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Not surprisingly, these developments led to a rapid rise in household debt (The warning signs should have come as early as 2008, when loans exceeded deposits for the first time.
Prior to that, Cypriot banks had engaged in the good old-fashioned practice of lending less than they had on deposit.
But the real reason was a confluence of many inter-related causes: the banks, the local and international regulators, Cypriot and other governments, the rating agencies, Cypriot and EU politicians, the media and, one can argue, the Cypriot professional services sector.
So let us start at the beginning, with Cyprus’ entry into the EU in May 2004.
They paid little attention to hyperinflation in asset prices.
But with EU membership in their pocket, they tried to get “sophisticated”, expanding their operations to Greece, as well as Romania, Russia and Ukraine.
Worse still, as profits from lending to Greek companies and individuals started to fall, the banks tried to make a fast buck.
They keep up their faith and they keep their attention divided so that they don’t feel too frustrated about not being able to dive fully into their romantic relationship.
Why were Nautical miles used in one measurement and feet in another?