Did you actually believe that they were not going to use the precedent that they set in Cyprus? On Thursday, EU finance ministers agreed to a shocking new plan that will make every bank account in Europe vulnerable to Cyprus-style bail-ins. In other words, the wealth confiscation that we just witnessed in Cyprus will now be used as a template for future bank failures all over Europe. That means that if you have a bank account in Europe, you could wake up some morning and every penny in that account over 100,000 euros could be gone. That is exactly what happened in Cyprus, and now EU officials plan to do the same thing all over Europe. For quite a while EU officials insisted that Cyprus was a "special case", but now we see that was a lie. International outrage over what happened in Cyprus has died down, and now they are pushing forward with what they probably had planned all along. But why have they chosen this specific moment to implement such a plan? Are they anticipating that we will see a wave of bank failures soon? Do they know something that they aren't telling us?
Amazingly, this announcement received very little notice in the international media. The fact that bank account confiscation will now be a permanent part of the plan to bail out troubled banks in Europe should have made headline news all over the globe. The following is how CNN described the plan...
European Union finance ministers approved a plan Thursday for dealing with future bank bailouts, forcing bondholders and shareholders to take the hit for bank rescues ahead of taxpayers.
The new framework requires bondholders, shareholders and large depositors with over 100,000 euros to be first to suffer losses when banks fail. Depositors with less than 100,000 euros will be protected. Taxpayer funds would be used only as a last resort.
According to this new plan, bondholders will be the first to be required to "contribute" when a bank bailout is necessary.
Do you want to guess what that is going to do to the price of European bank bonds?
Shareholders of the bank will be the next in line to get hit when a bank bailout happens.
After that, they will go after those that have more than 100,000 euros in their bank accounts.
EU officials say that such a plan is needed because bailing out banks with taxpayer money was creating too many problems...
The European Union spent the equivalent of a third of its economic output on saving its banks between 2008 and 2011, using taxpayer cash but struggling to contain the crisis and - in the case of Ireland - almost bankrupting the country.
But a bailout of Cyprus in March that forced losses on depositors marked a harsher approach that can now, following Thursday's agreement, be replicated elsewhere.
Oh wonderful - the "Cyprus solution" can now be "replicated" everywhere in Europe.
This plan will now be submitted to the European Parliament for final approval. The goal is to have this plan finalized by the end of this year.
If you have a bank account in Europe with over 100,000 euros in it, get your money out now.
I am not sure how else to say it.
In Cyprus, there were retirees and small businesses that lost hundreds of thousands of euros overnight.
Do not let that happen to you.
And without a doubt, we are going to see a lot of banks fail in Europe over the next few years. This will especially be true once the next great financial crisis strikes.
But even though we haven't even gotten to the next great financial crisis yet, the economic depression in Europe just continues to get even worse. Just consider these facts...
-Car sales in Europe have hit a 20 year low.
-Overall, the unemployment rate in the eurozone is sitting at 12.2 percent. That is a brand new all-time record high.
-An average of 134 retail outlets are shutting down in Italy every single day. Overall, 224,000 retail establishments have closed down in Italy since 2008.
-It is being projected that Italy will need to ask for an EU bailout within 6 months.
-Consumer confidence in France has dropped to an all-time low.
-The unemployment rate in France is up to 10.4 percent. That is the highest that it has been in 15 years.
-Government is now responsible for 57 percent of all economic output in France.
-In May, household lending in Europe declined at the fastest pace in 11 months.
-During the first quarter, disposable income in the UK declined at the fastest pace in 25 years.
-It is being projected that the unemployment rate in Spain will hit 28.5 percent next year.
-Just a few years ago, the percentage of bad loans in Spain was under 2 percent. Now it is sitting at 10.87 percent.
-The national debt in Spain has grown by 19.1 percent over the past 12 months alone.
-The Greek government says that the Greek economy will shrink by 4.5 percent this year.
-It is being projected that the unemployment rate in Greece will rise to 30 percent in 2014.
And it certainly does not help that China has essentially declared a trade war on Europe. That is not going to help struggling European industries at all.
I hope that more Americans will start paying attention to what is happening in Europe. The crippling economic problems that are sweeping across that continent will come here too.
And at some point there is a very good chance that we will also see Cyprus-style bank account confiscation in this country.
So don't put all of your eggs in one basket. It is good to have your assets spread around a bunch of different places. That makes it much harder for them to be wiped out all at once.
What we are watching in Europe right now is really unprecedented in modern times. They are declaring open season on large bank deposits. In the end, a lot of people in Europe are going to lose a lot of money.
Make sure that you are not one of them.