Contagion from the 2 Friday-Night Bank Collapses in Italy?

This is how desperate the Italian Banking Crisis has become.
When things get serious in the EU, laws get bent and loopholes get exploited. That is what is happening right now in Italy, where the banking crisis has reached tipping point. The ECB, together with the Italian government, have just this weekend to resolve Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca, two zombie banks that the ECB, on Friday night, ordered to be liquidated.
Unlike Monte dei Pachi di Siena, they will not be bailed out primarily with public funds. Senior bondholders and depositors will be protected while shareholders and subordinate bondholders will lose their shirts. However, as the German daily Welt points out, subordinate bondholders at Monte dei Pachi di Siena had billions of euros at stake, much of it owned by its own retail customers who’d been sold these bonds instead of savings products such as CDs. So for political reasons, they were bailed out.
Junior bonds play a smaller role at the two Veneto-based banks. According to the Welt, the two banks combined have 1.33 billion (at face value) in junior bonds outstanding. They last traded between 1 cent and 3 cents on the euro. So worthless. Only about 100 million were sold to their own customers, not enough to cause a political ruckus in Italy. So they will be crushed.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Jun 25, 2017.

Buy C-R-A-P

We live in a modern world of acronyms and buzzwords, and the financial industry is certainly no exception. In fact, it may be one of the worst culprits, what with FANG, ZIRP, TINA, BREXIT, QUITALY, BRIC, etc. all entering the lexicon over the last few years. Yet, creating some catchy collection of consonants remains one of the most surefire ways to attract attention in this business since it, admittedly, makes for a great headline and gives strategists like us something fun to write about (‘fun’ being a relative measure). Well, now the new eye-catching acronym to watch, according to Tom Lee of Fundstrat is C-R-A-P – Computers, Resources, American Banks, and Phone Carriers – which are all levered to the investment recovery, inflation, and deregulation expected over the next year. Before I comment further on those recommendations, though, I want to point out that I like to follow Tom Lee’s thoughts because, like us, he lets the data do most of his thinking, and, like us, he was one of the few pundits last year who actually saw potential for the US stock market. He backed that up, too, with one of the highest S&P 500 targets among strategists for 2016 (2325), but now, according to Bloomberg, he has the lowest price target for 2017 among the fifteen strategists they track (2275), further proof that he doesn’t just parrot consensus numbers.
Reading between the lines of his comments, Lee does not see a substantial upside for the stock market as a whole in 2017, at least not without a pullback first, but he does believe a potential exists among individual areas of the market. This line of thinking is consistent with our view that passive indexing may be more frustrating for this type of investing environment because you will be dragged down by the underperforming sectors and the increased volatility may make it more difficult to hold onto positions long enough to achieve the eventual performance. We generally agree, too, that the C-R-A-P stocks should do well in the political and economic landscape that many expect on the horizon. If inflation does pick up, driven by fiscal stimulus and more robust economic growth, Fundstrat argues that the contemporaneous increase in wages will not hit technology company margins as hard given their reliance on more high-skilled workers, and we, too, continue to advise an overweight of Tech to benefit from the Computers sub-sector. The big acronym of 2015 and 2016, the so-called FANG stocks, may already be coming back into favor, as well, with Facebook Inc. (FB/$123.41/Outperform), Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN/$795.99/Outperform), Netflix Inc. (NFLX/$131.07/Outperform), and Alphabet Inc. (GOOG/$806.15/Outperform) all breaking out to new reaction highs last week.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 01/10/2017.

