(Michael Snyder) The Italian financial meltdown that we have been waiting for has finally arrived. For quite a long time I have been warning my readers to watch Italy, and now people are starting to understand why. Italian banking stocks continued their collapse for a fifth consecutive day on Wednesday, and nervous Italians are beginning to quietly pull large amounts of money out of the banks. In particular, Monte dei Paschi is a complete and utter basket case at this point. A staggering one-third of their loans are “non-performing”, and the stock price has fallen a staggering 57 percent since 2016 began. Monte dei Paschi is going to need a major bailout, and the same thing could be said about almost all of the largest Italian banks. But where is the money going to come from?

As rumors of trouble at Monte dei Paschi spread, Italians are getting money out of the bank while they still can. The following comes from the Daily Mail… Some Monte dei Paschi customers have been pulling savings out of the Italian bank, its chief executive said on Wednesday, as it faces a crisis over a mountain of bad loans that has wiped nearly 60 percent off its market value this year. CEO Fabrizio Viola did not say how much money savers had withdrawn, or when the outflow began, though he said the fall in deposits was “limited” and that the bank could cope with it as he sought to reassure customers and investors. FULL REPORT