Karl Whelan explica tem duas óptimas peças na Forbes a explicar o que se passou na reunião do Eurogrupo e quais as consequências que a decisão cipriota poderá ter para o resto da Europa. Cyprus depositor tax: genius plan or the end of the euro? e Cyprys deposit levy: no panic yet but scary long term consequences.
Second, the decision to apply the levy to people with deposits under €100,000, who were covered by a deposit insurance scheme, has severely undermined the credibility of these schemes throughout Europe. The ongoing delays in passing the legislation to introduce the levy indicate the possibility that this part of the levy could be rolled back with the full burden falling on uninsured deposits.
Hopefully, this reversal will occur because the current design of the scheme is unnecessarily unfair. But the fact that this element was part of the original proposal will have damaged the reputation of deposit insurance schemes across Europe. (And this at a time when the European Commission has been working to harmonize and improve deposit guarantee schemes.)
Third, once this tool has been used once, there is likely to be external pressure for it to be used again when other European banks get into trouble, an event that is as sure to happen as night following day.
In fact, once the dust settles in Cyprus, those who are less well off in other countries may come around to the viewpoint that levies on uninsured deposits are a fairer way to deal with failing banks than sticking all of their debts on taxpayers. Depositors in Spain may not feel today that their money is currently in danger. However, given the full extent of unrealized bad debts in Europe, it is hard to see why anyone should rule out depositor levies being imposed elsewhere in the future.
A final observation for now: How foolish must Ireland’s citizens be feeling today? After being reassured time and again that all depositors and senior bond creditors of the now-defunct Anglo Irish Bank must be saved in the name of European financial stability, now they find out that Europe’s leaders now believe hair-cutting depositors is fine and fair and doesn’t cause contagion. The moral grounds for a retrospective compensation deal for Ireland have increased substantially with this new development.