NICOSIA, Cyprus – The banking crisis in Cyprus deepened over the weekend, as the Proton Bank, a lender with 31 branches in Greece and Cyprus, announced that it was on the brink of insolvency.
After poring over the bank’s ledgers this weekend, European regulators concluded that the bank’s accounts are hopelessly out of balance.
Exasperated officials accused the bank of lax oversight of proton transactions.
“The bank has been lending H+ willy-nilly, without requiring its clients to balance the proton with an anion”, said Rolf Wagner-Meerwein, economist at the ECB.
The result is that the lender has been left with a surplus of unused chloride, bromide, iodide, and tosylate ions in its vaults, leading to a dangerous buildup of negative charge.
The holdings have a combined value of over 6.221 charges, or about 1000 Coulombs.
“Such a huge buildup of charge could result in the bank being engulfed in a lightning strike of Biblical proportions. It could happen at any second,” explained Yuri Antropov, a physicist at Moscow State University.
Asked about the possibility of a “bolt from the blue” destroying misbehaving banks, passers by in the Cypiot city of Larnaka seemed unconcerned, even enthusiastic. “Serves them right” said Kristos Papandreou, owner of a local souvlaki restaurant. Bud Hershbach, an American tourist in Cyprus, expressed the opinion that such a consequence would have been welcome in the 2008 banking crisis.
Banking officials announced that an emergency bailout was in the works, possibly involving an anion default swap with Proton Station, Ontario. Details have yet to be announced.