No Bank Deposits Will Be Spared from Confiscation

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Matthias Chang
futurefastforward.com
April 30, 2013

I challenge anyone to prove me wrong that confiscation of bank deposits is legalized daylight robbery

Bank depositors in the UK and USA may think that their bank deposits would not be confiscated as they are insured and no government would dare embark on such a drastic action to bail out insolvent banks.

Before I explain why confiscation of bank deposits in the UK and US is a certainty and absolutely legal, I need all readers of this article to do the following:

Ask your local police, sheriffs, lawyers, judges the following questions:

1) If I place my money with a lawyer as a stake-holder and he uses the money without my consent, has the lawyer committed a crime?

2) If I store a bushel of wheat or cotton in a warehouse and the owner of the warehouse sold my wheat/cotton without my consent or authority, has the warehouse owner committed a crime?

3) If I place monies with my broker (stock or commodity) and the broker uses my monies for other purposes and or contrary to my instructions, has the broker committed a crime?

I am confident that the answer to the above questions is a Yes!

However, for the purposes of this article, I would like to first highlight the situation of the deposit / storage of wheat with a warehouse owner in relation to the deposit of money / storage with a banker.

First, you will notice that all wheat is the same i.e. the wheat in one bushel is no different from the wheat in another bushel. Likewise with cotton, it is indistinguishable. The deposit of a bushel of wheat with the warehouse owner in law constitutes a bailment. Ownership of the bushel of wheat remains with you and there is no transfer of ownership at all to the warehouse owner.

And as stated above, if the owner sells the bushel of wheat without your consent or authority, he has committed a crime as well as having committed a civil wrong (a tort) of conversion – converting your property to his own use and he can be sued.

Let me use another analogy. If a cashier in a supermarket removes $100 from the till on Friday to have a frolic on Saturday, he has committed theft, even though he may replace the $100 on Monday without the knowledge of the owner / manager of the supermarket. The $100 the cashier stole on Friday is also indistinguishable from the $100 he put back in the till on Monday. In both situations – the wheat in the warehouse and the $100 dollar bill in the till, which have been unlawfully misappropriated would constitute a crime.

Keep this principle and issue at the back of your mind.

Now we shall proceed with the money that you have deposited with your banker.

I am sure that most of you have little or no knowledge about banking, specifically fractional reserve banking.

Since you were a little kid, your parents have encouraged you to save some money to instil in you the good habit of money management.

And when you grew up and got married, you in turn instilled the same discipline in your children. Your faith in the integrity of the bank is almost absolute. Your money in the bank would earn an interest income.

And when you want your money back, all you needed to do is to withdraw the money together with the accumulated interest. Never for a moment did you think that you had transferred ownership of your money to the bank. Your belief was grounded in like manner as the owner of the bushel of wheat stored in the warehouse.

However, this belief is and has always been a lie. You were led to believe this lie because of savvy advertisements by the banks and government assurances that your money is safe and is protected by deposit insurance.

But, the insurance does not cover all the monies that you have deposited in the bank, but to a limited amount e.g. $250,000 in the US by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Germany €100,000, UK £85,000 etc.

But, unlike the owner of the bushel of wheat who has deposited the wheat with the warehouse owner, your ownership of the monies that you have deposited with the bank is transferred to the bank and all you have is the right to demand its repayment. And, if the bank fails to repay your monies (e.g. $100), your only remedy is to sue the bank and if the bank is insolvent you get nothing.

You may recover some of your money if your deposit is covered by an insurance scheme as referred to earlier but in a fixed amount. But, there is a catch here. Most insurance schemes whether backed by the government or not do not have sufficient monies to cover all the deposits in the banking system.

So, in the worst case scenario – a systemic collapse, there is no way for you to get your money back.

In fact, and as illustrated in the Cyprus banking fiasco, the authorities went to the extent of confiscating your deposits to pay the banks’ creditors. When that happened, ordinary citizens and financial analysts cried out that such confiscation was daylight robbery. But, is it?

Surprise, surprise!

It will come as a shock to all of you to know that such daylight robbery is perfectly legal and this has been so for hundreds of years.

Let me explain.

The reason is that unlike the owner of the bushel of wheat whose ownership of the wheat WAS NEVER TRANSFERRED to the warehouse owner when the same was deposited, the moment you deposited your money with the bank, the ownership is transferred to the bank.

Your status is that of A CREDITOR TO THE BANK and the BANK IS IN LAW A DEBTOR to you. You are deemed to have “lent” your money to the bank for the bank to apply to its banking business (even to gamble in the biggest casino in the world – the global derivatives casino).

You have become a creditor, AN UNSECURED CREDITOR. Therefore, by law, in the insolvency of a bank, you as an unsecured creditor stand last in the queue of creditors to be paid out of any funds and or assets which the bank has to pay its creditors. The secured creditors are always first in line to be paid. It is only after secured creditors have been paid and there are still some funds left (usually, not much, more often zilch!) that unsecured creditors are paid and the sums pro-rated among all the unsecured creditors.

This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The law has been in existence for hundreds of years and was established in England by the House of Lords in the case Foley v Hill in 1848.

When a customer deposits money with his banker, the relationship that arises is one of creditor and debtor, with the banker liable to repay the money deposited when demanded by the customer. Once money has been paid to the banker, it belongs to the banker and he is free to use the money for his own purpose.

I will now quote the relevant portion of the judgment of the House of Lords handed down by Lord Cottenham, the Lord Chancellor. He stated thus:

Money when paid into a bank, ceases altogether to be the money of the principal… it is then the money of the banker, who is bound to return an equivalent by paying a similar sum to that deposited with him when he is asked for it.

The money paid into the banker’s, is money known by the principal to be placed there for the purpose of being under the control of the banker; it is then the banker’s money; he is known to deal with it as his own; he makes what profit of it he can, which profit he retains himself,…

The money placed in the custody of the banker is, to all intent and purposes, the money of the banker, to do with it as he pleases; he is guilty of no breach of trust in employing it; he is not answerable TO THE PRINCIPAL IF HE PUTS IT INTO JEOPARDY, IF HE ENGAGES IN A HAZARDOUS SPECULATION; he is not bound to keep it or deal with it as the property of the principal, but he is of course answerable for the amount, because he has contracted, having received that money, to repay to the principal, when demanded, a sum equivalent to that paid into his hands.” (quoted in UK Law Essays,  Relationship Between A Banker And Customer,That Of A Creditor/Debtor, emphasis added,)

Holding that the relationship between a banker and his customer was one of debtor and creditor and not one of trusteeship, Lord Brougham said:

“This trade of a banker is to receive money, and use it as if it were his own, he becoming debtor to the person who has lent or deposited with him the money to use as his own, and for which money he is accountable as a debtor. I cannot at all confound the situation of a banker with that of a trustee, and conclude that the banker is a debtor with a fiduciary character.”

In plain simple English – bankers cannot be prosecuted for breach of trust, because it owes no fiduciary duty to the depositor / customer, as he is deemed to be using his own money to speculate etc. There is absolutely no criminal liability.

The trillion dollar question is, Why has no one in the Justice Department or other government agencies mentioned this legal principle?

The reason why no one dare speak this legal truth is because there would be a run on the banks when all the Joe Six-Packs wise up to the fact that their deposits with the bankers CONSTITUTE IN LAW A LOAN TO THE BANK and the bank can do whatever it likes even to indulge in hazardous speculation such as gambling in the global derivative casino.

The Joe Six-Packs always consider the bank the creditor even when he deposits money in the bank. No depositor ever considers himself as the creditor!

Yes, Eric Holder, the US Attorney-General is right when he said that bankers cannot be prosecuted for the losses suffered by the bank. This is because a banker cannot be prosecuted for losing his “own money” as stated by the House of Lords. This is because when money is deposited with the bank, that money belongs to the banker.

The reason that if a banker is prosecuted it would collapse the entire banking system is a big lie.

The US Attorney-General could not and would not state the legal principle because it would cause a run on the banks when people discover that their monies are not safe with bankers as they can in law use the monies deposited as their own even to speculate.

What is worrisome is that your right to be repaid arises only when you demand payment.

Obviously, when you demand payment, the bank must pay you. But, if you demand payment after the bank has collapsed and is insolvent, it is too late. Your entitlement to be repaid is that of a lonely unsecured creditor and only if there are funds left after liquidation to be paid out to all the unsecured creditors and the remaining funds to be pro-rated. You would be lucky to get ten cents on the dollar.