Italy Banking Crisis is Also a Huge Crime Scene

Toxic loans as a result of corruption, political kickbacks, fraud, and abuse.
The Bank of Italy’s Target 2 liabilities towards other Eurozone central banks – one of the most important indicators of banking stress – has risen by 129 billion in the last 12 months through November to 358.6 billion. That’s well above the 289 billion peak reached in August 2012 at the height of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.
Foreign and local investors are dumping Italian government bonds and withdrawing their funding to Italian banks. The bank at the heart of Italy’s financial crisis, Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), has bled 6 billion of ‘commercial direct deposits’ between September 30 and December 13, 2 billion of which since December 4, the date of Italy’s constitutional referendum.
Italy’s new Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who took over from Matteo Renzi after his defeat in the referendum, said his government – a virtual carbon copy of the last one – is prepared to do whatever it takes to stop MPS from collapsing and thereby engulfing other European banks. His options would include directly supporting Italy’s ailing banks, in contravention of the EU’s bail-in rules passed into law at the beginning of this year. Though now, that push comes to shove, the EU seems happy to look the other way.
While attention is focused on the rescue of MPS, news regarding another Italian bank, Banca Erturia, has quietly slipped by the wayside.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Dec 18, 2016.

What Is Quitaly?

First there was Grexit, followed by Brexit, and now there’s Quitaly. What is Quitaly? It’s Italy’s referendum that could decide if the struggling country will change its constitution.
Today’s (Sunday) Quitaly vote for constitutional reform is deemed by many as the most significant European political event of 2016.
Behind today’s vote is Italy’s floundering economy. Over the last two decades, Italy has seen virtually no growth and sky-high unemployment. Plus, Italian goods have become less and less competitive in export markets.
Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has campaigned for a ‘yes’ vote in today’s voting, which he says will make governing easier in the country.
Reforms being voted on today would remove some of the Senate’s power. That means proposed laws would only need approval from the lower house of parliament. Under the current system, both houses must approve laws.
In a bold move, Renzi is putting his political fate on the line. He has said he would leave office if the ‘yes’ vote loses.
Lobbying for ‘no’ is the populist party Five Star Movement (5SM). The 5SM’s goal is to block reforms that would streamline Italy’s public administration and leave the current checks required in place.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on December 4, 2016.

5 Questions, Answered about Italy’s Referendum

This Sunday, December 4th, Italy will hold a constitutional referendum.
And while this isn’t a referendum to remain or leave the European Union, like the United Kingdom’s referendum in June, it still matters. European markets, the future of trade, the economy and global relations all could shift depending on the outcome.
It behooves you to know what’s happening and what could happen as a result. You’d be forgiven, though, for not understanding what Sunday’s referendum is all about. One of the leading Italian research institutes, Demopolis, reported that nine out of ten Italians have not understood the upcoming referendum on constitutional reform.
***
What is the Italian Referendum and Why is it Important? Italy’s referendum will decide on a series of constitutional reforms that would considerably restrict the size and power of one out of the two houses of Italian parliament. This effort was drawn up to reform the country’s endemic corruption and inefficient systems of governing.
Italy’s current Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, has lobbied strongly for a ‘yes’ vote, which would strengthen the central government, while weakening the regional provinces.. The Prime Minister has flip-flopped on his promise resign if voters in the country reject the referendum – but considerable speculation has indicated made Renzi’s exit still a possibility.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on December 3, 2016.

Renzi’s Great Gamble

There is an extremely important election coming up, and I am not talking about the US presidential election. The upcoming referendum in either October or November in Italy may have as much or even more macroeconomic impact on the world as the US election, but hardly anyone outside of Italy is paying much attention to it – yet.
I have been saying for some time in interviews around the country that I think the referendum in Italy has even more potential impact than the Brexit vote did in the United Kingdom. And just like the Brexit vote, it is rife with emotion and political turmoil, making the outcome too close to call.
If you are a voter in Italy, your frustration (or maybe even anger) is entirely understandable. The current prime minister, Matteo Renzi, has basically bet his career on this referendum, which would allow him to enact what most of us would see as much-needed reforms – in fact they’re the very Italian reforms that I have written about in my letters over the last five years and that I talked about in my previous two books. Italy has about as sclerotic a governmental process as any country in Europe, and that is saying something. There is no end of corruption and crony politics, with each faction wanting to keep the status quo and not have to give up any of its perks but wanting everybody else to give up all of theirs. Not unlike a country close to where I reside (I say with a smile and a sigh).

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on AUGUST 24, 2016.

