A Diary of the Euro Crisis in Cyprus: Lessons for bank recovery and resolution.
Held on Thursday, November 30, 6.30pm-8.15pm.
Panicos Demetriades (University of Leicester)
Olli Rehn (Bank of Finland)
Megan Greene (Manulife)
Don’t be put off by the rather clunky title; Panicos Demetriades’s new book is extremely important – not just for Cyprus (where he was Governor of the Central Bank from 2012 to 2014, before returning to his professorship at Leicester) but for the health of the Great European Project going forward. What happened to Cyprus was not confined to Cyprus; in many ways, it was an existential crisis for the euro – and it offers lessons for creditor and debtor countries alike, within the Eurozone and beyond. Since Cyprus had close links with Russia – and with Russian oligarchs’ money – there are also broader geopolitical issues which have equal relevance today. And, of course, there are the precedents set (or broken) when it came to bank resolution and recovery and the issues around “bail-in”…
Panicos’s book is based broadly on the diary he kept, starting on his first day in office – and (like Varoufakis’s latest book on his time as Greek Finance Minister) it has more than a hint of classical tragedy as hubris turns to nemesis, with the Governor fighting against vested interests both at home and abroad.
This is not the first time that Panicos has spoken at the CSFI about Cyprus’s trials and tribulations, but it is the first time since he has been able to collect his thoughts and distill conclusions and recommendations from his time in office. We are, therefore, delighted that he has agreed to let us help launch his book (signed copies of which will be available for sale) and to share his thoughts. We are also delighted to have three eminent panellists, all of whom are immensely knowledgeable about financial regulation, Europe and the Cypriot experience:
- Olli Rehn was EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro from 2009 to 2014, taking over from Joaquin Almunia, and is currently a Board member of the Bank of Finland. He has a DPhil from St Antony’s, Oxford, and ran the Centre for European Studies at the University of Helsinki before moving to Brussels in 2003. He was described in the FT as “the author and first enforcer of the new rules as the Commission’s economic chief during the height of the Eurozone debt crisis”.
- Megan Greene is global chief economist at Manulife Asset Management, headquartered in Boston. Before joining John Hancock/Manulife, she ran her own economic consultancy, Maverick Intelligence, and, before that, was director of European economics at RGE. She covers the whole world but has a particular expertise in Europe, and writes columns on European issues for Politico and Foreign Affairs.
- David Green is now adviser to the chairman of RBS on Brexit and the City, a former head of the European division at the Bank of England, head of international and policy coordination and EU affairs at the FSA, and advisor on international affairs at the FRC. He was also a member of the Independent Commission on the Future of the Cyprus Banking Sector, which reported in November 2013.
This is a story as much about the euro as it is about Cyprus – and also about Russia, the costs/benefits of “bail-in”, the fragility of Southern Europe’s banking sector, and the sheer bloody-mindedness of the Germans. In other words, it is important. If you, or a colleague, would like to join us (and perhaps share your own thoughts), please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Centre on 0207 621 1056. As usual, there will be wine and sandwiches to ease the pain.