So, when the Bank of England, the FED and the BIS issued the guidelines which became the template for the Cyprus “bail-in” (which was endorsed by the G-20 Cannes Summit in 2011), it was merely a circuitous way of stating the legal position without arousing the wrath of the people, as they well knew that if the truth was out, there would be a revolution and blood on the streets. It is therefore not surprising that the global central bankers came out with this nonsensical advisory:

“The objective of an effective resolution regime is to make feasible the resolution of financial institutions without severe systemic disruption and without exposing taxpayers to losses, while protecting vital economic functions through mechanisms which make it possible for shareholders and unsecured and uninsured creditors to absorb losses in a manner that respects the hierarchy of claims in liquidation.”(quoted in FSB Consultative Document: Effective Resolution of Systemically…)

This is the kind of complex technical jargon used by bankers to confuse the people, especially depositors and to cover up what I have stated in plain and simple English in the foregoing paragraphs.

The key words of the BIS guideline are:

“without severe systemic disruptions” (i.e. bank runs),

“while protecting vital economic functions” (i.e. protecting vested interests – bankers),

“unsecured creditors” (i.e. your monies, you are the dummy),

“respects the hierarchy of claims in liquidation” (i.e. you are last in the queue to be paid, after all secured creditors have been paid).

This means all depositors are losers!

Please read this article carefully and spread it far and wide.

You will be doing a favour to all your fellow country men and women and more importantly, your family and relatives.

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REMEMBER the Canadian 2013 Tax Banker Speak on “BAIL IN” (see above) Wake Up Sheople they will steel your MONEY and not think twice about it. In fact if anything they have been planning it for a while probably since before the G-20 Cannes Summit in 2011. There a den of thieves and always have been In fact there a den of ARCH criminals with this upcoming theft of your money to be one of the lesser of there crimes which include fomenting wars for there own profit,genocide,murder kidnapping,fraud,conspiracy,terrorism,bombing,over throw government etc.etc.etc. So if you still think your Hard Earned Money is safe in one of there criminal bank enterprises globally ,I’ll tell you what Hi I’m Fred and I’m opening a safe bank Just give me your money and I promise to keep it real safe for you I’ll hide it in my fireplace  Oops!!! Get the point, If not there’s no help for  you, so remember  when the train come its to late to ask were are we going???

 

The Confiscation of Savings in Canada? Cyprus-Style “Bail-Ins” Proposed by Ottawa Government

By The Economic Collapse Blog

Global Research, March 31, 2013

 

steal

The politicians of the western world are coming after your bank accounts. In fact, Cyprus-style “bail-ins” are actually proposed in the new Canadian government budget. When I first heard about this I was quite skeptical, so I went and looked it up for myself. And guess what? It is right there in black and white on pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013″ which the Harper government has already submitted to the House of Commons.

This new budget actually proposes “to implement a ‘bail-in’ regime for systemically important banks” in Canada. “Economic Action Plan 2013″ was submitted on March 21st, which means that this “bail-in regime” was likely being planned long before the crisis in Cyprus ever erupted. So exactly what in the world is going on here? In addition, as you will see below, it is being reported that the European Parliament will soon be voting on a law which would require that large banks be “bailed in” when they fail. In other words, that new law would make Cyprus-style bank account confiscation the law of the land for the entire EU

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(CRIMINAL STEPHEN HARPER)

I can’t even begin to describe how serious all of this is. From now on, when major banks fail they are going to bail them out by grabbing the money that is in your bank accounts. This is going to absolutely shatter faith in the banking system and it is actually going to make it far more likely that we will see major bank failures all over the western world.

What you are about to see absolutely amazed me when I first saw it. The Canadian government is actually proposing that what just happened in Cyprus should be used as a blueprint for future bank failures up in Canada.

The following comes from pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013″ which you can findright here. Apparently the goal is to find a way to rescue “systemically important banks” without the use of taxpayer funds…(see document above)

Canada’s large banks are a source of strength for the Canadian economy. Our large banks have become increasingly successful in international markets, creating jobs at home.

The Government also recognizes the need to manage the risks associated with systemically important banks — those banks whose distress or failure could cause a disruption to the financial system and, in turn, negative impacts on the economy. This requires strong prudential oversight and a robust set of options for resolving these institutions without the use of taxpayer funds, in the unlikely event that one becomes non-viable.

So if taxpayer funds will not be used to bail out the banks, how will it be done? Well, the Canadian government is actually proposing that a “bail-in” regime be implemented…

The Government proposes to implement a “bail-in” regime for systemically important banks. This regime will be designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event that a systemically important bank depletes its capital, the bank can be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital. This will reduce risks for taxpayers. The Government will consult stakeholders on how best to implement a bail-in regime in Canada. Implementation timelines will allow for a smooth transition for affected institutions, investors and other market participants.

So if the banks take extreme risks with their money and lose, “certain bank liabilities” (i.e. deposits) will rapidly be converted into “regulatory capital” and the banks will be saved.

Cyprus-Style Bank Account Confiscation Is In The New Canadian Government Budget

In other words, the banks will just be allowed to grab money directly out of your bank accounts to recapitalize themselves.

That may sound completely and utterly insane to us, but this is how things will now be done all over the western world.

Sometimes a “bail-in” can be done by just converting unsecured debt into equity, but as we just saw in Cyprus, often when there is a major bank failure a lot more money is required to “fix the banks” than can possibly be raised by converting unsecured debt into equity. That is when it becomes very tempting to dip into uninsured back accounts.

In fact, some European politicians are openly admitting as much. According to RT, the European Parliament will soon be voting on a new law which will make Cyprus-style bank account confiscation a permanent part of the solution when major banks fail throughout the EU…

A senior lawmaker told Reuters the Cyprus model may not be an isolated case, and is perhaps a future template in dealing with troubled European banks.

The new template is now likely to turn into a full-scale EU law, letting taxpayers off the hook in case a bail-out is needed, but imposing major losses on bigger savers on a permanent basis.

“You need to be able to do the bail-in as well with deposits,” said Gunnar Hokmark, member of European Parliament, who is leading negotiations with EU countries to finalize a law for winding up problem banks, Reuters reported.

“Deposits below 100,000 euros are protected … deposits above 100,000 euros are not protected and shall be treated as part of the capital that can be bailed in,” Hokmark told Reuters, adding that he was confident a majority of his peers in the parliament backed the idea.

The European Commission has written the draft of the law, which now awaits approval from eurozone member states and the parliament on whether and when it can be implemented. It’s been reported, the law is planned to take effect in the beginning of 2015.

Are you starting to understand?

The other day when I said that “The Global Elite Are Very Clearly Telling Us That They Plan To Raid Our Bank Accounts“, I was not exaggerating.

And for those in Cyprus with deposits of over 100,000 euros, the news just keeps getting worse and worse.

When the crisis first erupted, they were told that 10 percent of all deposits over 100,000 euros would be confiscated.

Then a few days later they were told that it would be 40 percent.

Now, according to the Washington Post, those with deposits over 100,000 euros at the second largest bank in Cyprus may lose as much as 80 percent of those deposits…

A deal was finally reached in Brussels with other euro countries and the International Monetary Fund early Monday. The country’s second-largest bank, Laiki, is to be split up, with its healthy assets being absorbed into the Bank of Cyprus. Savers with more 100,000 euros ($129,000) in either Bank of Cyprus and Laiki will face big losses. At Laiki, those could reach as much as 80 percent of amounts above the 100,000 insured limit; those at Bank of Cyprus are expected to be much lower.

Sadly, the truth is that those people will be lucky to ever see any of that money ever again.

How would you feel if someone came along and wiped out your life savings so that banks that took incredibly reckless risks could be bailed out?

Needless to say, a lot of people in Cyprus are very, very angry right now. The following reactions from outraged depositors in Cyprus are from Sky News

“They have stolen our money,” Milton Loucas told Sky News.

“I have been working for 60 years. I am 80 years old. I cannot work again for my living – they have cut the lot.

“Our money, our social insurance – they have cut them. How are we going to live?”

Another Cypriot, Stelios, came out of the bank empty handed.

“I tried to get my February wages and they gave me a piece of paper only,” he said.

“I have two children in the army and they asked for money – I don’t have money to give them.

“The Government didn’t pay anybody. My old parents didn’t get their pension.”

A lot of people have just had their entire lives turned upside down.

But there were some people that were told ahead of the crisis and were able to get their money out in time.

According to the BBC, foreigners pulled a whopping 18 percent of their money out of Cyprus banks during the month of February alone…

Information from the Central Bank of Cyprus released on Thursday showed that foreign depositors had already withdrawn 18% of their cash from the nation’s banks during February, before the current crisis hit home.

So how did they know to pull their money out and who told them?

