The ECB thinks Greece will need a bank holiday
A report from Bloomberg on Sunday said the European Central Bank believes Greece will need to impose a bank holiday in order to stop massive outflows from Greece's banking system.Bloomberg's Angela Cullen cited a personal familiar with the ECB's thinking on his report
The report out of Bloomberg follows an announcement from the ECB that it would maintain its emergency liquidity assistance - or ELA - to Greece at current levels. And so while the ECB is keeping its ELA program in place, the Financial Times notes that without an increase in the ELA, Greece will likely run out of cash before July 5.The ELA was first put in place back in February, and the amount available under the program has been steadily increased over the last few months. The program allowed Greek banks to post collateral other than Greek government debt - which the ECB said it would no longer accept - in exchange for receiving liquidity at elevated interest rates. Bloomberg notes that the ECB is currently limiting the amount of capital available under the ELA at around €89 billion.
Another alternative to a bank holiday is implementing capital controls, though these are tougher to repeal once put in place - Cyprus, for example, had capital controls put in place in 2013 and these conditions were just lifted in April - and capital controls is often seen as a last ditch effort to stem the rush of money from a banking system.We earlier reported that analysts at Morgan Stanley see the scenario of capital controls as "highly likely." However, the first rule of capital controls is that you don't talk about them.
In its announcement, the ECB said, "The Governing Council is closely monitoring the situation in financial markets and the potential implications for the monetary policy stance and for the balance of risks to price stability in the euro area. The Governing Council is determined to use all the instruments available within its mandate."
The ECB added: "The Governing Council stands ready to reconsider its decision."And so as is, has been, and remains the case in Greece right now, this is subject to change.
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