WASHINGTON — The small island nation of Cyprus' proposal to tax its insured depositors is likely to stoke fears of bank runs in Europe and elsewhere, even if it is an extremely unlikely scenario in the United States.

Over the weekend, several media outlets fronted photos of anxious customers lining up at automated teller machines to withdraw money in Cyprus, and Huffington Post published a piece on its home page with the alarming headline "Fear the Bank Run." That has renewed concerns of international bank runs, particularly in nations close to Cyprus.

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