In addition, branches of the two largest banks in Cyprus were kept open in Moscow and London even after all of the banks in Cyprus itself were shut down. So wealthy Russians and wealthy Brits have been able to take all of their money out of those banks while the people of Cyprus have been unable to. It is hard to even find the words to describe how unfair that is. The following is from a recent article by Mark J. Grant

So let us then turn back to Cyprus and see why the Russians are not quite so upset as they were at the beginning of the crisis. The answer to this question is Uniastrum bank which is headquartered in Moscow. Eighty percent (80%) is owned by the Bank of Cyprus. After the crisis began and right up until the capital controls were implemented the bank was open for business with no restrictions upon withdrawals. So the crisis began, was all over the Press and the Russian depositors walked into the local bank and withdrew their money from Uniastrum, the Bank of Cyprus, or had it wired in from the other local Cyprus banks and it was then withdrawn. Problem solved!

At the same time Laiki bank and the Bank of Cyprus had operating branches in London. There were no restrictions there either so people could walk into those banks and withdraw their money as well. No restrictions at all right up until the time of the Capital Controls. In the meantime, in Cyprus, people and institutions could not get at their money so the Russians and many British took out their money, closed their accounts while the people in Cyprus were left high and dry.

The wealthy always seem to come out ahead somehow, don’t they?

Meanwhile, those in Cyprus with deposits under 100,000 euros are now dealing with some very stringent capital controls. In other words, there are some very tight restrictions on what they can do with their money. For example, the maximum daily cash withdrawal has been set at 300 euros. The following are some of the other restrictions that are in force right now

As well as the daily withdrawal limit, Cypriots may not cash cheques.

Payments and/or transfers outside Cyprus via debit and or credit cards are allowed up to 5,000 euros per person per month.

Transactions of 5,000-200,000 euros will be reviewed by a specially established committee, with applications for those over 200,000 euros needing individual approval.

Travellers leaving the country will only be allowed to take 1,000 euros with them.

When the next great wave of the economic collapse strikes, capital controls and bank account confiscation will suddenly become “normal” all over the world.

So get prepared while you still can.

One thing that you can do is make sure that you don’t have all of your eggs in one basket. The following is what Jim Rogers recently told CNBC

“I, for one, am making sure I don’t have too much money in any one specific bank account anywhere in the world, because now there is a precedent,” he said. “The IMF has said ‘sure, loot the bank accounts’ the EU has said ‘loot the bank accounts’ so you can be sure that other countries when problems come, are going to say, ‘well, it’s condoned by the EU, it’s condoned by the IMF, so let’s do it too.’”

The more places that you have your money, the more difficult it will be for “the powers that be” to loot it.

The global elite are fundamentally changing the game. From now on, no bank account on earth will ever be able to be considered “100% safe” again. This is going to create an atmosphere of fear and panic, and no financial system can operate normally when you destroy the confidence that people have in it.

Confidence is a funny thing – it can take decades to build, but it can be destroyed in a single moment.

None of us will ever be able to have confidence in our bank accounts again, and I fear that the next wave of the economic collapse may be closer than I had first anticipated.

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Relationship Between A Banker And Customer

That Of A Creditor/Debtor
Introduction

A banker, in addition to his primary functions, renders a number of services to his customers. After the account in the bank is opened and the relationship of a banker and customer is established, the bank not only undertakes to collect the cheques which are deposited, in the account but also makes the payment on behalf of the customer, whenever there is a mandate from the customer. On many occasions, when the customer gives bills for collection to his bank and the said bank passes the bills for collection to another bank and the amount of the bills is reduced as a result of debiting the customer’s account with collection charges as a result of an agreement between two banks, the bank is always acting on behalf of the customer. There are too many other occasions relating to so many matters which arise during the mutual dealings between the banker and the customer and at each time, a question arises as to what is the relationship between a banker and a customer.

It has now been well settled that the first and foremost relationship between the customer and the bank is the relationship of a Creditor and Debtor. For this point, it would be interesting to refer to the views of Sir John Paget who stated that the respective position of a banker and a creditor while sharing a relationship of a creditor and debtor is determined by their existing state of the account. The money is a debt due by the banker instead of him keeping it away in a safe room. The money deposited with the banker becomes his property and at his disposal.

In this research paper, the relationship of a banker and a customer as that of a creditor and debtor will be looked into and various case laws regarding the same shall be discussed.

Relationship Between Banker And Customer : That Of Creditor/Debtor Or Agent/Principal

In the case of Official Liquidator, Hanuman Bank Ltd. V. K.P.T. Nadar and other it was stated that when moneys are deposited in a bank, the ownership of the money passes to the bank and the right of the bank over the moneys lodged with it cannot be a lien at all. It was said that:

“The mere fact that a banker invites deposites, and is prepared to pay interest on them, is proof enough of his intention to make use of it as he likes, and earn interest therefrom, so as not only to enable him to pay interest to his depostior, but also to earn profits for himself. But even if the banker pays no interest on the money deposited, he is his customer’s debtor and not a bailee, because he undertakes to repay on demand a sum, equivalent to the amount deposited with him and the customer has no right whatsoever to claim the identical coins or notes deposited by him with his banker. The latter can pay the amount in any kind of legal tender.”

In Velji Lakhamsey & Co. V. Dr. Banaji, , the Bombay High Court has again stated that the relation between banker and customer is that of a debtor and a creditor and any amount due by the banker to the customer in that relationship cannot be claimed by the customer from the bank as a preferential creditor, if the bank is wound up. But a customer may given certain specific direction to the bank and constitute the bank his agent. If the bank acts as an agent and not as a debtor, then the agency brings about a fiduciary relationship which lasts until the agency is terminated. Therefore, if the bank was given a direction by the customer that a payment has to be made to a third party, then till that amount is paid pursuant to the directions of the customer, the agency would continue and the bank would hold the amount not as a debtor of the customer but in the capacity of a trustee.

Special reference has to be made to the case of Foley v. Hill where the question whether the relationship between a banker and a customer was that of a creditor and debtor or whether it was that of a principal and agent. Lord Cottenham L.C. said:

“Money, when paid into a bank, ceases altogether to be the money of the principal; it is then the money of the banker, who is bound to return an equivalent by paying a similar sum to that deposited with him when he is asked for it. The money paid into the banker’s is money known by the principal to be placed there for the purpose of being under the control of the banker; it is then the banker’s money; he is known to deal with it as his own; he makes what profit he can, which profit he retains to himself, paying back only the principal, according to the custom of bankers in some places, or the principal and a small rate of interest, according to the custom of bankers in other places. The money placed in the custody of a banker is, to all intents and purposes, the money of the banker, to do with it as he pleases; he is guilty of no breach of trust in employing it; he is not answerable to the principal if he puts it into jeopardy, if he engages in a hazardous speculation; he is not bound to keep it, or deal with it, as the property of his principal, but he is of course answerable for the amount, because he was contracted, having received that money, to repay to the principal, when demanded, sum equivalent to that into his hands.”

A Debt By A Bank Vs. An Ordinary Commercial Debt

There is a difference between the bank-customer relationship and the ordinary commercial debtor-creditor relationship. The debt de from a banker to his customer differs from ordinary commercial debts in one important respect, which is that the general rule by which a request by the creditor for payments is unnecessary does not apply.

This point was further elaborated in the case of Joachimson vs. Swiss Banking Corporation where it was held that in case of a debt due from a bank, an express demand for repayment by the customer is necessary. In this case, the creation of an indivisible contract was described by the judge as follows:

“The bank undertakes to receive money and to collect bills for its customer’s account. The proceeds so received are not to be held in trust for the customer, but the bank borrows the proceeds and undertakes to repay them. The promise to repay is to repay at the branch of the bank where the account is kept, and during banking hours. It includes a promise to repay any part of the amount due against the written order of the customer addressed to the bank at the branch, and as such written orders may be outstanding in the ordinary course of business from two or three days, it is a term of the contract that the bank will not cease to do business with the customer except upon reasonable notice. The customer on his part undertakes to exercise reasonable notice. The customer on his part undertakes to exercise reasonable care in executing his written orders so as to mislead the bank or to facilitate forgery. I think it is necessary term of such a contract that the bank is not liable to pay the customer the full amount of his balance until he demands payment from the bank at the branch at which the current account is kept.”

