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It's going to be a long weekend for Cyprus

An employee of Cyprus Laiki Bank reacts as he takes part in a protest outside the parliament in Nicosia on March 22, 2013.

It's Friday, which means two things at Marketplace: the Weekly Wrap and the start of the weekend.  But not everyone is looking forward to the next couple of days. The Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus has until Monday to figure out an acceptable plan to raise billions of dollars and avoid bankruptcy. That's billions with a "b" in 48 hours. The European Central Bank has warned leaders in Cyprus that it will cut off the emergency funding that's keeping Cypriot banks afloat if the country does not agree to a new deal by Monday.

Just a few months back, though, no one saw this coming. 

"This was not on my radar. This wasn't on very many people's radars. It's completely experienced by most people as a black swan event. You know, this thing that jumps out at you and that you had no idea even existed. It's now what everybody is talking about all the time," says John Carney, senior business editor at CNBC.

But is it something we really need to be worrying about all the time too? 

"It's a small economy. It's actually not that much money when it comes to bailouts," says Bloomberg senior economic analyst Nela Richardson. "But what Cyprus is," she explains, "is a huge political fiasco."

And come Monday morning, when stock markets open in Tokyo, Richardson thinks we'll all have a better idea of what the future holds for Cyprus and the rest of the world.

"The best bailout deals happen over the weekend," she says. "We've seen that in our own country, and I think we'll see it in this case too."

Listen above for more analysis of this week's business news. Meanwhile, check out the #longreads suggestions for the weekend.

Nela Richardson suggests:

As an Indiana University alum, my eyes will be glued to the NCAA tournament this weekend (Go Hoosiers!) but for those with other interests here are some really interesting reads of the week:

John Carney has these reads:

  • A look at what it means that we're marrying later than ever.  Importantly, it means very different things depending on your economic status and financial health.
  • A classic examination of how public consensus was manufactured by politicians. Worth reading now because we seem to have lost a "common will" or sense of "national purpose." 
  • And What are the Russians Playing At in Cyprus? Felix Salmon says it is basically a bear raid on the island nation.  

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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