June 13, 2012
Yesterday, we did an update of the Greek bank jog, when noting that between €100-€500 million per day was being withdrawn from Greek banks based on Kathimerini reports. 24 hours later the jog has become a trot with the most recent estimate from Reuters now estimated at nearly double: “Combined daily deposit outflows from the major Greek banks have reached 500-800 million euros over the past few days, with the pace picking up as the election draws closer and rising noticeably on Tuesday, two bankers said.” This is roughly $1 billion a day in the upper case, and a number that is approaching 0.5% of the entire documented €170 billion (now likely much less) deposit base.
Deposit outflows at smaller and medium sized banks were running at 10-30 million euros.
“This includes cash withdrawals, wire transfers and investments into money market funds, German Bunds, U.S. Treasuries and EIB bonds,” said one banker, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Fears that Greece may have to quit the single currency and return to a weak drachma have fuelled a steady stream of withdrawals by companies and businesses alarmed at the prospect of seeing the value of their deposits cut sharply.
The result of the election, called after a previous vote in May failed to produce a government, remains too close to call, with the conservative New Democracy party running neck and neck with radical leftist SYRIZA.
Both groups say they want Greece to remain in the single currency but SYRIZA has pledged to scrap a 130 billion euro bailout agreement signed in March which has imposed some of the toughest austerity measures seen in Europe in decades.
At the daily rate of doubling the “estimate” by Friday the trot will be an all out sprting and Greece will be experiencing a $4 billion in outflows. We wonder which banks will have any cash left at that point.
How much of this is fact, and how much pre-election rumormongering to scare people from voting against Syriza remains to be seen. Due to the polling moratorium it is impossible to get any grasp of which is the most popular party in Greece currently, even if the polls that had been released had the accuracy of an Excel random number generator.