The Art of Making Bad Debt Disappear.
Markets can move in mysterious ways. Such was the case in Italy last week when the stock of the country’s third biggest and most beleaguered bank, Monte dei Paschi, surged 59%, from €0.17 a share to a totally whopping €0.27 a share, pairing its losses for this year to just 78%. But why?
After all, nothing of real import happened over the last week, apart from anannouncement from MPS’s board that it intends to forge ahead with its original plan to bolster capital and sell soured loans. None of which qualifies as new news. Moreover, the announcement did absolutely nothing to dispel the huge doubts that continue to loom over the plan’s chances of success.
The board is expected to announce its latest intentions in a meeting on Monday. Its plan appears to already enjoy the full support of Italy’s government. “I am confident of the business plan that the bank’s management has presented,” Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan told Repubblica, adding (tongue presumably lodged firmly in cheek): “Of course with full autonomy”…
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