Is Italy’s Financial System Hanging by a Thread

We just got another major sign that Italy’s financial system is extremely fragile. Consob, Italy’s Securities and Exchange Commission, has banned the short selling of shares in stricken Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena for at least three months from Thursday morning, in the latest sign that Italy’s banking system is teetering on the brink of a major disaster. In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the regulator says that no short selling — essentially placing bets on the price of a stock falling — will be allowed on the shares of the world’s oldest existing bank until October 5.

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