The devil lies in the detail of Cyprus’s salvation.
The island nation’s rescue sets precedents for the euro zone that may stick in the memory of depositors and bondholders alike as investors debate who will next fall victim to the debt crisis. Under the terms of the agreement struck early this morning in Brussels, senior Cypriot bank bond holders will take losses and uninsured depositors will be largely wiped out.
The message that stakeholders of all stripes can be coerced into helping a cash-strapped nation may make investors more skittish they’ll be targeted if Slovenia, Italy, Spain or even Greece again is next in line to need help. The risk is that bank runs and bond market selloffs become more likely the moment a country applies for a new rescue, said economists and academics from Nicosia to New York.
“We now have a new type of rule and everyone within the euro zone has to sit down and see what that implies for their own finances,” Nobel laureate Christopher Pissarides, an adviser to the Cypriot government, told “The Pulse” on Bloomberg Television.
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