Sadly for those standing around outside Cypriot banks with cameras and notebooks this morning (and there are way more of them than anyone else right now)... it might all turn out to be a bit of a snoozefest.
These journalists, for example, are definitely ready for the banks to open:
— Matina Stevis (@MatinaStevis) March 28, 2013
These journalists are also definitely ready for the banks to open:
— Theopi Skarlatos (@TheopiSkarlatos) March 28, 2013
These journalists are so definitely ready for the banks to open it's actually a bit painful:
— Tesa Arcilla (@Tesa_RT) March 28, 2013
Are we nearly there yet?
— Asteris Masouras (@asteris) March 28, 2013
— Cyprus Market (@russian_market) March 28, 2013
Why are the police so calm and unprovocative?
— Tesa Arcilla (@Tesa_RT) March 22, 2013
This parrot is trying to help the journalists stay positive:
— Efthimia Efthimiou (@EfiEfthimiou) March 28, 2013
There was a little excitement over the arrival of some armed guards(!) earlier, but as @spignal points out:
Journalists in Cyprus seem amazed that ARMED GUARDS are delivering cash to banks. As opposed to what? Girl scouts?
— Stanley Pignal (@spignal) March 28, 2013
The reason there probably won't be Cyprus bank run is in these here capital controls. People can only take €300 from their account each day, so the emptying of accounts into socks just can't happen in one go.
Here are some other important details from the legislation, designed to ruin media fun today:
- You can only leave the country carrying €1,000
- You can't cash cheques
- You can't transfer (much) cash abroad.
Officially, the controls "shall apply for a seven day period starting from the day of its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic" - but there's suspicion they might hang around for a bit longer. Here's Courtney Weaver and Michael Stothard in the FT:
While the capital controls are designed to expire after seven days, people with knowledge of the matter said the government would continue to renew the curbs on a weekly basis for as long as necessary. “Otherwise whatever money is left in the banks will fly out of Cyprus,” said one person close to the central bank.
This makes sense - those capital controls are the only thing standing between banks and a potential mob, so they're likely to stick around in one form or another, for quite some time.