541-year-old Italian bank may go under

10/25/2013 | Bloomberg

Italian bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena was founded in 1472 in the aftermath of the Black Death, and grew to become the country's third-largest lender. But after disastrous investments wiped out 93% of its value, the institution is struggling to survive. Experts blame sloppy management and bad advice from banks that stood to profit from Monte Paschi's failure. "On one side, there's the local incompetence, and on the other side the bad faith of the international investment banks," says consumer advocate Elio Lannutti.

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