Eric Cantona sparks a global run on the banks

3 min Read Published: 23 Nov 2010
picture from riot.com

The former Manchester United star inspires internet uprising.

I couldn't let this amusing story pass without commenting on it. According to the This is Money website Eric Cantona has inspired an internet campaign to attempt to bring down the banking system on 7th December.

A clip of Eric Cantona has appeared on YouTube in which he criticises the French protesters who recently took to the streets in a futile demonstration against governmental cuts. He then has a 'Citizen Smith moment' and tells the interviewer how protesters can make their anger felt more strongly by bringing down the banking system

I won't steal the former Manchester United star's thunder by transcribing his ramblings, instead you can watch him delver his vision by clicking on the video below. Yes it is in French but it also includes some incredibly fast moving subtitles.

So how many people have signed up to this?

According to the This is Money's article around 12,000 people in France have already joined a Facebook group set up in support of the movement. Support is also surfacing globally and a website has even been spawned to promote the cause.

Will it work?

Banks only hold a small percentage of our deposits (between 5-10%) as cash, the rest being invested and loaned out. So in theory if everyone withdrew their money at the same time then the baking system would grind to a halt. But in reality this won't achieve much. If everyone attempted to withdraw money at the same time eventually the cash points would run out of money – which would just be a minor inconvenience. It wouldn't necessarily cause the system to collapse beyond repair.

One of the problems with this sort of action is that the very people who are likely to take part are those with relatively minor deposits i.e. those who have the least to lose from a banking crisis. Wealthy individuals and companies certainly won't be withdrawing their money. So how much could such a campaign realistically drain form the banking system? Besides, if the campaign did succeed and everyone was running around with wheelbarrows of cash then I might quit my day job and become a burglar on 8th December.

But let's not forget the monetary policy makers, governments and central banks did their best to break the banking system and didn't quite manage it. So what chance has Kung Fu Eric got?

It just sounds like a lot of seagulls following a trawler if you ask me.

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