Mission Impossible Looms for Renzi’s Italian Growth Target

The odds are stacked against Matteo Renzi’s economic ambitions for Italy.
The prime minister needs to see a blistering pace in the second half of this year to meet his goal of a 1.2 percent expansion in 2016. Economists say that’s not happening, spelling trouble for Renzi and the wider euro area.
With Renzi facing a referendum in the autumn that could decide his political future, a stagnant economy and banks hobbled by bad debt are adding to his challenges. While cheaper oil, a weaker euro and unprecedented European Central Bank stimulus helped the Italian economy emerge last year from its longest recession since World War II, that can only take the recovery so far.
‘Italy’s potential growth rate is, as of today, still zero if not slightly negative,’ said Raffaella Tenconi, a London-based economist at Wood & Co. ‘Companies are still too indebted, profitability in the aggregate is very low and the economy overall is in a particularly challenging position having no fiscal or monetary-policy independence.’
Renzi’s government so far is standing by the 2016 growth projection it made in April, despite an economy that stalled in the three months through June. A constitutional reform referendum expected in November is rapidly turning into a test of the 41-year-old premier’s popularity, with unemployment that unexpectedly rose to 11.6 percent in June and a banking crisis that rattled investors large and small. Renzi has said he would quit if he loses the vote.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Lorenzo Totaro, Bloomberg Business ‘ August 22, 2016.

On The Impossibility Of Helicopter Money And Why The Casino Will Crash

…….. As the stock market reached its lunatic peak near 2200 in August, the certainty that the Fed is out of dry powder and that the so-called economic recovery is out of runway gave rise to one more desperate pulse of hopium.
Namely, that the central banks of the world were about to embark on outright ‘helicopter money’, thereby jolting back to life domestic economies that are sliding into deflation and recession virtually everywhere – – from Japan to South Korea, China, Italy, France, England, Brazil, Canada and most places in-between.
That latter area especially includes the United States. Despite Wall Street’s hoary tale that the domestic economy has ‘decoupled’ from the rest of the world, the evidence that the so-called recovery is grinding to a halt is overwhelming.
After all, the real GDP growth rate during the year ending in June was a miniscule 1.2%. It reflected the weakest 4-quarter rate since the Great Recession.
And even that was made possible only by an unsustainable build-up in business inventories and the shortchanging of inflation by the Washington statistical mills. Had even a semi-honest GDP deflator been used, the US economy would have posted real GDP on the zero-line, at best.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on August 17, 2016.

Italy isn’t the only European country with ‘a systemic banking crisis’

Last week everyone was clamoring about Italy.
In the aftermath of the UK’s European Union referendum, markets started worrying about what a British exit from the EU, or Brexit, would mean for one of the euro area’s sore spots: Italian banks.
But this week attention has started to shift over to Portugal – and not just because of its victory over France in the Euro 2016 final.
Rather, markets are once again feeling antsy about the Iberian nation’s banking problems as macroeconomic conditions start to deteriorate.
‘The UK referendum hit an already vulnerable banking system in the eurozone. Italian banksare on the front burner, but the temperature is rising in Portugal,’ Marc Chandler, the global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, wrote in a Monday note to clients.
‘The country is struggling with a systemic banking crisis, the lack of a convincing medium-term fiscal plan and excessive public and private sector leverage,’ a Barclays team led by Antonio Garcia Pascual observed in a note to clients.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Elena Holodny, Business Insider ‘ July 18, 2016.

Brexit Is Old News, Time To Worry About Italy

There are symptoms and there is core causation to economic events. There are excuses and their area reasons why financial events unfold the way they do. Societie Generale’s Albert Edwards thinks investors need to keep their eye on the ball. Stop bemoaning Brexit. There are bigger fish to fry and issues to tackle, some of which could dramatically impact the economy and markets going forward, he wrote in a July 8 report titled ‘Brexit is a symptom, not the cause of our problems, but who’s next Italy?’ The report comes just days after he said Brexit was an issue in the rear view mirror and pointed to other issues to focus on.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 11, 2016.

