Bank patrons across Europe have been withdrawing their money in huge numbers, as fears rise about the stability of the Euro and the European Union.
John Maxfield of DailyFinance.com explains:
Private bankers in London have reported that European clients are moving into dollar-based assets. Central banks around the world are eschewing the euro in favor of the dollar or even their own currency, according to Bank of America. And hedge funds are doing what hedge funds do -- piling on.
The reason is simple. Nobody wants to be caught with money in a European bank -- more specifically, a bank in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, or Portugal -- if the monetary union disintegrates. Imagine waking up one day only to learn that the 50,000 euros in your bank account had been involuntarily converted into drachmas . . . .
The massive withdrawls prompted New York magazine to take a lighthearted look back at bank runs throughout history.
It starts in Sicily in the fourth century B.C. and ends in present-day Greece.