Munich Personal RePEc Archive

When Cards and ATM’s are the only choice: A fortnight in Cyprus with no banking system, nor trust

Efthymiou, Leonidas and Michael, Sophia (2013): When Cards and ATM’s are the only choice: A fortnight in Cyprus with no banking system, nor trust.

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to offer some insights into the remarkable happenings that occurred in Cyprus during a two-week period (15 March – 28 March 2013) when the country was left with no banking system, subsisting solely on ATMs and cards. At the same time, we aim to provide some new perceptions into the role of ATMs, POSs and credit cards in critical economic situations where a bank run, bank insolvency, or bail-in are likely to happen. We adopt a ‘procedural approach’ and use the sequence of events method towards building up a ‘timeline analysis’. Our discussion suggests that for a number of reasons, the Cypriot bail-in case has breached the confidence of unsecured and secured depositors and investors on a global scale. Also, we suggest that during the preparations of the supposedly unexpected bail-in, which Cypriot MPs firstly rejected and then accepted the Eurogroup and IMF proposal, ATMs, POSs and credit cards have played a pre-arranged role, securing a controlled circulation of money and transactions with restrictions.

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