Bank run in Latvia

From the Tagesanzeiger in Switzerland:

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Rumors of an impending bank failure in Latvia over the weekend led to a run on bank machines. In many places it was impossible to get money.

For fear of a bank failure, yesterday Latvians emptied ATMs. Rumors of problems at Swedbank and at other Swedish banks active in Latvia precipitated the panicky withdrawals. Bank customers apparently reacted due to alarming SMS text messages.

This morning, 126 of 298 ATMs at Swedbank’s were out of cash according to the financial institution. In branches and on the Internet, worried customers asked for their money, said the head of the Swedish bank in Latvia, Maris Mancinskis.The rumors about financial problems were "not only false but absurd," Mancinskis assured viewers on Latvian television station LNT.

Clearly, the fragile European banking system cannot afford any further uncertainty.

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