Over the last year, the island has been swept up by Watergate-style hearings with many of the principal actors in the economy's collapse and subsequent rescue. Beyond the calumny and conspiracy theories, one question has persisted: Did Pimco succumb to pressure from the central bank and the three bodies lending money to Cyprus -- the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and European Commission -- to punish the banks by inflating their cash needs?... Some economists believe that the country's depositors, many of whom lost their life savings, suffered needlessly.


The basis for the criticism comes from an unusual source: a separate BlackRock study commissioned by the Cypriot central bank shortly before Pimco issued its report. The central bank chief, voicing concerns over Pimco's models and its approach, asked BlackRock, the world's largest investor, to dissect the work of its rival.

The BlackRock study, which has never been publicly released and was reviewed by The New York Times, suggests that the banks' needs were €1 billion less than Pimco's estimate of €8.8 billion; central bank officials did not brief the new Cypriot government on the report's existence at the time of bailout negotiations in March 2013. Government investigators, who have continued to delve into the matter, say capital requirements were even lower, just over €6 billion.

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