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Customers shifting money out of banks in southern Europe

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Can you blame them? It's a nervous time for many people and none of the options are great. It hardly seems likely that the latest bailout for Greece will do much to settle the situation. The only surprise with the crisis in Europe is that the dollar is falling against the euro. Bloomberg:

Greece (TODETOGR)’s total deposits plunged 28 percent from the peak in June 2009 to 169 billion euros ($225 billion) at the end of December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In Spain (TODETOES), deposits slid 5 percent in the five months through November to 934 billion euros, the least since April 2008. Italian (TODETOIT) banks held 974 billion euros in November, the lowest in 18 months. Deposits in Germany (TODETODE) have climbed by almost 10 percent since May 2010, when Greece was granted its first bailout. Deposits have risen every month except five since the end of 2009, and reached 2.15 trillion euros at the end of 2011, Bloomberg data show. The deteriorating growth outlook in the euro region risks exacerbating those flows, according to Dario Perkins, an economist at Lombard Street Research in London. “The biggest systemic risk is if people lose confidence in keeping their euros in Spain, Portugal or Italy,” Perkins said. “It makes sense to put your cash into Germany just to be safe and that’s where the real systemic danger lies. That contagion isn’t priced in, and bank deposits are the place we’d spot it.”

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