Populist Politicians Take On Italy’s Massive Debt Pile

The Rome Olympics of 1960 marked the rebound of the Italian capital after years of war and reconstruction, an affirmation of the country’s renaissance and the city’s emergence as a symbol ofdolce vita insouciance. Rome is still paying the bill, and the new mayor, Virginia Raggi, is sick of it.
The city has roughly 13.6 billion ($15.2 billion) in debt and more than 12,000 creditors – though the pile is so complex no one really knows how much is owed to whom. Rome faces outstanding bills for operating its 61-year-old metro system, hauling trash, and running a network of unprofitable pharmacies that compete with private shops. The courts are grappling with hundreds of lawsuits over unpaid debts going back 50 years for land expropriated to build hospitals, streets, and other city projects – including some debts connected to the 1960 games, former Mayor Ignazio Marino has said. The average interest rate: 5 percent, at a time when the Italian government is issuing 10-year bonds at 1.5 percent annually. ‘We can’t keep paying such high interest just because nobody bothered to renegotiate the debt,’ Raggi, who was elected on June 19, told the RAI television network.
Raggi, a 37-year-old lawyer and Rome’s first female mayor, has ridden a wave of frustration with Italy’s old guard – especially its handling of the economy – to one of the country’s most powerful political jobs. Her rise mirrors the growing strength of her party, the Five Star Movement, founded in 2009 by Beppe Grillo, a scruffy, bearded comedian who got his start on variety shows in the 1970s but was later banned from public television for his biting political satire. Five Star (the stars are meant to represent water, environment, transport, development, and energy, though the party mostly focuses on fighting corruption and cutting regulations) has grown into a formidable rival to the Democratic Party of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Its biggest names – Grillo, Raggi, and Chiara Appendino, a 32-year-old businesswoman just elected mayor of Turin – have won support from across the political spectrum with their portrayal of the establishment as greedy buffoons unprepared to deal with the country’s problems. Renzi’s ‘life of privilege with public money,’ Grillo writes on his blog, ‘is an insult to those who can barely make ends meet.’

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 8, 2016.

The Next Referendum Casualty – – The Italian PM And Its Bloated, Insolvent Banking System

It’s now a familiar refrain: A European prime minister calls a referendum, his job could be on the line and markets are getting worried.
This time it’s not Britain’s David Cameron but Italy’s Matteo Renzi, who has called a vote on an ambitious overhaul of the political system aimed at ending the country’s unstable governments. If he loses, Renzi has promised to quit, an outcome that Citigroup Inc. called probably the biggest risk in European politics this year outside the U. K.
The vote is expected in October, though it is already spooking investors and Italian bonds are once more under-performing their Spanish peers. The yield on 10-year Italian securities overtook those on similar-maturity Spanish debt for the first time in almost a year on June 27, a day after Spain’s Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy defied opinion polls to consolidate his position in a general election.
A public opinion poll by Euromedia Research said that 34 percent of Italians would vote against Renzi’s plan, with 28.9 percent in favor, 19.4 percent undecided on which way to vote and 17.7 percent undecided on whether to vote. The poll based on 1,000 interviews was conducted on July 1. No exact date for the referendum has been set.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 6, 2016.

Here We Go Again – – August 2007 Redux

Nearly everywhere on the planet the giant financial bubbles created by the central banks during the last two decades are fracturing. The latest examples are the crashing bank stocks in Italy and elsewhere in Europe and the sudden trading suspensions by three UK commercial property funds.
If this is beginning to sound like August 2007 that’s because it is. And the denials from the casino operators are coming in just as thick and fast.
Back then, the perma-bulls were out in full force peddling what can be called the ‘one-off’ bromide. That is, evidence of a brewing storm was spun as just a few isolated mistakes that had no bearing on the broad market trends because the ‘goldilocks’ economy was purportedly rock solid.
Thus, the unexpected collapse of Countrywide Financial was blamed on the empire building excesses of the Orange Man (Angelo Mozillo) and the collapse of the Bear Stearns mortgage funds was purportedly owing to a lapse in supervision.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 5, 2016.

The Italian Job – – Enough Is Enough!

