Italian Banks Collapse, Short Sales Banned As Loan Loss Fears Mount

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Italian bank stocks are crashing (with BMPS down 40% year-to-date) as Reuters reports that investors are growing increasingly nervous about how the sector will cope with lower interest rates and a 200 billion euro ($218 billion) pile of loans that are unlikely to be repaid. The broad banking sector is down 4% with stocks suspended, and in light of this bloodbath, Italian regulators have decided in their wisdom, to ban short-selling of some bank stocks (which has driven hedgers into the CDS market, spking BMPS credit risk). Continue reading

Greek Contagion Spreads As Several Italian Bank Stocks Failed To Open

This is how fragile the entire EU system is. If Greece sneezes, Italy coughs. The EU at best might be able to handle a Grexit, although that doesn’t look likely as stated here many times before. Look for the markets to go through a lot of turmoil but Greece is here to stay, whether its within the EU or a newly formed United States of Europe currently underway. Almost all experts agree it’s too strategically important to lose to the Sino-Soviet axis.

 

While things have normalized since the open thanks entirely to the SNB’s aggressive EUR-buying, CHF-selling intervention (good to see that central banks have read the BIS’ report and have learned from their prior intervention mistakes), earlier this morning we got a snapshot of what happens if and when the SNB, and then the ECB itself, finally lose control when as a result of the Greek crisis the contagion promptly spread a few hundred kilometers west to Italy where as the WSJ reported, “several Italian banks failed to start trading on Monday as fears over a Greek debt default induced many investors to shed peripheral stocks, including Italian, with banks suffering the most.Continue reading