Basically, Greek citizens take out loans from local banks, funded largely by the Greek central bank, which acquires funds through the European Central Bank’s emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) scheme. They then transfer the money to other countries to purchase foreign assets (or redeem their debts),...
In January and February, Greece’s TARGET debts increased by almost €1 billion ($1.1 billion) per day, owing to capital flight by Greek citizens and foreign investors. At the end of April, those debts amounted to €99 billion.I knew Greeks are taking money out of bank deposits, and parking it abroad, and that in the end this money came from the ECB. When a Greek depositor wants his or her money, the Greek bank gets it from the Greek central bank, who gets it from the ECB, which prints it (metaphorically). It had not occurred to me that of course borrowing every cent you can from a Greek bank and parking it abroad is just as smart.
Of course, If Greece leaves the Euro, the Greek central bank goes bust, the ECB loses and Greek borrowers or ex-depositors keep their euros.
Hans-Werner seems to think capital controls are a good idea to stop this run. I think the likely imposition of capital controls is just why people are running in the first place. Similarly, if both Greece and Europe were to credibly say that Greek government default will not mean leaving the euro that would also stop the run.
But news for the day is this interesting run on the borrowing side, not just the depositor side.