Analysts, Politicians: Bank Levy in Cyprus Sheer Larceny

World | March 19, 2013, Tuesday // 15:53|  views

Cypriots protest against the EU bailout, which would require a one-time tax on bank deposits. Photo by Getty Images

Analysts and politicians have joined the chorus of outrage against the proposed levy on deposits in Cyprus, slamming it as a government-sponsored larceny.

"The very nature of banking has been shaken to its roots with this decision, for banking depends upon trust," Dennis Gartman, the investor, wrote in a note to his clients, cited by the New York Times.

"Trust that has now been shattered; torn asunder, broken ... destroyed."

Jim O'Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, called the decision an "astonishing move" with "little thought of contagion to the rest of the euro zone, and indeed perhaps the world."

Mark J. Grant, a market commentator who has been predicting an economic apocalypse in Europe for years, went so far as to compare the terms of the bailout with "rape."

"Pay attention please. The European Union and the European Central Bank and the IMF have just advocated the confiscation of private property for their own indulgence," he said.

The more moderate commentators have pointed out that even though the bailout of Cyprus is a fascinating case study, it is largely irrelevant to the global economy - Cyprus is tiny and the bailout is worth a "paltry" USD 13 B.

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Tags: Cyprus, bank, levy, tax, savers


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