Monte dei Paschi di Siena is in deep financial trouble. “To howls across Italy,” the New York Times reports, “the government has hastily arranged a €3.9 billion, or $5.1 billion, bailout. The widening scandal, which hit at a time of growing economic distress in Italy, has boiled over into an issue in nationwide elections to be held Sunday and Monday.”
The bank was founded in 1472 and is considered the oldest existing bank in the world. A New York Times article emphasizes that “since the days of the Medici in Florence, to the north, the banking house of Monte dei Paschi has rained wealth on the people of Siena. For 541 years, it has endured war, plague and panic, and it stands today as the world’s oldest bank.”
NIU students in HIST 420 The Renaissance will want to track this developing story.