Cyprus Gets Bailout At Expense of Depositors


Cyprus finally got its European-backed bailout, but it’s not a rosy situation for some depositors who will see their investments virtually wiped out from the Mediterranean nation’s largest banks:

Cyprus clinched a last-ditch deal with international lenders to shut down its second-largest bank and inflict heavy losses on uninsured depositors, including wealthy Russians, in return for a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout.
Swiftly backed by euro zone finance ministers, the plan will spare the Mediterranean island a financial meltdown by winding down the largely state-owned Popular Bank of Cyprus, also known as Laiki, and shifting deposits below 100,000 euros to the Bank of Cyprus to create a “good bank”.

Deposits above 100,000 euros in both banks, which are not guaranteed under EU law, will be frozen and used to resolve Laiki’s debts and recapitalize Bank of Cyprus through a deposit/equity conversion.

The deal has caused friction between Russia and Germany, which orchestrated the bailout. As noted in the excerpt above, many wealthy Russians had money in Cypriot banks, but have now seen their assets disappear over night.

#NDAA: Leading to the #Holocaust?

Some folks over at MTV better lock up their doors, because a couple of videos they just created (EDIT: Apparently, these videos are old, but they are still incredibly relevant to what’s going on right now. Thanks, northnodes.) are making a very interesting argument about the National Defense Authorization Act, and I doubt that will keep them in the government’s good graces.

There’s the old Internet rule called “Godwin’s Law,” but after seeing what our government is trying to do, I’m not convinced anyone should ever bring it up.

On one hand, we have SOPA threatening to remove our internet access if we so merely link to a music video, and on the other, we have the NDAA threatening to lock us up on the whims of some government bureaucrat. Between them? Well, no it’s not that dwindling area of freedom, its the Transportation Security Administration, conducting its campaign of government sponsored sexual molestation at our nation’s airports.

Bernanke speaks to the press

The Federal Reserve, which has faced much criticism in recent years over its constant intervention in the nation’s economy, did something it hasn’t done in its 98 year history; it held a press conference. Ben Bernanke defended the Federal Reserve’s actions to reporters and alleviate concerns over inflation:

[Bernanke] mostly retraced familiar ground, and the markets rose only slightly as he spoke, suggesting that investors learned little of consequence, although the three major indexes ended the day strongly. The news was in the spectacle of a Fed chairman addressing public concerns on live television.

The central bank, so careful for so long to cultivate a sense that it was above politics, will now hold regular news conferences just like so many others in Washington, hoping to improve its image and build support for its policies.

Mr. Bernanke’s message Wednesday was that the Fed was doing all it could to spur growth and increase employment without causing inflation to rise. He said that inflation must take precedence over employment because inflation would result in job losses.

“While it is very, very important to help the economy create jobs and help to support the recovery, I think every central banker understands that keeping inflation low is absolutely essential to a successful economy, and we will do what we can to make sure that happens,” he said.

He spoke after the Fed lowered its projections for domestic economic growth in 2011, predicting growth of 3.1 to 3.3 percent. In January, the Fed had predicted growth of 3.4 to 3.9 percent, but Mr. Bernanke said that exports, construction spending and military spending had all been lower than expected.

Merkel schools Obama

President Barack Obama is getting an economics lesson from German Chancellor Angela Merkel:

Chancellor Angela Merkel championed German export strength as “the right thing” for her country, spurning President Barack Obama’s call to boost private spending as both leaders prepare for Group of 20 talks.

Merkel, addressing a business audience in Berlin today, said she told Obama in a phone call that cutting government debt is “absolutely important for us,” exposing a second point of contention ahead of the June 26-27 G-20 summit in Canada.

Reducing the budget deficit by 10 billion euros ($12 billion) per year “won’t put a brake on the world’s economic growth,” Merkel said, relating what she told Obama yesterday. Germans are more likely to spend money if they feel the government “is taking precautions” to ensure solid finances, she said.

While Obama is urging countries in the G-20 to spend, spend, spend. Merkel is basically saying that spending more money, or the Keynesian tactic of “stimulating” the economy through deficit spending, will only set Germany up for failure in the future.

Accepting fiscal advice from the United States is like going to a drug dealer to break a heroin habit.

Rammstein Catches Censorship In Germany

The groundbreaking industrial rock band Rammstein has caught a storm of censorship in Germany for their new Liebe Ich Fur Alle Da (Love Is There For Everyone):

Rammstein has reached its goal. The band’s best-selling new album “Liebe ist für alle da” (“Love is There for Everyone”) has been taken off German shelves after offending government censors — a first for the bad boys of German rock.

The news reached the band while it was preparing for its European tour, which starts in Portugal and takes it through the continent’s major concert venues. Rammstein’s new album “Liebe ist für alle da” (“Love is There for Everyone”), which was topping the German charts, was “indexed,” or censored, by the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons. As of last Wednesday, it was only allowed to be sold to adults with identification. It was an interesting coincidence that the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall were beginning in Berlin at the same time, because the Rammstein case is also a tale of art in reunified Germany.

With a song titled “Pussy,” which features a music video where the band members literally have sex with several porn stars, it’s no wonder that Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da has raised the ire of Germany’s politicians.

While I would argue that Rammstein is a rock band of a calibre that the United States has few to match, this story provides a great example of why we should be grateful to live in the United States. The First Amendment of the Constitution has kept our Tipper Gores and Hillary Clintons from enacting their own American Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons.

Remembering the Victims of Communism

See Video

20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

See Video

Video put together by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Reagan: Tear Down This Wall

See Video

Because Motherhood Isn’t Enough of a Reward, You Deserve a Medal. And Money

Hitler certainly used Christianity as a tool for accomplishing his policy objectives. During the Nazi regime, for example, a Christian cross was given to German mothers as a symbolic gesture honoring their decision to “do the Lord’s will” and have babies. Christian imagery and symbolism proved effective propaganda tactics for Hitler, especially with respect to policies for the growth of a “strong German Nazi Volk”. Hitler seeded his Volk-expansion plans with programs which encouraged the virtues of German motherhood, including the sacred duty of motherhood and the abolition of abortions (except for the mentally ill). 91

Why Free Speech Matters

I am amazed at how easily Americans, both conservative and liberal, ignore the infringement upon the liberties of “other groups”, while giving little to no thought in the ultimate ramifications of doing so. The late German pastor Martin Niemöller said it better than anyone in “First they came…”-

“In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;

And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;

And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.