Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cyprus Bailout Rattles Eurozone and Global Markets

Over the weekend we were busy getting our new HQ up to full operational speed. A sense of normality sets in and I am working on three projects which take up all my free time which has unfortunately resulted in me not being able to satisfy my girlfriend sexually anymore. She is very unhappy with our love life and our life in general and according to her I carry to burden of the blame.

I have been trying to talk to her about my issues, but I feel I am talking to a disinterested person who is now being courted by one of our enemies and she is more open to the idea than I would like. She started to play a dangerous game and if she is not careful she may cross the line into outright betrayal. I feel as if my private life is suffering as a result of intense pressure from my career. She was very understanding until about two months ago. Now she enjoys her excursions into dangerous waters which may impact our future together. She flirts with fire and may end up burning down the mansion.

It is 0614 hours in the morning and I am headed back from the gym and straight to the office as my personal assistant calls me in order to inform me about the latest developments out of Cyprus. We are well aware of the fact that they require a financial bailout as a series of horrible financial decisions dragged the tiny island nation into deep waters. Their Eurozone membership makes this quite a delicate situation.

The majority had ignored the Eurozone problems and pushed them far into the background which allowed them to grow in silence and are now bigger than ever. Cyprus was locked into heavy discussions over the weekend in order to come up with a plan to save their financial system and satisfy foreign requirements for a financial bailout.

The shocking news were unveiled late Sunday which even caught Brussels off-guard. The Cypriot government will force bank depositors to participate in the financial bailout. The ECB under German pressure is very reluctant to commit to a full financial bailout as a large amount of Russian money is sheltered away in Cyprus. Among the money is also that of crime cartels which has been a huge stumbling block for a bailout.

Russia has no interest in participating in any ill-willed bailout and stands on the sidelines, unless of course the EU will give into Russian demands which would be for the mutual benefit of both parties involved. As for now any financial bailout will be without Russian participation, but the oligarchs will welcome European taxpayers who are forced to bail them out.

Cypress will force depositors to participate and the initial proposal was that each deposit under €100,000 will be forced to participate with 6.75% while accounts above €100,000 will be forced to participate with 9.9%. Brussels and Frankfurt were pleased, and President Anastasiades was rumored to have 29 parliamentary votes for his proposal, the minimum required to pass it.

Cyprus was supposed to vote on Monday, but during the afternoon the vote was canceled which indicates more problems with the proposal itself. Early Monday morning President Anastasiades was reported to change the forced depositor’s bailout by reducing the amount paid by accounts with less than €100,000 to 3% and those above €100,000 in double digits, potentially between 12% and 15%. Banks were closed on Monday for a bank holiday and will remain closed today as well until the vote takes place which is scheduled for this afternoon.

Germany applauds the bailout while Russia so far is the only source to smell a foul play when it sees on. The Kremlin stated that Cyprus acted in an unfair as well as unprofessional manner and started to play a dangerous game. Everyone knows that almost no Cypriot has a deposit above €100,000 and that this is a way to legally steal money from wealthy foreigners who were lured to Cyprus due to very business friendly conditions.

It appears as Cyprus now tries to bite the hand which was feeding it and turns its back on business friendly policies which is a rather unsettling development. Depositors will receive equity stakes in bailed out banks as well as government bonds which are tied to future revenues generated from Cyprus’ natural gas developments.

It appears as Cyprus tries to force it population to invest which may end up as a net gain for its citizens while it steals the money which was deposited by wealthy foreign clients as well as corporations. Since Germany applauds this deal while Russia is determined to get even should the vote pass this tiny country could cause a huge divide and destabilize the entire political landscape in Europe. Cyprus may be the spark which will ignite the fire.

I pull into the parking garage after passing our security check-point and thank my personal assistant for the update. I order my breakfast and she informs she that she took the liberty to set-up breakfast on the balcony for me knowing today will be a busy day. I enjoy her proactive initiative and she does make my life a lot easier. Cyprus will definitely keep us busy and on alert. I need to assemble our FWU and create an action plan as I have this feeling that we will either need it ourselves or be asked to engage by a party of interest.

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