November 20, 2011

EU enforcing capital repatriation from Switzerland

No doubt we are witnessing in the Euro zone massive capital flights from PIIGS countries to safer core Euro countries. Greece and Italy are experiencing an exodus of capitals to Switzerland and other stable European countries and offshore locations.
Finally this has caught the attention of the EU and a move is being made in Brussels to “force” the Swiss government/banks to transfer all of the assets of Greek citizens back to the Greek banks. For a Greek this means that your money is hostage. It has been functionally expropriated. It will be transferred into a banking system that is fraught with risk. Some portion of the money that goes back to Greece will certainly be lost. This is setting a dangerous precedent for more masive interventions in capital controls should the situation degenerate in the future.

- BRUSSELS—The European Commission is helping Greece negotiate an agreement with Switzerland to repatriate as much as $81 billion believed to be hidden in Swiss bank accounts, a high level European Union executive body official said Nov. 17.

The European Commission is working with Switzerland and Greece stop what it believes is an ongoing exodus of money from Greek bank accounts into Swiss and other offshore banking centers, the EU official said.
We have a situation developing where the European Union is effectively trying to institute capital controls.
The fear of broader capital controls and more repatriation will spread like wildfire. The fact is, capital flight is a very reasonable response in our current environment. Capital controls that either stop or reverse it will undermine confidence and create a panic the will feed a gigantic exodus of capitals to countries out of reach of the EU grasp.
Officials in Brussels are unleashing hell.
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