Italy’s “Last Resort” Bank Bailout Fails to Calm Investors’ Fears

by Geoffrey Smith

Atlas of Greek mythology would think twice before swapping his old job for this one.

The sight of Italy’s two strongest banks at the bottom of the Milan Index’s performance table Tuesday tells you all you need to know about Italy’s new €5 billion ($5.7 billion) fund to stabilize its financial system.

Dress it up in fine language about financial stability, first steps in the right direction towards consolidation, give it a name that conveys a misleading impression of limitless strength, but the fact remains: Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is forcing healthy banks to prop up unhealthy ones. And as if the principle weren’t dismaying enough, he’s going about it with a lack of detail, transparency and accountability that makes one truly fearful for the future.

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