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digital daily: Books and Banking

Macro Monday – Books and Banking. You know a topic when you can explain it on demand and use it in a wide variety of situations. Richard Feynman would pretend to teach a child, shining brightly in his Feynman Lectures. It is a gift to be invited to teach a class, write a chapter, or review a book – Markus Thielen gave us that opportunity for the now-released book Crypto Titans. With readable precision, Markus unfolds crypto’s history through the evolution of the market and its players. There are lessons to carry forward, just like those from the European banking crisis. On May 18, 2013, Cyprus closed its banks. A Cypriot euro was no longer fungible with euros from Germany and other EMU countries. Cyprus, with a 0.2% capital subscription in the ECB, was setting a dangerous precedent for the 99.8%. Cyprus got their bailout on the condition of depositors being haircut – 6.8% for smaller balances and 9.9% for larger ones. The price of bitcoin surged as Europeans from Greece to Spain became enthusiastic buyers, hunting for an alternative to traditional banking. But the Cyprus path was a one off. Solutions to preempt further crises mummified the European banking system. The Euro Stoxx Bank Index is trading at levels reached in the excitement of the 2009 recovery, nearly 80% below 2006 highs. How would you teach the current banking crisis to a sixth grader? Safe, sound, and resilient are not the start of the lesson. Crypto Titans will make you a better teacher. Enjoy it.