As mentioned above, the relationship between a banker and a customer is that of a creditor and a debtor, but it is different from the relationship of an ordinary creditor and debtor in the following respect:

  1. The creditor(customer) must demand payment from debtor(banker) – The customer(creditor), in a banker customer relationship, must demand payment from the banker(debtor), whereas in the case of an ordinary commercial debt, the debtor must pay the amount on the specified date as per the terms of the contract. This difference is because the banker is not an ordinary debtor, he accepts the deposits with an additional obligation to honour his customer’s cheques. If he returns the deposited amount on his own accord by closing the account, some of the cheques issued by the depositor might be dishonoured and his reputation might be adversely affected. Moreover, according to the statutory definition of banking, the deposits are repayable on demand or otherwise. The depositor makes the deposit for his convenience, apart from his motive to earn an income (except current account). Demand by the creditor is, therefore, essential for the refund of the deposited money. Thus the deposit made by a customer with his banker differs substantially from an ordinary debt.

  2. The creditor (customer) must demand payment at the proper place and time – A proper place means the office or branch of a bank in which the customer has an account. A bank which has various branches spread out across cities and countries is basically considered to be one entity. But the depositor, when he opens an account, enters into a relationship with the branch where he opens his account. His demand for the repayment of the deposit must be made at the same branch of the bank concerned otherwise the banker is not bound to honour his commitment. However, special arrangements can be made with the banker for the repayments to be made at some other branch. For example, in case of travellers cheques, bank drafts etc.

The demand for the repayment by the customer should also be made during banking hours and on a working day of the bank.

The Allahabad High Court in the case of Indo Allied Industries Ltd. Vs. National Bank Ltd. Observed that since the express contract to the contrary was absent, there was an implied contract with a customer who opened an account with a branch of a banking concern, which carried with it the duty of the bank to pay the customer only at the branch where the account was kept, subject to instructions to transfer the amount elsewhere.

  1. The creditor (customer) must demand from the debtor (banker) in a proper manner – The customer can demand payment from the bank only in the manner prescribed by the rules of a bank or in accordance with usage. The statutory definition of a bank itself shows that deposits are withdrawable by cheques, drafts, orders or otherwise. It means that the demand for the refund of money deposited must be made through a cheque or an order as per the common usage amongst the bankers. In other words, the demand should not be made verbally or through a telephonic message or in any such manner.

    The short of it all is this when you deposit your money into a bank you are making them a LOAN It is no longer your money it now belong to the Bank for them to do as they please and they do, GET IT, you Loose Its that simple

    So its time to do what???

    GET your money out NOW

    or

    Be last in the queue to be paid, after all secured creditors(elites) have been paid off first or got there money out before the crunch by having foreknowledge about the collapse in the first place

    Like these Elite Scumbags did in Cyprus

    List of 132 Names of Cyprus Elites and Companies Who Emptied Bank Deposits ahead of “Confiscation Day”(foreknowledge)

    By Global Research News

    Global Research, April 03, 2013

    Four pages with the names of some 132 companies and individuals who withdrew the bulk of their deposits in euros, dollars and rubles kept in local banks reveals a publication of the first issue.

    Money transfers made within 15 days, namely from 1 until March 15. On Friday, March 15, had met the Eurogroup, which officially decided to impose a tax on deposits by companies and individuals in all financial institutions in Cyprus.

    These 132 companies and individuals have withdrawn all deposits in euros, dollars and rubles, which were transferred to other banks outside Cyprus.

    The disclosure of the list, which shows that the outflow of deposits from local banks other financial institutions outside Cyprus became massively raises suspicion that some had inside information about the decisions taken by the other 16 eurozone countries in exchange for financing deficits of the economy.

    In listings, and the company is Loutsios & Sons Ltd, which carried 21 million deposit in a UK bank, while the owner of the company is alleged to have family ties with the President of the Republic, Nikos Anastasiadis.

    The first column are names of companies and individuals in the second record of the amounts withdrawn in the third column refers to the amount withdrawn in the same currency, the currency in the fourth and the fifth and last column refers to the date of transfer.

    cypruslist1

    cypruslist2
    cypruslist3
    cypruslist4

Monetary Geopolitics: Have The Russian Oligarchs Withdrawn All Their Cash From Cyprus?

By Tyler Durden

Global Research, March 26, 2013

Zero Hedge

 

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On March 24, we reported on something very disturbing (at least to Cyprus’ citizens): despite the closed banks (which will mostly reopen tomorrow, while the two biggest soon to be liquidated banks Laiki and BoC will be shuttered until Thursday) and the capital controls, the local financial system has been leaking cash. Lots and lots of cash.

Alas, we did not have much granularity or details on who or where these illegal transfers were conducted with. Today, courtesy of a follow up by Reuters, we do.

The result, at least for Europe, is quite scary because let’s recall that the primary political purpose of destroying the Cyprus financial system was simply to punish and humiliate Russian billionaire oligarchs who held tens of billions in “unsecured” deposits with the island nation’s two biggest banks.

As it turns out, these same oligarchs may have used the one week hiatus period of total chaos in the banking system to transfer the bulk of the cash they had deposited with one of the two main Cypriot banks, in the process making the whole punitive point of collapsing the Cyprus financial system entirely moot.

From Reuters:

While ordinary Cypriots queued at ATM machines to withdraw a few hundred euros as credit card transactions stopped, other depositors used an array of techniques to access their money.

No one knows exactly how much money has left Cyprus’ banks, or where it has gone. The two banks at the centre of the crisis – Cyprus Popular Bank, also known as Laiki, and Bank of Cyprus – have units in London which remained open throughout the week and placed no limits on withdrawals. Bank of Cyprus also owns 80 percent of Russia’s Uniastrum Bank, which put no restrictions on withdrawals in Russia. Russians were among Cypriot banks’ largest depositors.

So while one could not withdraw from Bank of Cyprus or Laiki, one could withdraw without limitations from subsidiary and OpCo banks, and other affiliates?

Just brilliant.

And if there was any doubt that the entire process of destroying one entire nation was simply to punish Cyprus, it can be completely cleared away now:

ECB officials contacted Latvia, another EU country that has received large Russian deposits, to warn authorities against taking in Russian money fleeing Cyprus, two sources familiar with the contacts said.

“It was made clear to our Latvian friends that if they want to join the euro, they should not provide a haven for Russian money exiting Cyprus,” a euro zone central banker said.

If one thinks there is any material Russian cash therefore left in Cyprus with this epic loophole in place, we urge them to make a deposit in the insolvent nation. One person who certainly will not be allocating any of his money into Bank of Cyprus is German FinMin Schaeuble:

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the bank closure had limited capital flight but that the ECB was looking closely at the issue. He declined to provide figures.

Perhaps because if he did, it would become clear that the only entities truly punished by this weekend’s actions are not evil Russian billionaires, but small and medium domestic companies, and other moderately wealthy individuals, hardly any of them from the former “Evil Empire.”

Companies that had to meet margin calls to avoid defaulting on deals were granted funds. Transfers for trade in humanitarian products, medicines and jet fuel were allowed.

The stealth withdrawals by Russians of course means that the two megabanks are now utterly drained of capital, and that the haircuts on those who still have unsecured deposits with the two banks will be so big it will likely mean a complete wipeout of all deposits. As in 0% recovery on your deposits!

In other words, by now any big Russian funds in Cyprus are long gone, and the only damage accrues to the locals: for one reason because their money over the critical EUR100K threshold has been “vaporized”, and for another because the marginal driving force and loan demand creator in Cyprus, the Russians, are gone and are never coming back again.

This is what passes for monetary real-politik in the New Normal – an entire nation becomes collateral when pursuing a wealthy group of people. And the “wealthy group” is victorious in the end despite everything…

If we were Cypriots at this point we would be angry. Very, very angry

 

The Confiscation of Bank Savings to “Save the Banks”: The Diabolical Bank “Bail-In” Proposal

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, April 02, 2013

 Canada, Europe, USA

financialelites

Is the Cyprus Bank “Bail-in” a “dress rehearsal” for things to come?

Is  a “Savings Heist” in the European Union and North America envisaged which could result in the outright confiscation of bank deposits?

In Cyprus, the entire payments system has been disrupted leading to the demise of the real economy.

Pensions and wages are no longer paid. Purchasing power has collapsed.

The population is impoverished.

Small and medium sized enterprises are spearheaded into bankruptcy.

Cyprus is a country with a population of one million.

What would happen if similar ‘hair cut” procedures were to be applied in the U.S. or the European Union

?

According to the Washington based Institute of International Finance (IIF) (right) which represents the consensus of the global financial establishment, “the Cyprus approach of hitting depositors and creditors when banks fail, would likely become a model for dealing with collapses elsewhere in Europe.” (Economic Times, March 27, 2013).

It should be understood that prior to the Cyprus onslaught, the confiscation of bank deposits had been contemplated in several countries. Moreover, the powerful financial actors who triggered the bank crisis in Cyprus, are also the architects of  the socially devastating austerity measures imposed in the European Union and North America.

