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Permabear Edwards: ‘Waste of time’ to save Italian banks

Italy is in the midst of a serious banking crisis, but the government is wasting both time and money trying to save the country’s struggling lenders, says Société Générale strategist Albert Edwards.

After years of slow growth in the eurozone’s third largest economy, the SocGen permabear argues that the banks will continue to suffer until more drastic measures are taken. That’s because the sector’s mountains of bad loans are only a symptom, not the cause of Italy’s problems.

“Italy is totally moribund. Yet, what we see at the moment is great efforts to help Italian bank bailouts. But the Italian banks are not the problem with Italy,” Edwards said at a conference in London on Tuesday.

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