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 →
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 →