The island nation of Cyprus today implemented a set of capital controls within its banking system so as to forestall a “run on its banks.” Having had a number of conversations with individuals since the onset of this meltdown in Cyprus, the consistent theme among people with whom I have spoken is one of increasing unease. Cyprus may be a small island nation with a level of economic activity that barely registers on the scale of international trade and overall output. That said, when funds can be expropriated in the manner in which these large depositors in Cyprus are experiencing, there is a ripple effect as people think, “how would I feel if that happened to me?” Responses to that daunting question have left people somewhat dumbfounded thinking that a Cyprus-like scenario could play out in their own financial backyards. People have shared the following reactions with me:“I do not know exactly what I would do but I would certainly go out of my mind.”“If those bastards ever tried to come after my money or my accounts, I would be beside myself.”“Could this actually happen here in America? I do not know how I would handle something like that.” Well, as the media downplays the actual reality of the expropriation of depositors funds in Cyprus, what do I think will be the fallout from the increasing unease that is clearly rippling throughout the world? I foresee the following: 1. A shifting of funds to those institutions deemed “too big to fail” while simultaneously seeing that funds do not rise above the maximum level protected by deposit insurance. 2. The storage of currency and other hard assets (gold, silver) within private households and safeguards. 3. A movement of currency out of banks and into other stores of value (hard assets) and other markets (including black markets). How do you feel? Does the situation in Cyprus unnerve you? Would love to hear from people as to what they think and how they feel. I thank you.Larry DoyleIsn’t it time or overtime to subscribe to all my work via e-mail, an RSS feed, on Twitter or Facebook. I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.
updated Mar 28, 2013
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