by Global Risk Insights
In the 14th century, the Medici family of Florence began its rise to prominence, investing profits from a thriving textile trade to fund what would become the largest banking institution in Europe. The success of the legendary banking family helped to usher in the Italian Renaissance and thus change the world. Now, Italian banks seem poised to alter the world yet again.
Shares of Italy’s largest financial institutions have plummeted in the opening months of 2016 as piles of bad debt on their balance sheets become too high to ignore. Amid all of the risks facing EU members in 2016, the risk of contagion from Italy’s troubled banks poses the greatest threat to the world’s already burdened financial system.