Does Cyprus constitute a “model” or scenario?

Are there “lessons to be learned” by these powerful financial actors, to be applied elsewhere, at some later stage, in the Eurozone’s banking landscape?

According to the Institute of International Finance (IIF), “hitting depositors” could become the “new normal” of this diabolical project, serving the interests of the global financial conglomerates.

This new normal is endorsed by the IMF and the European Central Bank.  According to the IIF which constitutes the banking elites mouthpiece, “Investors would be well advised to see the outcome of Cyprus… as a reflection of how future stresses will be handled.” (quoted in Economic Times, March 27, 2013)

“Financial Cleansing”. Bail-ins in the US and Britain

What is at stake is a process of  “financial cleansing” whereby the “too big to fail banks” in Europe and North America (e.g. Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, et al ) displace and destroy lesser financial institutions, with a view to eventually taking over the entire “banking landscape”.

The underlying tendency at the national and global levels is towards the centralization and concentration of bank power, while leading to the dramatic slump of the real economy.

Bail ins have been envisaged in numerous countries. In New Zealand  a “haircut plan”  was envisaged as early as 1997 coinciding with Asian financial crisis.

There are provisions in both the UK and the US pertaining to the confiscation of bank deposits. In a joint document of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Bank of England, entitled Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions, explicit  procedures were put forth whereby “the original creditors of the failed company “, meaning the depositors of  a failed bank, would be converted into “equity”. (See Ellen Brown, It Can Happen Here: The Bank Confiscation Scheme for US and UK Depositors,Global Research, March 2013)

What this means is that the money confiscated from bank accounts would be used to meet the failed bank’s financial obligations. In return, the holders of the confiscated bank deposits would become stockholders in a failed financial institution on the verge of bankruptcy.

Bank savings would be transformed overnight into an illusive concept of capital ownership. The confiscation of savings would be adopted under the disguise of  a bogus “compensation” in terms of equity.

What is envisaged is the application of  a selective process of  confiscation of bank deposits, with a view to collecting debt while also triggering the demise of “weaker” financial institutions. In the US, the procedure would bypass the provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) which insures deposit holders against bank failures:

No exception is indicated for “insured deposits” in the U.S., meaning those under $250,000, the deposits we thought were protected by FDIC insurance. This can hardly be an oversight, since it is the FDIC that is issuing the directive. The FDIC is an insurance company funded by premiums paid by private banks.  The directive is called a “resolution process,” defined elsewhere as a plan that “would be triggered in the event of the failure of an insurer . . . .” The only  mention of “insured deposits” is in connection with existing UK legislation, which the FDIC-BOE directive goes on to say is inadequate, implying that it needs to be modified or overridden. (Ibid)

Because depositors are provided with a bogus compensation, they are not eligible to the FDIC deposit insurance.

Canada’s Deposit Confiscation Proposal

The most candid statement of confiscation of bank deposits as a means to “saving the banks” is formulated in a recently released document of the Canadian government entitled Jobs, Growth and Long Term Prosperity: Economic Action Plan 2013″.

The latter was submitted to the House of Commons by Canada’s Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty on March 21 as part of a so-called “pre-budget” proposal.

A short section of the 400 report entitled “Risk Management Framework for Domestic Systemically Important Banks” identifies bail-in procedure for Canada’s chartered banks. The word confiscation is not mentioned. Financial jargon serves to obfuscate the real intent which essentially consists in stealing people’s savings.

Under the Canadian “Risk Management” project:

The Government proposes to implement a ‘bail-in’ regime for systemically important banks.

This regime will be designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event that a systemically important bank depletes its capital, the bank can be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital.”

This will reduce risks for taxpayers. The Government will consult stakeholders on how best to implement a bail-in regime in Canada.

What this signifies is that if one or more banks (or credit unions) were obliged to “systemically deplete their capital” to meet the demands of their creditors, the banks would be recapitalized through “the conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital.”

The  “certain bank liabilities” pertains (in technical jargon) to the money they owe their customers, namely to their depositors, whose bank accounts would be confiscated in exchange for shares (equity) in a “failing” banking institution.

“This will reduce risks for taxpayers” is a nonsensical statement. What this really means is that the government will not provide funding to compensate depositors who are victims of a failed banking institution, nor will it come to rescue of the failed institution.

Instead the depositors will be obliged to give up their savings. The money confiscated will then be used by the bank to meet their liabilities contracted with major financial creditor institutions. In other words, this entire scheme is “a safety net” for too big to fail banks, a mechanism which enables them as creditors to overshadow lesser banking institutions including credit unions, while precipitating either their collapse or their takeover.

Canada’s Financial Landscape

The Risk Management Bail in initiative is of crucial significance for Canadians across the land: once it is adopted by the House of Commons as part of the budget package, the Bail-in procedures could be applied.

The Conservative government has a parliamentary majority. There is a good likelihood that theEconomic Action Plan 2013″ which includes the Bail-in procedure will be adopted.

While Canada’s Risk Management Framework intimates that Canada’s banks “are at risk”, particularly those which have accumulated large debts (as a result of derivative losses), a generalised across the board application of the “Bail in” is not contemplated.

The likely scenario in the foreseeable future is that Canada’s “big five” banks, Royal Bank of Canada, TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal and CIBC (all of which have powerful affiliates operating in the US financial landscape) will consolidate their position at the expense of  lesser (provincial level) banks and financial institutions.

The Government document intimates that the Bail-in could be used selectively “in the unlikely event that one [bank] becomes non-viable.” What this suggests is that at least one or more of  Canada’s  “lesser banks” could be the object of a bail-in. Such a procedure would inevitably lead  to a greater concentration of bank capital in Canada, to the benefit of the larger financial conglomerates.

Displacement of Provincial Level Credit Unions and Cooperative Banks

There is an important network of over 300 provincial level credit unions and cooperative banks including the powerful Desjardins network in Quebec, the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity) and the Coastal Capital Savings in British Columbia, Servus in Alberta, Meridian in Ontario, the caisses populaires in Ontario (affiliated to Desjardins), among many others, which could be the target of selective “Bail-in” operations.

In this context, what is likely to occur is a significant weakening of provincial level cooperative financial institutions, which  have a governance relationship to their members (including representative councils) and which, in the present context, offer an alternative to the Big Five chartered banks. According to recent data, there are more than 300 credit unions and caisses populaires in Canada which are members of  the “Credit Union Central of Canada”.

New Normal: International Standards Governing the Confiscation of Bank Deposits

Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013″ acknowledges that the proposedBail-in framework “will be consistent with reforms in other countries and key international standards”. Namely, the proposed pattern of confiscating bank deposits as described in the Canadian government document is consistent with the model contemplated in the US and the European Union.  This model is currently a “talking point” (behind closed doors) at various international venues regrouping central bank governors and finance ministers.

The regulatory agency involved in these multilateral consultations is the Financial Stability Board (FSB) based in Basel, Switzerland and hosted by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) (image right). The FSB  happens to be chaired by the governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, who was recently appointed by the British government to head the Bank of England starting in June 2013.

Mark Carney, as Governor of the Bank of Canada, was instrumental in shaping the provisions of the Bail-in for Canada’s chartered banks. Before his career in central banking, he was a senior executive at Goldman Sachs, which has played a behind the scenes role in the implementation of the bank bailouts and austerity measures in the EU.

The FSB’s mandate would be to coordinate the bail-in procedures, in liaison with the “national financial authorities” and “international standard setting bodies” which include the IMF and the BIS. It should come as no surprise: the deposit confiscation procedures in the UK, the US and Canada examined above are remarkably similar.

Bank “Bail-ins” vs. Bank “Bail-outs”

The bailouts are “rescue packages” whereby the government allocates a significant portion of State revenues in favor of failed financial institutions. The money is channeled from the coffers of the State to the banking conglomerates.

In the US in 2008-2009, a total of $1.45 trillion was channeled to Wall Street financial institutions as part of the Bush and Obama rescue packages.

These bailouts were considered as a De facto government expenditure category. They required the implementation of austerity measures. Together with massive hikes in military expenditure, the bailouts were financed through drastic cuts in social programs including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

In contrast to the Bailout, which is funded from the public purse, the “Bail-in” requires the (in-house) confiscation of bank deposits. The bail-ins are implemented without the use of public funds. The regulatory mechanism is established by the central bank.

At the outset of Obama’s first term in January 2009, a bank bailout of the order of $750 billion was announced by Obama, which was added on to the 700 billion dollar bailout money allocated by the outgoing Bush administration under the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).

