.. shame if anything happened to it ...
The table below is data taken from the European Central Bank via the blog Tax Research (who in turn got it from Bill Mitchell's blog). It essentially shows the size of a country's financial industry as a percentage of GDP. I've annotated the most oversized with red dots :
Well, there's something wrong here isn't there. Cyprus has crashed and the EU has not dealt with the situation well. Cyprus has a financial sector over 8x the size of it's GDP and is also the largest outside investor in Russia. As Richard Murphy says, the situation is absurd on the face of it.
Leaving aside Luxembourg with a massive 20x finance to GDP ratio, next up might be tiny Malta, with 7x.
And the UK also has a big problem, at 6x.
These are worrying numbers and I don't think I'm alone in worrying. Some might say that to call this situation an "existential threat" would be a big exaggeration, and I would have agreed a few years ago. But now? The problems in Cyprus are not a bolt out of the blue but have been known for a long time. Even I have been aware of the it for at least six months. So what does the last minute panic and mess tell us?
And this morning, a business news story on the BBC about trouble brewing in Slovenia, a country that does not figure too badly in the table above. Turns out bad loans and a shaky financial sector. Who knows what is in store this year?