The financial system is predominantly comprised of digital money. Actual physical Dollars bills and coins only amount to $1.36 trillion. This is only a little over 10% of the $10 trillion sitting in bank accounts. And it’s a tiny fraction of the $20 trillion in stocks, $38 trillion in bonds and $58 trillion in credit instruments floating around the system.
Suffice to say, if a significant percentage of people ever actually moved their money into physical cash, it could very quickly become a systemic problem.
Indeed, this is precisely what caused the 2008 meltdown, when nearly 24% of the assets in Money Market funds were liquidated in the course of four weeks. The ensuing liquidity crush nearly imploded the system. Continue reading
RBS has alerted customers that up to 600,000 overnight payments may be ‘missing’ from bank accounts at NatWest, Coutts and Ulster Bank due to a technical glitch, sparking a string of complaints over “yet another Natwest blunder”.
RBS said in a statement that the issue, which “resulted in a delay to payments and Direct Debits being applied to some customer accounts”, was now resolved, but it could take days to clear up.
It said: “We have fixed the underlying issue, we apologise for the inconvenience caused and we are working flat out to get these payments updated for our customers no later than Saturday. Continue reading
Here is a slightly surprising sign that Greece is in the classic throes of a bank run: car sales jumped by 47pc in April. It was the 20th consecutive month that car registrations of new and used vehicles has risen.
People living in a country gripped by financial turmoil often worry about the security of their money. If it’s in a bank, it can be caught up in capital controls and lost through insolvency. Better, then, to spend it. And the purchase of choice is often a car. Continue reading
In the midst of the dramatic showdown in Brussels between the new Greek government and its European creditors, many Greek depositors—spooked by the prospect of a Greek default or, worse, an exit from the euro zone and a possible return to the drachma—have been pulling euros out of the nation’s banks in record amounts over the last few days.
The Bank of Greece and the European Central Bank won’t report official cash outflows for January until the end of the month. But sources in the Greek banking sector have told Greek newspapers that as much as 25 billion euros (US $28.4 billion) have left Greek banks since the end of December. According to the same sources, an estimated 900 million euros flowed out of Greek banks on Tuesday alone, the day after the talks broke up in Brussels, sparking fears that measures will be taken to stem the outflow. On Thursday, by mid-afternoon, deposits had shrunk by about 680 million euros (US $773 million).
“If outflows reach 1 billion euros, capital controls might need to be imposed,” said Thanasis Koukakis, a financial editor for Estia a conservative daily, and To Vima, an influential Sunday newspaper.
As previously discussed here, it’s odd nobody read between the lines in the media spin right away. Now it’s gaining a bit of traction — and Zero Hedge is usually one of the first to be ahead of the trend.
It’s a miracle… The Vatican’s economy minister has said hundreds of millions of euros were found “tucked away” in accounts of various Holy See departments that were previously not counted on the city-state’s balance sheet. “In fact, we have discovered that the situation is much healthier than it seemed,” noted Australian Cardinal George Pell, adding that “it is important to point out that the Vatican is not broke.” Indeed a miracle – like hookers-and-blow in GDP data? However, the Vatican finances remain in darkness as Reuters reports, the state’s top prosecutor has frozen 16 million euros in bank accounts owned by two former Vatican bank managers and a lawyer as part of an embezzlement investigation into the sale of 29 Vatican-owned real estate in the 2000s. Continue reading
One of our SMC members just received a package from HSBC giving him and his wife a deadline to comply with FATCA—US’ global tax law.
But suddenly they had just four weeks to prove that they were not US taxpayers, all because at one point they had purchased a service that gave them a US phone number.
And now they, as Canadian citizens and residents, have to submit a fully completed W8BEN IRS form, along with a government issued photo ID and a detailed letter of explanation to make it very clear that they were not in fact Americans.
It used to be that foreigners were vying to become US citizens, but today they’re begging not to be confused as one. Continue reading
The days of using a password to access a bank account or cellphone will soon be a thing of the past, President Obama’s top cybersecurity adviser said Thursday.
The risk of getting hacked by criminals has grown so widespread that far more sophisticated identification technology — including biometric scanning devices — will become the norm, said Michael Daniel, the White House’s cybersecurity coordinator.
“You’ve started to see some of that with the emergence of the fingerprint readers,” said Mr. Daniel, adding that the technology will become increasingly mainstream as cellphone cameras, “hard” card readers and other authentication gadgets replace the annoying process for millions of Americans of punching in a password to confirm their identity.
