Italy Bans Short Sales, Blames Christine Lagarde For Stock Market Plunge

Italy Bans Short Sales, Blames Christine Lagarde For Stock Market Plunge

Four days after Italy’s former (and most likely future) prime minister, Matteo Salvini called for a short selling ban (referencing none other than George Soros who “built his fortune betting against Italy”) on Italian stocks, Italy’s market regulator, Consob, announced that short-selling would indeed be banned on Friday, March 13, with the temporary ban applying to 85 companies listed on Milan stock exchange.

Ironically, just two days ago, the head of Italy’s bourse, Raffaele Jerusalmi, said that a ban on short selling to deal with market reactions to the coronavirus outbreak would be useful only if applied at a European or broader level and for specific sectors.

“If there were sectors particularly at risk, an intervention by the regulatory authorities could be useful,” Raffaele Jerusalmi said in a streamed interview with Il Sole 24 Ore.

And to think all it took to change his mind was a 20% drop in the Italian stock market in the next two days.