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Bank Seizure of Deposits Called “Wave of Future”

The resolution of the bank crisis in Cyprus by seizing depositors money and forcibly converting it into equity shares in the banks was hailed as “an innovative way out of a plethora of bad investments by bank officials” by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch chairman of the Eurozone.

“Under the old rules, losses incurred by bad investments would fall upon the stockholders and officers of the bank,” Dijsselbloem said. “Stockholders would typically lose their money and officers their jobs—all because of an imbalance between deposits and assets. By mandating the conversion of a portion of deposits into new shares the stockholders and officers of the bank can be insulated from the consequences of their errors.”

Dijsselbloem contended that “this solution is both humane and equitable. Those who have the ability to make large deposits in banks obviously have more money than they need. By requiring them to deploy this excess wealth for the benefit of others is a policy that places collective well-being ahead of individualistic greed.”


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