The federal government has seized a record $360 million from household bank accounts that have been dormant for just three years, prompting outrage in some quarters amid complaints that pensioners and retirees have lost deposits.
Figures from the Australian Security and Investments Commission (ASIC) show almost $360 million was collected from 80,000 inactive accounts in the year to May under new rules introduced by Labor. Continue reading
The Spanish Government plans to collect data on all of the country’s 34 million bank accounts in what it calls a bid to crack down on money laundering and terrorist activity. But the move has drawn plenty of fire.
Spain plans to set up a German-style archive of data on the financial activity of Spaniards and residents in Spain, national daily El País reported on Sunday
The move will see banks having to supply details of all the personal and business current accounts, savings accounts and fixed-term accounts they hold to the Secretary of State for the Economy.
Groups including the Tax Office, the military, the General Council of the Judiciary and the secret services will then be able to access that information.
Transactions over €1,000 ($1,370) will be flagged if suspicious, while all transactions over €30,000 can be checked. Transfers of over €3,000 a month will also come under the spotlight, according to the new rules. Continue reading
The following is the transcript of Judge Jeanine Pirro’s opening statement regarding threats to our nation’s power grid.
Welcome to a special edition of Justice – I’m Judge Jeanine Pirro. Tonight – an hour long investigation into the dangers facing the U.S. power grid. What would it take to bring it down? And if our system did break down – how would you survive? And what would it be like in the dark? Continue reading
The amount Cyprus will have to pay to fix its financial sector jumped by €6 billion, Cyprus announced April 11. Originally, Cyprus was going to receive €10 billion from international lenders, and raise €7 billion itself. Now, the latter figure is €13 billion.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades wrote to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy pleading for more money, but he was ignored. Germany made it clear it was not willing to give any extra. Continue reading
During the early hours of Monday morning, EU leaders agreed to another bailout for Cyprus. The island will receive the €10 billion (us$12.9 billion) it needs to avoid collapse without most Cypriots having money removed from their bank accounts. But Cyprus’s economy has been destroyed. The nation is left as a vassal state of the new German empire.
The deal will be painful for the whole economy. Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Cyprus “must realize its business model is dead.” The latest bailout has ensured that realization. Continue reading
The Cypriot bailout agreed in the earlier hours of Saturday morning could be a game changer for the eurozone. It was a resounding victory for Germany, but the compromise reached could see banks collapse across Southern Europe.
Saturday’s decision allows Germany to have its cake and eat it. The meeting of eurozone finance ministers decided to loan Cyprus €10 billion. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will probably also join in. But the bailout comes with a shocking and unprecedented condition.
Cypriots will have money taken directly out of their bank accounts. Monday is a bank holiday in Cyprus. By the time banks open on Tuesday, all depositors will have a chunk taken out of their account. Accounts with less than €100,000 will face a levy of 6.75 percent. Those with more, will be taxed at 9.9 percent. Continue reading
“Your options are to ignore the IRS and stick your head in the sand; take your name off of all the accounts and live in a completely cash economy; divorce; or renounce U.S. citizenship,” Laederich says. “We’ve seen all of these things happen.”
Genette Eysselinck, a friend of Laederich’s, renounced early this year. Her husband, a European Union civil servant, saw no good reason to share his account information with the IRS, she says. And after considering all her options, Eysselinck decided that renouncing was the best path.
“It created a lot of tensions around here,” she says. “Divorce seemed a little extreme, so I asked myself, ‘What am I gaining as an American?’ And the cons outweighed the pros.”
Eysselinck was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and says she grew up on military bases all over the world. Her father, she says, was an Air Force pilot. Eysselinck has lived abroad for decades and no longer has any close connections in the United States.
She spent her final months as an American collecting paperwork and filing tax returns from the past five years, even though she says she owed nothing. Her last act as a citizen was to swear before an American flag that she renounced all ties with the United States. She called the process “gut wrenching.”
“I grew up in a military family where patriotic feeling was very strong” Eysselinck says. “I’m amazed at how terrible I felt renouncing. But it was the only way to get them off my back. It’s very distressing and time consuming to keep up with all the paperwork. But if it’s this bad when I’m 64, how bad will it be when I’m 74?”
Full article: Taxes Prompt More Americans to Renounce Citizenship (CNBC)