Fasten Your Seatbelts, Europe

Because European regulators just shut down two Italian banks:

Friday, in another sign that the eurozone financial system remains vulnerable even as the economy improves.

The central bank said in a statement that Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, both based in northern Italy, had failed or were likely to fail because they did not have enough capital to meet regulatory requirements.

They become the second and third banks to be declared effectively dead by the central bank, which acquired power to supervise eurozone banks at the end of 2014.

The first, earlier this month, was Banco Popular, Spain’s fifth biggest bank.

Shareholders of the two Italian banks will lose their money, as will investors in so-called junior bonds that are intended to absorb losses first.

But deposits in the bank will be protected, as will investors in so-called senior bonds.

After 3 years, 3 banks in a month.

I’m wondering what is going to happen when (and it’s when, not if) the ECB actually tries to down a German bank.

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