panel.
Yeah, they can try to prevent the run on deposits, and even with some limited success, but now that you have wiped out (or nearly wiped out) junior and senior creditors as well as depositors, you have a lot more holes to plug in that liquidity dam, don't you?
MORE WONDER AND DEBASEMENT AT LINK
Using this European bank as a proxy for Bear Stearns in January of 2008, another bank collapse situation that I warned of months in advance (see Is this the Breaking of the Bear?). The tall stalk represents the liabilities behind the bank's illiquid level 2 and level 3 assets (including the ill fated mortgage products). Equity is destroyed as the assets leveraged through the use of these liabilities are nearly halved in value, leaving mostly liabilities. The maroon stalk represents the extreme risk posed by capital flight through a depositor run, which Cypriot officials feel they have controlled through capital controls, still there is the excessive reliance on very short term liabilities to fund very long term and illiquid assets that have depreciated in price. Wait, there's more!
The green represents the unseen canary in the coal mine, and the reason why Bear Stearns and Lehman ultimately collapsed. As excerpted from "The Fuel Behind Institutional “Runs on the Bank" Burns Through Europe, Lehman-Style":
The modern central banking system has proven resilient enough to fortify banks against depositor runs, as was recently exemplified in the recent depositor runs on UK, Irish, Portuguese and Greek banks – most of which received relatively little fanfare. Where the risk truly lies in today’s fiat/fractional reserve banking system is the run on counterparties. Today’s global fractional reserve bank get’s more financing from institutional counterparties than any other source save its short term depositors. In cases of the perception of extreme risk, these counterparties are prone to pull funding are request overcollateralization for said funding. This is what precipitated the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, the pulling of liquidity by skittish counterparties, and the excessive capital/collateralization calls by other counterparties. Keep in mind that as some counterparties and/or depositors pull liquidity, covenants are tripped that often demand additional capital/collateral/ liquidity be put up by the remaining counterparties, thus daisy-chaining into a modern day run on the bank!
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