Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
There have been considerable currency transfers out of Greek banks, but there have been no bank runs. Which is a great mystery actually, as a bank run would be the rational thing at this stage.  If I had euros in a Greek bank account, I'd transfer them out of the country ASAP.

I think you're interestingly wrong.

First, the circumstantial evidence:

German banks target worried Greeks in Germany

Greeks worried about a debt restructuring or a euro exit increasingly transfer their money to banks abroad, Bild-Zeitung reports. According to the mass circulation tabloid German banks such a savings bank in Munich have posted signs in their windows advertising in Greek and German that Greek costumers will be advised in Greek. According to the paper €30bn have already been transferred from Greece abroad since the crisis started.

(May 2011)

So that's 30 billion in a year, easily 15% of GDP.

Now let's look at Target2 balances:

... The first point to clarify is that there appears to be absolutely no correlation between the current account data of Greece and the TARGET2 balances.  In fact, Greece has been running a constant CAD since it joined the Euro, yet TARGET2 balance discrepancies didn't start showing up until 2008 which is the time Greece's CAD actually began to improve.

(Professor Sinn strays off target, 14 March 2012)

It does look like a run on the country to me. And in fact it started in 2008 because of the generalised flight to safety that started then.

It's only because of the existence of the European System of Central Banks that we haven't actually seen an Albania-style (forget Russia, that's for wimps) banking crisis in Greece.  Of course the German economic establishment is making noises about how they would like to actually use the Target2 balances to cause just such a crisis in the European periphery.

So, I'm sorry to say, both you and Jerome are wrong on this one. I said interestingly wrong because you'd be right before about 1970 when electronic banking started (I'm taking the emergence of ATM technology as a watershed).

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 17th, 2012 at 06:08:08 PM EST
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