‘You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!’
That one line, spoken on the big screen by Michael Caine was crowned, according to a 2003 Daily Telegraph survey, Britain’s favorite one-liner of film. That kind of staying power is remarkable considering The Italian Job, the original, that is, was released in 1969, two years before Mark Wahlberg, who portrayed Caine’s character, Charlie Croker, in the movie’s 2003 remake, made his 1971 debut.
As for the film’s American version and one-liners, the crown for favorite was won when Charlie’s 2003 on-screen nemesis Steve taunted: ‘You blew the best thing you had going for you. You blew the element of surprise.’ Charlie’s reaction? A knock-out punch followed seamlessly by the understated comeback, ‘Surprised?’
The element of surprise was on full display in the hours and days that followed Britain’s voters’ decisive move to Leave the EU. The Brexit referendum succeeded in blowing off a different set of doors, leaving taunting politicians and policymakers alike flat-footed, with a whole new fear, that of contagion, beginning to the south in Italy. Might the Italians pull of a Job of their own, following Great Britain’s lead in stealing back their own country?
The hope, stated diplomatically by Gluskin Sheff’s inimitable David Rosenberg, a dear friend, is that Brexit will prove to be a, ‘wakeup call for the long-awaited fundamental changes with regards to the EU – make it more democratic and make it less bureaucratic and embark on immigration rules that do not sacrifice regional security.’

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Danielle DiMartino Booth ‘ June 29, 2016.

The EU’s Failed Neo-Liberal Policies and BREXIT

Andrew Ross Sorkin is back, so unintentional self-parody is again the order of the day. Wall Street’s sycophant-in-chief, introduces his column with a 98 m.p.h. fastball aimed at the reader’s chin.
This isn’t meant to scare you, but let’s consider the absolute worst-case scenarios of ‘Brexit.’
Sorkin’s column then presents his specific example of his absolute worst-case scenario. See if you can spot what is missing from that scenario.
Consider this: Italy’s government is considering pumping as much as $45 billion into its banking system after the Brexit vote. Shares of the biggest Italian banks have fallen more than 20 percent since the results of the vote were announced. And Italian banks are considered particularly vulnerable because they hold hundreds of billions of euros in bad loans. If Brexit forces a material economic slowdown across the Continent, Italy’s banks – without a rescue plan – could significantly suffer.
OK, Italy’s elite bankers made ‘hundreds of billions of euros in bad loans’ that are still on their books nine years after the onset of the Great Recession. That should have prompted deep analysis by Sorkin about why the bankers made the loans, what role they caused in producing Italy’s crises, and why the regulators have allowed the bankers to ‘extend and pretend’ the bad loans as if they were good loans for nine years.
No one reads Sorkin for financial analytical expertise. We read Sorkin because he regurgitates to the public the elite bankers’ concerns and propaganda.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on June 29, 2016.

Germany Just Blew Up Italy’s Bank Bailout Plan

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Rahm Emanuel prophetic words were quickly put to use by Italy on Monday morning, which barely waited one full day before using Brexit as the scapegoat excuse to warn that a 40 billion bailout of Italian banks is coming.
As a reminder, on Monday morning the local media reported that Renzi’s
government was pursuing a six-month waiver of EU state-aid rules,
allowing it to shore up banks without forcing investors to share losses. Two days ago, when we first reported of Italy’s proposed bank rescue plan, we said that the chairman of Lower House’s Finance Commission, Maurizio Bernardo, confirmed that the government is studying options to support the banking sector, including a capital injection, and said a law decree ‘with measures going in that direction’ could be approved by the end of this week.
We pointed out that how such an intervention would be implemented was unclear; it was is also unclear how such a direct state recapitalization of Italian banks using public funds would be permitted by current EU and ECB regulations, which prohibit state bailouts of insolvent banks, although Europe has a long and illustrious history of finding massive loopholes to that particular prohibition. “Last but not least it is unclear how existing stakeholders, shareholders, bondholders and uninsured depositors, would be impaired under such a bailout.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 29, 2016.