The total of both programs was a staggering 1.45 trillion dollars to be financed by the US Treasury. (It should be understood that the actual amount of cash financial “aid” to the banks was significantly larger than $1.45 trillion. In addition to this amount defence allocations to fund Obama’s war economy (FY 2010) was a staggering $739 billion. Namely the bank bailouts plus defence combined ($2189 billion) eat up almost the totality of the federal revenues which in FY 2010 amounted to $2381 billion.

Concluding remarks

What is occurring is that the bank bailouts are no longer functional. At the outset of Obama’s Second term, the coffers of the state are empty. The austerity measures have reached a deadlock.

The bank bail-ins are now being contemplated instead of  the “bank bailouts”.

The lower and middle income groups which are invariably indebted will not be the main target. The appropriation of bank deposits would essentially target the upper middle and upper income groups which have significant bank deposits. The second target will be the bank accounts of small and medium sized firms.

This transition is part of the evolution of the global economic crisis and the impasse underlying the application of the austerity measures.

The purpose of the global financial actors is to wipe out competitors, consolidate and centralize bank power and exert an overriding control over the real economy, the institutions of government and the military.

Even if the bail-ins were to be regulated and applied selectively to a limited number of failing financial institutions, credit unions, etc, the announcement of a program of confiscation of deposits could potentially lead to a generalized “run on the banks”. In this context, no banking institution would be regarded as safe.

The application of Bail-in procedures involving deposit confiscation (even when applied locally or selectively) would create financial havoc. It would interrupt the payments process. Wages would no longer be paid. Purchasing power would collapse. Money for investment in plant and equipment would no longer be forthcoming. Small and medium sized businesses would be precipitated into bankruptcy.

The application of a Bail-In in the EU or North America would initiate a new phase of the global financial crisis, a deepening of the economic depression, a greater centralization of banking and finance, increased concentration of corporate power in the real economy to the detriment of regional and local level enterprises.

In turn, an entire global banking network characterized by electronic transactions (which govern deposits, withdrawals, etc), –not to mention money transactions on the stock and commodity markets– could potentially be the object of significant disruptions of a systemic nature.

The social consequences would be devastating. The real economy would plummet as a result of the collapse in the payments system.

The potential disruptions in the functioning of an integrated global monetary system could result in a a renewed global economic meltdown as well as a drop off in international commodity trade.

It is important that people across the land, in the European Union and North America, nationally and internationally, forcefully act against the diabolical ploys of their governments –acting on behalf of dominant financial interests– to implement a selective process of  bank deposit confiscation.

The Cyprus Bank Battle: The Long-planned Deposit Confiscation Scheme

A Safe and a Shotgun or Public Sector Banks?

By Ellen Brown

Global Research, March 22, 2013

Web of Debt

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“If these worries become really serious, . . . [s]mall savers will take their money out of banks and resort to household safes and a shotgun.”    — Martin Hutchinson on the attempted EU raid on private deposits in Cyprus banks

The deposit confiscation scheme has long been in the making.  US depositors could be next …

On Tuesday, March 19, the national legislature of Cyprus overwhelmingly rejected a proposed levy on bank deposits as a condition for a European bailout.  Reuters called it “a stunning setback for the 17-nation currency bloc,” but it was a stunning victory for democracy. As Reuters quoted one 65-year-old pensioner, “The voice of the people was heard.”

The EU had warned that it would withhold €10 billion in bailout loans, and the European Central Bank (ECB) had threatened to end emergency lending assistance for distressed Cypriot banks, unless depositors – including small savers – shared the cost of the rescue. In the deal rejected by the legislature, a one-time levy on depositors would be required in return for a bailout of the banking system. Deposits below €100,000 would be subject to a 6.75% levy or “haircut”, while those over €100,000 would have been subject to a 9.99% “fine.”

The move was bold, but the battle isn’t over yet.  The EU has now given Cyprus until Monday to raise the billions of euros it needs to clinch an international bailout or face the threatened collapse of its financial system and likely exit from the euro currency zone.

The Long-planned Confiscation Scheme

The deal pushed by the “troika” – the EU, ECB and IMF – has been characterized as a one-off event devised as an emergency measure in this one extreme case. But the confiscation plan has long been in the making, and it isn’t limited to Cyprus.

In a September 2011 article in the Bulletin of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand titled “A Primer on Open Bank Resolution,” Kevin Hoskin and Ian Woolford discussed a very similar haircut plan that had been in the works, they said, since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.  The article referenced recommendations made in 2010 and 2011 by the Basel Committee of the Bank for International Settlements, the “central bankers’ central bank” in Switzerland.

The purpose of the plan, called the Open Bank Resolution (OBR) , is to deal with bank failures when they have become so expensive that governments are no longer willing to bail out the lenders. The authors wrote that the primary objectives of OBR are to:

  • ensure that, as far as possible, any losses are ultimately borne by the bank’s shareholders and creditors . . . .

The spectrum of “creditors” is defined to include depositors:

At one end of the spectrum, there are large international financial institutions that invest in debt issued by the bank (commonly referred to as wholesale funding). At the other end of the spectrum, are customers with cheque and savings accounts and term deposits.

Most people would be surprised to learn that they are legally considered “creditors” of their banks rather than customers who have trusted the bank with their money for safekeeping, but that seems to be the case. According to Wikipedia:

In most legal systems, . . . the funds deposited are no longer the property of the customer. The funds become the property of the bank, and the customer in turn receives an asset called a deposit account (a checking or savings account). That deposit account is a liability of the bank on the bank’s books and on its balance sheet.  Because the bank is authorized by law to make loans up to a multiple of its reserves, the bank’s reserves on hand to satisfy payment of deposit liabilities amounts to only a fraction of the total which the bank is obligated to pay in satisfaction of its demand deposits.

The bank gets the money. The depositor becomes only a creditor with an IOU. The bank is not required to keep the deposits available for withdrawal but can lend them out, keeping only a “fraction” on reserve, following accepted fractional reserve banking principles. When too many creditors come for their money at once, the result can be a run on the banks and bank failure.

The New Zealand OBR said the creditors had all enjoyed a return on their investments and had freely accepted the risk, but most people would be surprised to learn that too. What return do you get from a bank on a deposit account these days? And isn’t your deposit protected against risk by FDIC deposit insurance?

Not anymore, apparently. As Martin Hutchinson observed in Money Morning, “if governments can just seize deposits by means of a ‘tax’ then deposit insurance is worth absolutely zippo.”

The Real Profiteers Get Off Scot-Free

Felix Salmon wrote in Reuters of the Cyprus confiscation:

Meanwhile, people who deserve to lose money here, won’t. If you lent money to Cyprus’s banks by buying their debt rather than by depositing money, you will suffer no losses at all. And if you lent money to the insolvent Cypriot government, then you too will be paid off at 100 cents on the euro. . . .

The big winner here is the ECB, which has extended a lot of credit to dubiously-solvent Cypriot banks and which is taking no losses at all.

It is the ECB that can most afford to take the hit, because it has the power to print euros. It could simply create the money to bail out the Cyprus banks and take no loss at all. But imposing austerity on the people is apparently part of the plan.  Salmon writes:

From a drily technocratic perspective, this move can be seen as simply being part of a standard Euro-austerity program: the EU wants tax hikes and spending cuts, and this is a kind of tax . . . .

The big losers are working-class Cypriots, whose elected government has proved powerless . . . . The Eurozone has always had a democratic deficit: monetary union was imposed by the elite on unthankful and unwilling citizens. Now the citizens are revolting: just look at Beppe Grillo.

But that was before the Cyprus government stood up for the depositors and refused to go along with the plan, in what will be a stunning victory for democracy if they can hold their ground.

It CAN Happen Here

Cyprus is a small island, of little apparent significance. But one day, the bold move of its legislators may be compared to the Battle of Marathon, the pivotal moment in European history when their Greek forebears fended off the Persians, allowing classical Greek civilization to flourish.  The current battle on this tiny island has taken on global significance.  If the technocrat bankers can push through their confiscation scheme there, precedent will be established for doing it elsewhere when bank bailouts become prohibitive for governments.

That situation could be looming even now in the United States.  As Gretchen Morgenson warned in a recent article on the 307-page Senate report detailing last year’s $6.2 billion trading fiasco at JPMorganChase: “Be afraid.”  The report resoundingly disproves the premise that the Dodd-Frank legislation has made our system safe from the reckless banking activities that brought the economy to its knees in 2008. Writes Morgenson:

JPMorgan . . . Is the largest derivatives dealer in the world. Trillions of dollars in such instruments sit on its and other big banks’ balance sheets. The ease with which the bank hid losses and fiddled with valuations should be a major concern to investors.

