Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Italy, US: Republicans Fiddle while Rome Burns

So it's no longer just the PIGS:



Still, if the crisis were to take hold in Italy, the problems for the euro union would dwarf all others to date. European banks have total claims and potential exposures of 998.7 billion euros to Italy, more than six times the 162.4 billion euro exposure they have to Greece, according to Barclays Capital. European banks have 774 billion euros of exposure to Spain and 534 billion euros of exposure to Ireland.
In the United States, banks are also more exposed to Italy than to any other euro zone country, to the tune of 269 billion euros, according to Barclays. American banks’ next biggest exposure is to Spain, with total claims estimated at 179 billion euros.
But at the end of the day, “If Italy goes, it’s no longer a domino,” said Mr. Gros, the analyst in Brussels. “It’s a brick.”

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