By Hugo Dixon
January 4, 2016
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews guest columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
The European Union entered a brave new world of bank “bailins” at the start of 2016.
Europe has wasted so much taxpayers’ money on
bailing out bust banks in recent years that it is right to try to get investors
to help foot the bills in future. However, the tough new regime carries big
political risks. The key new rule is that no bank can be bailed out with public
money until creditors accounting for at least 8 percent of the lender’s
liabilities have stumped up. Socalled bailins typically mean wiping out
creditors’ investments, slashing their value or converting them into shares in
the bank. Uninsured depositors could get caught along with professional