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The Cyprus Threat? Really?

Monday, 18 Mar 2013 | 12:58 PM ET

So Cyprus may tax its bank depositors in order to stay afloat. Who? What? Where?

Everything I know about Cyprus I learned in this hilarious parody, "Cypriot State of Mind."

I fully admit I don't know jack about the place. I know it's an island divided between Greek and Turks. Also, I know that ... um ... no, I don't know that. I got nothin'.

This weekend I learned that Cyprus is a member of the European Union and it's about to go bankrupt. It apparently has no resources bigger than the bajillion rubles Russians stash in its banks, so the government may tax all depositors to bail itself out.

(Read More: Cyprus Revising Plan, Banks Stay Shut: Reports)

This sent U.S. markets down. Your 401(k) is losing money because of a potential bank tax in a country with the gross domestic product of $24 billion. Cyprus' GDP is less than the least productive state in America, Vermont, where the state gross product is $26 billion. Would a bank tax in Vermont—if legal—create such havoc? Unless you're in Vermont, of course.

Cyprus
DEA / W. Buss | De Agostini | Getty Images
Cyprus

Why is a problem in one little corner of the world rippling toward our shores? Are we truly so intertwined with everyone? Even Cyprus? Is this really a case of The Princess and the Pea?

I posed the question on Twitter: "Cyprus taxing depositors bringing down U.S. markets is like... (fill in the blank)."

Here are some responses:

"...like a 20 buck battery grounding entire 787 fleet."

"Lucy's lemonade stand sales bringing down Gatorade."

"An unpruned tree in Ohio taking down the entire northeastern power grid."

"Warner Bros needing to raise $2 million in fan donations to finance the 'Veronica Mars' movie."

"Like a Kim Kardashian marriage. Only lasts a short while, and utterly meaningless. Jeez I gotta get a life, Jane..."

"Bloomberg banning large sodas."

"It's like me giving a rip about Honey Boo Boo's next show."

"The L.A. Kings winning Lord Stanley's Cup. Preposterous #waitasecond"

"Sailing on Carnival ship and expecting to make it home."

"A Ship of Plague Rats killing off 40% of the European Population."

"Jane wearing UCLA gear." (If that's the threat, we have nothing to fear...it ain't happening. Ever.)

Thanks for the tweets from @grocklein, @Tempdiaries, @DelDayTrader, @1fitnation, @mcfreelv, @WillowGroveJoe, @GuyAdami, @jmetoyer, @MyApplePi, and @DarylT.

—By CNBC's Jane Wells; Follow her on Twitter: @janewells

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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