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March 02, 2009

Melting Down? Ukrainian Banks Won't Permit Withdrawals

Wonderful:

Olexander Pavlenko, a young computer programmer, is one of tens of thousands of Ukrainians who cannot get their money out of the bank.

He stood in line in Kiev at Nadra Bank and Ukrprombank, two big troubled banks, planning to withdraw more than $10,000 (€7,950, £7,125). But like many others, he was told the cash was not available.

“I stood in line a couple times with other bank clients who were protesting, crying and screaming. But the bank told me: ‘Sorry, we simply don’t have the money now and can’t help you.’”

With about nine banks now under the central bank’s special control, Ukrainians are increasingly worried.

Even those with their money in apparently solid banks, including those controlled by west European banking groups, are concerned because the central bank has banned the early redemption of term deposits, the most popular form of saving in Ukraine.

It gets worse. A lot of the nascent liberal-democratic capitalist nations of New Europe and South America are seeing capitalism discredited. We may, unfortunately, see a major communist retrenchment before this is over.

Thanks to JackStraw.

Meanwhile... Economic crisis threatens Europe's single currency, which is no big loss, but it does underscore how bad things are.

The leaders of the European Union gathered Sunday in Brussels for an emergency summit meeting designed to tamp down the centrifugal forces unleashed by the global economic crisis that threaten to spin the bloc - and its single currency - apart.

In a statement afterward, the leaders tried to reassure their publics, promising to hold to the single market, promote growth and reject protectionism.

A call from Hungary for a large bailout for newer, eastern members of the union was rejected by Germany, the richest EU nation, and received little support from other countries.

Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany of Hungary warned of "a new Iron Curtain" dividing Europe, even if the metal today was gold. He called for a special EU fund of up to €190 billion, or $241 billion, to protect the bloc's weakest members.


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