Pam Martens observed in a March 18th article that JPMorgan was gambling in the stock market with depositor funds. She writes, “trading stocks with customers’ savings deposits – that truly has the ring of the excesses of 1929 . . . .”

The large institutional banks not only could fail; they are likely to fail.  When the derivative scheme collapses and the US government refuses a bailout, JPMorgan could be giving its depositors’ accounts sizeable “haircuts” along guidelines established by the BIS and Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Time for Some Public Sector Banks?

The bold moves of the Cypriots and such firebrand political activists as Italy’s Grillo are not the only bulwarks against bankster confiscation. While the credit crisis is strangling the Western banking system, the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – have sailed through largely unscathed. According to a May 2010 article in The Economist, what has allowed them to escape are their strong and stable publicly-owned banks.

Professor Kurt von Mettenheim of the Sao Paulo Business School of Brazil writes, “The credit policies of BRIC government banks help explain why these countries experienced shorter and milder economic downturns during 2007-2008.” Government banks countered the effects of the financial crisis by providing counter-cyclical credit and greater client confidence.

Russia is an Eastern European country that weathered the credit crisis although being very close to the Eurozone. According to a March 2010 article in Forbes:

As in other countries, the [2008] crisis prompted the state to take on a greater role in the banking system.  State-owned systemic banks . . . have been used to carry out anticrisis measures, such as driving growth in lending (however limited) and supporting private institutions.

In the 1998 Asian crisis, many Russians who had put all their savings in private banks lost everything; and the credit crisis of 2008 has reinforced their distrust of private banks.  Russian businesses as well as individuals have turned to their government-owned banks as the more trustworthy alternative. As a result, state-owned banks are expected to continue dominating the Russian banking industry for the foreseeable future.

The entire Eurozone conundrum is unnecessary. It is the result of too little money in a system in which the money supply is fixed, and the Eurozone governments and their central banks cannot issue their own currencies. There are insufficient euros to pay principal plus interest in a pyramid scheme in which only the principal is injected by the banks that create money as “bank credit” on their books. A central bank with the power to issue money could remedy that systemic flaw, by injecting the liquidity needed to jumpstart the economy and turn back the tide of austerity choking the people.

The push to confiscate the savings of hard-working Cypriot citizens is a shot across the bow for every working person in the world, a wake-up call to the perils of a system in which tiny cadres of elites call the shots and the rest of us pay the price. When we finally pull back the veils of power to expose the men pulling the levers in an age-old game they devised, we will see that prosperity is indeed possible for all.

For more on the public bank solution and for details of the June 2013 Public Banking Institute conference in San Rafael, California, see here.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, chairman of the Public Banking Institute, and the author of eleven books, including Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free. Her websites are webofdebt.com and ellenbrown.com.

It Can Happen Here: The Bank Confiscation Scheme for US and UK Depositors

By Ellen Brown

Global Research, March 29, 2013

Web of Debt

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Confiscating the customer deposits in Cyprus banks, it seems, was not a one-off, desperate idea of a few Eurozone “troika” officials scrambling to salvage their balance sheets. A joint paper by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England dated December 10, 2012, shows that these plans have been long in the making; that they originated with the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland (discussed earlierhere); and that the result will be to deliver clear title to the banks of depositor funds. 

New Zealand has a similar directive, discussed in my last articlehere, indicating that this isn’t just an emergency measure for troubled Eurozone countries. New Zealand’s Voxy reported on March 19th:

The National Government [is] pushing a Cyprus-style solution to bank failure in New Zealand which will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts . . . .

Open Bank Resolution (OBR) is Finance Minister Bill English’s favoured option dealing with a major bank failure. If a bank fails under OBR, all depositors will have their savings reduced overnight to fund the bank’s bail out.

Can They Do That?

Although few depositors realize it, legally the bank owns the depositor’s funds as soon as they are put in the bank. Our money becomes the bank’s, and we become unsecured creditors holding IOUs or promises to pay. (See here and here.) But until now the bank has been obligated to pay the money back on demand in the form of cash. Under the FDIC-BOE plan, our IOUs will be converted into “bank equity.”  The bank will get the money and we will get stock in the bank. With any luck we may be able to sell the stock to someone else, but when and at what price? Most people keep a deposit account so they can have ready cash to pay the bills.

The 15-page FDIC-BOE document is called “Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions.”  It begins by explaining that the 2008 banking crisis has made it clear that some other way besides taxpayer bailouts is needed to maintain “financial stability.” Evidently anticipating that the next financial collapse will be on a grander scale than either the taxpayers or Congress is willing to underwrite, the authors state:

An efficient path for returning the sound operations of the G-SIFI to the private sector would be provided by exchanging or converting a sufficient amount of the unsecured debt from the original creditors of the failed company [meaning the depositors] into equity [or stock]. In the U.S., the new equity would become capital in one or more newly formed operating entities. In the U.K., the same approach could be used, or the equity could be used to recapitalize the failing financial company itself—thus, the highest layer of surviving bailed-in creditors would become the owners of the resolved firm. In either country, the new equity holders would take on the corresponding risk of being shareholders in a financial institution.

No exception is indicated for “insured deposits” in the U.S., meaning those under $250,000, the deposits we thought were protected by FDIC insurance. This can hardly be an oversight, since it is the FDIC that is issuing the directive. The FDIC is an insurance company funded by premiums paid by private banks.  The directive is called a “resolution process,” defined elsewhere as a plan that “would be triggered in the event of the failure of an insurer . . . .” The only  mention of “insured deposits” is in connection with existing UK legislation, which the FDIC-BOE directive goes on to say is inadequate, implying that it needs to be modified or overridden.

An Imminent Risk

If our IOUs are converted to bank stock, they will no longer be subject to insurance protection but will be “at risk” and vulnerable to being wiped out, just as the Lehman Brothers shareholders were in 2008.  That this dire scenario could actually materialize was underscored by Yves Smith in a March 19th post titled When You Weren’t Looking, Democrat Bank Stooges Launch Bills to Permit Bailouts, Deregulate DerivativesShe writes:

In the US, depositors have actually been put in a worse position than Cyprus deposit-holders, at least if they are at the big banks that play in the derivatives casino. The regulators have turned a blind eye as banks use their depositaries to fund derivatives exposures. And as bad as that is, the depositors, unlike their Cypriot confreres, aren’t even senior creditors. Remember Lehman? When the investment bank failed, unsecured creditors (and remember, depositors are unsecured creditors) got eight cents on the dollar. One big reason was that derivatives counterparties require collateral for any exposures, meaning they are secured creditors. The 2005 bankruptcy reforms made derivatives counterparties senior to unsecured lenders.

One might wonder why the posting of collateral by a derivative counterparty, at some percentage of full exposure, makes the creditor “secured,” while the depositor who puts up 100 cents on the dollar is “unsecured.” But moving on – Smith writes:

Lehman had only two itty bitty banking subsidiaries, and to my knowledge, was not gathering retail deposits. But as readers may recall, Bank of America moved most of its derivatives from its Merrill Lynch operation [to] its depositary in late 2011.

Its “depositary” is the arm of the bank that takes deposits; and at B of A, that means lots and lots of deposits. The deposits are now subject to being wiped out by a major derivatives loss. How bad could that be? Smith quotes Bloomberg:

. . . Bank of America’s holding company . . . held almost $75 trillion of derivatives at the end of June . . . .

That compares with JPMorgan’s deposit-taking entity, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, which contained 99 percent of the New York-based firm’s $79 trillion of notional derivatives, the OCC data show.

$75 trillion and $79 trillion in derivatives! These two mega-banks alone hold more in notional derivatives each than the entire global GDP (at $70 trillion). The “notional value” of derivatives is not the same as cash at risk, but according to a cross-post on Smith’s site:

By at least one estimate, in 2010 there was a total of $12 trillion in cash tied up (at risk) in derivatives . . . .

$12 trillion is close to the US GDP.  Smith goes on:

. . . Remember the effect of the 2005 bankruptcy law revisions: derivatives counterparties are first in line, they get to grab assets first and leave everyone else to scramble for crumbs. . . . Lehman failed over a weekend after JP Morgan grabbed collateral.

But it’s even worse than that. During the savings & loan crisis, the FDIC did not have enough in deposit insurance receipts to pay for the Resolution Trust Corporation wind-down vehicle. It had to get more funding from Congress. This move paves the way for another TARP-style shakedown of taxpayers, this time to save depositors.

