Are you one of those people that believe the Banking crisis in Cyprus is no big-deal? Cyprus may be a small island but it has a place in the European Union. As such the domino effect is liable to kick in. EU countries are heavily dependent on each other in the 21st Century and if you choose the ostrich approach, sticking your head in the sand until the crisis is over, you could get caught out. Stock markets soon tumble and the value of your currency can easily plummet.
For the people of Cyprus, who was to blame for the crisis is a side issue. Yes if there is blame then those responsible should be held to account. However, one way or another the people of Cyprus will have to fund this crisis.
Maybe you think the people should have accepted the government raid on their bank accounts. A one off tax to help the bail-out. Put yourself in the shows of Cypriots though and you will soon change your mind. The one-off tax would not be the only measure. Austerity measures must follow.
The unfairness of the one-off tax though, imposed for the first time, is hard to escape. How come Greece, Portugal, Spain, Northern Ireland and Italy had no such tax?
The idea of the tax is grounded, at least for now, thanks to people power. That does not mean it is gone forever. In the UK there is some government protection over a limited amount of money held in bank accounts. However, before you smile smugly and thank your lucky stars you are in the UK remember governments can easily and quickly change legislation.
Certainly the west is trying to instil confidence in economies and banking sectors. Germany is often seen as the villain of the piece. You may say well Merkel has to look after her own, and that is we agree the right thing to do. However, when one leader wields such power it is open to abuse. Let's face it if she spearheads a knock in confidence in banks the UK will be hit harder than Germany. Britain relies heavily on its commerce however most people in the UK no longer trust banks and bankers. Bank has become a true four-letter word.
That said only this week, amidst the Cyprus banking crisis, there were reports of banking greed. Nine fatcats, reported the Daily Mirror, including Barclay boss Rich Ricci pocketed a windfall in shares worth £44mil. Fatcat Ricci pocketed £18mil alone. As the Guardian reports, Ricci's bonus is worth 656 times the average UK salary, and remember many people live on much less than the average. Yes, and he immediately cashed the shares in, protecting his back if a UK banking crisis hits home. A year ago, as profits at the bank dived, the former banking boss Bob Diamond refused to discuss his share package with the BBC. It was around the £3mil mark.
News of this year's bonus payments, or should that be theft from the bank's customers, was announced on Budget day in the UK. Although Barclays hoped to bury the news it still made shocking headlines.
So as one bank looks set to crumble, another continues to pay obscene bonus payments. The banks lackeys, the coalition government will do nothing to intervene. This same government will stop at nothing though to rob the vulnerable in the UK of paltry sums of money. They continue to sell government pain to others, reaching out to people's greedy streaks, which we all have at times. Voters need to look beyond vague help to buy schemes which may never come to fruition. Last year George's budget promises to the UK failed to materialise in many cases.
So back to Cyprus
If you have ever visited Cyprus you will know that Cypriots are warm-hearted people, or rather they were. This crisis will have hit the country hard.
Friday PM Christos Stylianides told reporters in Nicosia " any solution involves pain" without giving details. Perhaps bankers bonuses should go into a global pot for such eventualities. Of course we all know that without a huge incentive bankers cannot work properly. UK PM Cameron said as much when he defended bonus payments.
Most workers do their best because it is their job, without added bonuses. If the bankers deserve these bonuses through hard work how come the banks are floundering?
The BBC has the latest news on the Cyprus banking crisis. If the banks do not receive a bail out they will not reopen. If and when they reopen expect a run on the banks. Would you act differently? That will worsen the crisis. Cyprus has reached out to Russia for help, much to the anger of Germany and Merkel. With a huge number of Russian investors in Cyrus banks, can you blame them? As they say, any port in a storm.
On This Week, in the UK the Cyprus banking crisis was likened to the assassination that led to World War One. A fairly unknown man in a small place but it rocked the world. Although most do not see Cyprus initiating a global war the crisis will have far reaching implications.
On the island of Cyprus today the PM is in talk with representatives of the "troika", which is made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). According to the BBC "Russia gave Cyprus an emergency loan of 2.5bn euros in 2011. Mr Siluanov said that no new Russian loan had been on the table with Mr Sarris because of limits imposed by the EU on Cypriot borrowing".