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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
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Cyprus: When the Law Prescribes Theft

Now is a good time for the EU to take stock and recognize that the entire Cyprus problem, like the Greece problem, was created by the actions of government.
President of Cyprus Dimitris Christofias

President of Cyprus Dimitris Christofias
Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / FLASH90

What Cyprus needs is positive help – geopolitical, regulatory, investment – to strengthen her economy.  Her banks can’t be made liquid and viable by any other method.  The Russians have descended on her over the past 20 years with entrepreneurial excitement, but they’ve done so in the context of the E.U. orientation of Cyprus.  Politically, Cyprus was on her own.  Why don’t, say, the Brits and Dutch descend on her with entrepreneurial interest, plus a political interest in building up Cyprus as a thriving European outpost?  There’s going to be a new status quo; the time to start shaping it is now.

But “E.U.-ism” is probably not constituted to do anything about that, even if some can see the need for it.  This is a big test for the E.U. concept, whose fundamental approach is to assume static political and economic conditions and increase regulation in the context of them.  In the absence of an economic surge, restructuring the Cypriot banks may briefly satisfy our ideas of financial management, but it’s basically a paperwork drill.  The E.U., as it has been practiced up to now, doesn’t have a useful answer to the Cyprus question.  We’ll be doing all this again before too long.

Originally published at The Optimistic Conservative.

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2 Responses to “Cyprus: When the Law Prescribes Theft”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    "But the whole region will take a longer-term blow from the loss of Cyprus as a place for upstart businesses to park capital. "

    They can park it in any ordinary bank! Cyprus banks were paying interest rates far higher than the market. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Insured depositors are getting their money, but everyone else is losing. That is exactly what happens when a bank is closed by the FDIC in the US.

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    "But the whole region will take a longer-term blow from the loss of Cyprus as a place for upstart businesses to park capital. "

    They can park it in any ordinary bank! Cyprus banks were paying interest rates far higher than the market. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Insured depositors are getting their money, but everyone else is losing. That is exactly what happens when a bank is closed by the FDIC in the US.

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