Saturday, 10 December 2016

Weekend Update 10/12/2016 – Italy, A Bad Week And It Gets Worse .

"If the EU cannot resolve a small problem the size of Greece, what is the point of Europe?"

Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission, former Italy Prime Minister.

Forget about Greece, it was a bad week for Italy. On Sunday Italy’s voters overwhelmingly voted down Prime Minister Renzi’s reform referendum, and with it Prime Minister Renzi’s political career. On Friday the European Central Bank put the boot into Three Card Monte di Siena, the world’s oldest bank, making a depositor and bond holder bail-in a virtual certainty, possibly as early as this weekend or next week.

Any Italian state of Monte dei Paschi di Siena will further weaken the Italian economy, 
and increase that chances of an ant-Euro party coming to power at the next general election, which looks increasingly likely to be early next year. The EUSSR’s Christmas present in 2016, looks to this old trading dinosaur, quite likely to be a European Christmas banking crisis that rolls into next year eventually rolling up to the front door  of Germany’s Deutsche Bank.

Though for now precious metals have fallen out of favour, to this ancient dinosaur who still remembers real money, long before the world made the giant mistake of being forced by America on to fiat money, communist money, I think 2017 will be the year the precious metals roar out their importance once again.

Exclusive: ECB rejects Monte Paschi's request for more time to raise cash - source

Fri Dec 9, 2016 | 9:12am EST
The European Central Bank has rejected a request by Italy's Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) for more time to raise capital, a source said on Friday, a decision that piles pressure on the Rome government to bail out the lender.

Italy's third-largest bank, and the world's oldest, had asked for a three-week extension until January 20 to try to wrap up a privately funded, 5-billion-euro ($5.3 billion) rescue plan in the face of fresh political uncertainty.

The ECB's supervisory board turned down the request at a meeting on Friday on the grounds that a delay would be of little use and that it was time for Rome to step in, the source said.

The Italian government is expected to intervene in the next few days to recapitalize the bank to avert the risk of it being wound down, according to banking sources said.

A Monte dei Paschi spokesman said the bank had not received any communication from the ECB. Its board is expected to meet later on Friday.

Shares in the Tuscan lender were suspended from trading due to excessive losses after falling 7.3 percent on the Reuters report that the ECB - the euro zone's banking supervisor - had rejected its request for more time.

A failure of Monte dei Paschi could threaten the savings of thousands of retail investors, ripple across the wider banking sector and provoke a financial crisis in the euro zone's third-biggest economy.

Italy faces the risk of early elections, and the prospect of an anti-euro party coming to power, after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi quit this week following the heavy defeat of his plan to reform the constitution in a weekend referendum.

One banking source said the consortium of investment banks that had been due to decide whether to underwrite the private capital-raising believed there was not enough time or willing investors to execute the deal by the year-end deadline imposed by the ECB.

Earlier on Friday, the bank's senior management met Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan and the leading investment banks behind the private rescue plan - JPMorgan (JPM.N) and Mediobanca (MDBI.MI), a treasury source said.

5-Star says Italy should use state money to save Monte Paschi

Fri Dec 9, 2016 | 10:37am EST
Italy's anti-system 5-Star Movement (M5S) said on Friday the government should intervene to save the country's third-largest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, (BMPS.MI) and protect small savers from losses.
Monte dei Paschi asked the European Central Bank for more time to wrap up a desperately-needed rescue plan amid a government crisis, but the ECB has turned it down, a source told Reuters.

"The ECB won't give more time to the Italian banking system," M5S's European parliament group said in a statement posted on founder Beppe Grillo's blog.

"Now Monte dei Paschi can only be saved with state aid, in a way that avoids applying the bail-in to small savers, as happened a year ago," the group continued, referring to the state rescue of four small banks under European Union rules which led to losses for many retail investors.

The group added that the rescue should be financed by raising Italy's budget deficit.

ECB rejects Monte dei Paschi rescue extension

The European Central Bank’s supervisory arm has rejected a request from Italy to delay a market deal for Monte dei Paschi di Siena until mid-January, paving the way for the bail in of Italy’s third largest lender this weekend, according to a person close to the decision.

MPS’s shareholders have been prepared to blame the central bank for losses imposed on bondholders if Rome is forced into an urgent state bailout in the aftermath of the country’s failed referendum last week.
The lender made a request for a five-week extension to pull off a €5bn equity injection and try to avoid forcing losses on some debt holders as required under new EU bailout rules.

The board of ECB’s Single Supervisory Mechanism – which oversees the eurozone’s major banks – made the call at a meeting on Friday and was first reported by Reuters. Policymakers have been reluctant to offer MPS more time to solve problems which have long been known about.

----- The long mooted bail in of Monte dei Paschi, which has the Italian Treasury as its largest shareholder, now threatens to become the latest standoff between Italy and the eurozone’s authorities.

Italian bankers had argued the resignation of prime minister Matteo Renzi following a decisive defeat in Sunday’s referendum had unleashed political turmoil which made it impossible to carry out a market deal until a new government is in place.

Following Friday’s rejection, top bankers involved in the MPS deal, including JP Morgan, Mediobanca, and Marco Morelli, chief executive of Monte dei Paschi, are meeting in Italy’s Treasury to work out the final details of the state bail out, said a person close to the talks.

Tiny parties throng to have their say on Italy's new leader

Fri Dec 9, 2016 | 2:41pm EST
President Sergio Mattarella is consulting a total of 23 parties to help him find a successor to outgoing Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, showing how little progress Italy has made in reducing political fragmentation.

On Friday, Mattarella met separately with groups that few Italians have even heard of, such as the Thought and Action Party, the Civic Innovators Party and one known only as "Fare!", which would roughly translate as the "Doing" party.

The political landscape is even more fragmented than it looks. Several of the delegations holding talks with the president are actually mini-coalitions and the total number of movements in parliament is around 40.

The first group to emerge from the meetings in Mattarella's sumptuous Rome palace on Friday recounted their encounter in German. They represented the Austrian minority in the South-Tyrol border region.

One of the bigger players, the Northern League, which polls show is Italy's third most popular party at about 13 percent, said it favoured a snap election rather than creating a new government with anything other than a short-term caretaker role.

"We must vote as soon as possible," Giancarlo Giorgetti, the League's deputy secretary, said after his meeting with Mattarella.

The president's consultations will continue on Saturday, including with Renzi's Democratic Party (PD), which has more parliamentarians than any other bloc.

As seen from Brexit London, Germany finally got the Italian crisis it’s wanted for months.

“We all know what to do, but we don’t know how to get re-elected once we have done it.”

Jean-Claude Juncker. Failed Luxembourg Prime Minister and ex-president of the Euro Group of Finance Ministers. Confessed liar. EC President.

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