Greeks fearing the safety of their deposits in banks, as well as Greeks trying to evade paying taxes, have reportedly “bailed out” their money of the debt struck country into the safe haven of Swiss banks in a scale of 200 billion euros.
Greek banks are facing the loss of deposits as well as the burden of holding a massive amount of Greek government bonds. A haircut on Greek bonds will add to the massive pressure these banks are already facing.
The popular German newspaper Bild reported on this capital flight and called for Greece to take measures to tackle this phenomenon, such as taxing such transfers.
The focus regarding Greek debt is currently on banks in Western Europe, especially on French banks. The amount of money that is reportedly needed in order to recapitalize European banks stands at the same number: 200 billion euros.
Some banks are better prepared for shocks and some aren’t. US banks are in a better situation than European ones.
The euro is still running quite high on hopes that the October 23 summit will provide the necessary program to resolve or at least start to resolve the European debt crisis. A mini-summit in Frankfurt between Merkel, Sarkozy, Lagarde, Trichet and others might help make some progress.
Update December 7, 2011: Greek Bank Run Intensifies – Exacerbates Greece’s MiseryGet the 5 most predictable currency pairs