Brussels Nomenklatura Responds To Brexit – – Unveiling Plan For Giant Superstate

The foreign ministers of France and Germany are due to reveal a blueprint to effectively do away with individual member states in what is being described as an ‘ultimatum’.
Under the radical proposals EU countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels.
Controversially member states would also lose what few controls they have left over their own borders, including the procedure for admitting and relocating refugees.
The plot has sparked fury and panic in Poland – a traditional ally of Britain in the fight against federalism – after being leaked to Polish news channel TVP Info.
The public broadcaster reports that the bombshell proposal will be presented to a meeting of the Visegrad group of countries – made up of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia – by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier later today.
Excerpts of the nine-page report were published today as the leaders of Germany, France and Italy met in Berlin for Brexit crisis talks.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on June 28, 2016.

Italy Eyes 40bn Bank Rescue as first Brexit Domino Falls

Italy is preparing a 40bn rescue of its financial system as bank shares collapse on the Milan bourse and the powerful after-shocks of Brexit shake European markets.
An Italian government task force is watching events hour by hour, pledging all steps necessary to ensure the stability of the banks. ‘Italy will do everything necessary to reassure people,’ said premier Matteo Renzi.
‘This is the moment of truth we have all been waiting for a long time. We just didn’t know it would be Brexit that set the elephant loose,’ said a top Italian banker.
The share price of banks crashed for a second trading day, with Intesa Sanpaolo off 12.5pc, and falls of 12pc for Banka MPS, 10.4pc for Mediobana, and 8pc for Unicredit. These lenders have lost a third of their value since Britain’s referendum.
‘When Britain sneezes, Italy catches a cold. It is the weakest link in the European chain,’ said Lorenzo Codogno, former director-general of the Italian treasury and now at LC Macro Advisors.
The country is the first serious casualty of Brexit contagion and a reminder that the economic destinies of Britain and the rest of Europe are intimately entwined. Morgan Stanley warned in a new report that eurozone GDP would contract by almost as much as British GDP in a ‘high stress scenario’.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on June 28, 2016.

IMF Blames Bad Loans For Mozambique’s Soaring Debt-To-GDP Ratio

Mozambique has a broad swath of problems within its governing councils. Back in December of 2005, Management Systems International based out of Washington issued a report titled CORRUPTION ASSESSMENT: MOZAMBIQUE which said point blank: “The scale and scope of corruption in Mozambique are cause for alarm”.
Mozambique’s head of state Joaquim Chissano left office in February 2005 after 15 years. His replacement, Armando Guebza, that same year opened Mozambique’s coastline to international companies seeking to search for resources. Between 2005 and 2006 three firms were able to capture rights to explore the coast, Anadarko, Italy’s Eni, and Petronas. Some 75 trillion cubic feet of natural gas was discovered and this set of a a blitz into Mozambique as international banks, corporations, and organizations flooded the area. This opened a breeding ground for corruption and unregulated financing, specifically the controversial Tuna Bond that was supposed to be used to support regional fishing and was instead used for military expenditures and to purchase some 40 boats that remain anchored to this day.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 25, 2016.

Italy’s Anti-Establishment 5-Star Movement Delivers Dramatic Victories In Key Mayoral Races

Until now, Italy’s 5-Star Movement has been viewed a protest and opposition party, however a second round of mayoral elections on Sunday changed that.
As we reported earlier this month, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement candidates in the key cities of Rome and Turin had advanced to the second round of voting in each mayoral race. In Rome, the largest stage for voters to show displeasure with politics as usual under Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, residents were seeking new leadership to put an end to the recent turmoil which included corruption allegations, poor management, and political upheaval. On Sunday, voters in Italy’s capital decided quite definitively that it was time to move in a new direction.
5-Star Movement candidate Virginia Raggi, a 37-year old lawyer, was elected Rome’s first female mayor by winning a stunning 67% of the vote in the second round. Raggi trounced Roberto Giachetti (Prime Minister Renzi’s Democratic Party candidate) who took down just 33% of the vote the WSJ reports. The election of an anti-establishment 5-Star Movement candidate is a statement in itself, however by taking 67% of the vote over Renzi’s candidate, a resounding message has been sent that the voters want change.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2016.