Perhaps, but Congress has already been burned and is liable to balk a second time. Section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act specifically prohibits public support for speculative derivatives activities. And in the Eurozone, while the European Stability Mechanism committed Eurozone countries to bail out failed banks, they are apparently having second thoughts there as well. On March 25th, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who played a leading role in imposing the deposit confiscation plan on Cyprus, told reporters that it would be the template for any future bank bailouts, and that “the aim is for the ESM never to have to be used.”

That explains the need for the FDIC-BOE resolution. If the anticipated enabling legislation is passed, the FDIC will no longer need to protect depositor funds; it can just confiscate them.

Worse Than a Tax

An FDIC confiscation of deposits to recapitalize the banks is far different from a simple tax on taxpayers to pay government expenses. The government’s debt is at least arguably the people’s debt, since the government is there to provide services for the people. But when the banks get into trouble with their derivative schemes, they are not serving depositors, who are not getting a cut of the profits. Taking depositor funds is simply theft.

What should be done is to raise FDIC insurance premiums and make the banks pay to keep their depositors whole, but premiums are already high; and the FDIC, like other government regulatory agencies, is subject to regulatory capture.  Deposit insurance has failed, and so has the private banking system that has depended on it for the trust that makes banking work.

The Cyprus haircut on depositors was called a “wealth tax” and was written off by commentators as “deserved,” because much of the money in Cypriot accounts belongs to foreign oligarchs, tax dodgers and money launderers. But if that template is applied in the US, it will be a tax on the poor and middle class. Wealthy Americans don’t keep most of their money in bank accounts.  They keep it in the stock market, in real estate, in over-the-counter derivatives, in gold and silver, and so forth.

Are you safe, then, if your money is in gold and silver? Apparently not – if it’s stored in a safety deposit box in the bank.  Homeland Security has reportedly told banks that it has authority to seize the contents of safety deposit boxes without a warrant when it’s a matter of “national security,” which a major bank crisis no doubt will be.

The Swedish Alternative: Nationalize the Banks

Another alternative was considered but rejected by President Obama in 2009: nationalize mega-banks that fail. In a February 2009 article titled “Are Uninsured Bank Depositors in Danger?“, Felix Salmon discussed a newsletter by Asia-based investment strategist Christopher Wood, in which Wood wrote:

It is . . . amazing that Obama does not understand the political appeal of the nationalization option. . . . [D]espite this latest setback nationalization of the banks is coming sooner or later because the realities of the situation will demand it. The result will be shareholders wiped out and bondholders forced to take debt-for-equity swaps, if not hopefully depositors.

On whether depositors could indeed be forced to become equity holders, Salmon commented:

It’s worth remembering that depositors are unsecured creditors of any bank; usually, indeed, they’re by far the largest class of unsecured creditors.

President Obama acknowledged that bank nationalization had worked in Sweden, and that the course pursued by the US Fed had not worked in Japan, which wound up instead in a “lost decade.”  But Obama opted for the Japanese approach because, according to Ed Harrison, “Americans will not tolerate nationalization.”

But that was four years ago. When Americans realize that the alternative is to have their ready cash transformed into “bank stock” of questionable marketability, moving failed mega-banks into the public sector may start to have more appeal.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, chairman of the Public Banking Institute, and the author of eleven books, including Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free. Her websites are webofdebt.com and ellenbrown.com. For details of the June 2013 Public Banking Institute conference in San Rafael, California, see here.

 

Bail-in and the Confiscation of Bank Deposits: The Birth of the New Financial Order

By James Corbett and Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, April 13, 2013

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The recent bail-in in Cyprus has given the world a glimpse at the future of the banking landscape. Now, as Canada gets set to hardwire the bail-in process into law, analysts like Michel Chossudovsky are warning how the big banks can use this template to further consolidate their monopoly of economic control. This is the GRTV Backgrounder on Global Research TV.

Those who follow the markets closely know that, at base, the current financial system is founded not on the bedrock of sound economic principles but instead upon the quicksand of public perception. All it takes is one large bump in the road to upset even the largest of economic bandwagons and usher in a new financial paradigm.

In the ongoing meltdown of the European Union, perhaps the greatest single bump in the road so far just took place in Cyprus. In the immediate aftermath of the dramatic bank holiday and bail-in events of last month, many in the financial media began asking whether Cyprus represents a template for future bail-ins across the European Union or elsewhere around the globe.

If we are going to seriously ask this question, however, it is vital that we understand exactly what happened, and what kind of template this might represent.

The crisis in the Cyprus banking sector has been building for years, as the small island nation’s banks began to account for a greater and greater share of its economy. The trigger event causing the recent crisis, however, was—appropriately enough—the result of a meltdown elsewhere in the Eurozone, in Greece.

After months of negotiations, the government of Cyprus announced it was on the verge of a 10 billion Euro bailout deal with the so-called “troika” of the EU, the ECB and the IMF. But when details of the plan emerged, including the fact that it had the confiscation of both insured and uninsured bank deposits baked into the cake, protests erupted around the country.

The final deal ended up keeping deposits under 100,000 Euros untouched, but uninsured deposits were restructured, wiping out the savings and cash flow of foreign depositors and local businesses alike.

For many, the question is whether this will be a template for future banking crises in the European Union and elsewhere. When Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup, intimated this was something that would be considered in future bailouts in an interview with Reuters and the Financial Times, markets panicked, causing Dijsselbloem to issue an immediate retraction of his recorded statements.

The truth, however, is that this idea has already been discussed for years in the highest circles of the international banking sector. In 2010 the Bank for International Settlements issued a white paperon possible bail-ins of Tier 1 and Tier 2 bank capital in the event of future banking crises. The proposal was discussed in further detail by groups like the Financial Stability Board and private sector entities like KPMG, which issued a July 2012 report on the possibility of future banking bail-ins.

During the midst of the Cyprus scandal, the government of Canada released its own proposed budget for the coming year, including language that suggests a bail-in regime:

“The Government proposes to implement a “bail-in” regime for systemically important banks. This regime will be designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event that a systemically important bank depletes its capital, the bank can be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital. This will reduce risks for taxpayers. The Government will consult stakeholders on how best to implement a bail-in regime in Canada.”

In response to public furore over the proposal, Canada’s Finance Minister was forced to come out last week to deny that the nebulously defined “certain bank liabilities” includes consumer deposits, but refused to clarify precisely what liabilities would be covered by such language.

As Michel Chossudovsky—professor of economics at the University of Ottawa—explains, the real danger of the Cyprus example is not that this will be a common way of dealing with future bank stresses, but precisely the opposite. With the bail-in procedure in their arsenal, bankers and their political cronies will be able to use this weapon of financial destruction not against the “too big to jail” of the big six megabanks in America or their counterparts around the world, but against smaller credit unions and independent banks that threaten their monopoly of power.

As Professor Chossudovsky goes on to point out in his article on the subject, “The Confiscation of Bank Savings to ‘Save the Banks’,” it is no coincidence that this bail-in regime is being formalized first in Canada.

The Financial Stability Board which has been working on institutionalizing the bail-in process is an international body coordinating the work of national and international standard setting bodies for the financial sector. It sprang from the earlier Financial Stability Forum, itself a creation of the G7 in 1999, and includes bodies like the Bank for International Settlements among its member institutions.

The FSB is currently chaired by Mark Carney, the current Governor of the Bank of Canada who is set to take the reins of the Bank of England in July of this year in a highly unusual move. Before beginning work for the Canadian Department of Finance, Carney spent 13 years at Goldman Sachs, where he was involved in a 1998 Russian financial scandal, with Goldman advising the Russian government at the same time as it was betting against the country’s ability to repay its debt.

As critics like Matt Taibbi and others have exhaustively documented, Goldman Sachs has been at the heart of every major market manipulation in the US since the Great Depression, and has been the key cheerleader for the austerity measures that are currently tearing the Eurozone apart and creating the banking crises in Cyprus and other European countries.

The path forward on the highway toward the coming economic collapse is needless to say, perilous. Worse yet, all of the off-ramps that are being constructed to lead depositors and investors to “safety” during these difficult times are themselves false roads leading to dead ends themselves constructed by the financial oligarchy.

But as with every such fork in the path, there is an opportunity for the public to educate themselves about what is really happening and discover a genuine alternative route on this economic road map. The entire existence of the bail-in paradigm makes plain an uncomfortable truth that the banking establishment has tried to obscure for generations: that bank deposits are not piles of money sitting in bank vaults to be drawn upon as needed, but unsecured loans being made to banksters who use that money to gamble on exotic financial instruments that themselves are threatening to destroy the world economy.

Once that plain fact has been squarely confronted, the public has a decision to make: whether to continue to put their faith in the big banks that has brought this world to the economic abyss, or whether to use their money to build up genuine, thriving local economies through credit unions, alternative currencies and other financial alternatives.

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