Most people think of the money they deposit into the bank as a personal asset they own.
But that’s not true.
Once a deposit is made at the bank, it’s no longer your property. It’s the bank’s. What you own is a promise from the bank to repay. It’s an unsecured liability. That’s a very different thing from owning physical cash stuffed under your mattress. Money deposited into the bank technically makes you a creditor of the bank. You’re liable to get burned from a bail-in should the bank get into trouble.
People in Cyprus had to find this out the hard way in early 2013. People awoke on an otherwise normal Saturday morning to the shock that the money in their bank accounts had been taken by a bail-in to recapitalize the banks.
Not surprisingly, many Italians aren’t just waiting around to get “Cyprused.”