Tomcat, it is my understanding that of all the PIIGS, Italy poses the greatest danger to American banks because of credit default swaps. Greece is virtually nothing, but I've heard that the exposure to Italian sovereign debt is enormous.
Just another reason to avoid American financials. I've been buying Canadian banks (TD, BMO, BNS). They were absolutely clean of the American mortgage mess -- I hope they have been similarly prudent with respect to European sovereign debt.
The one and only "investment thesis" to be derived here is the poisonous nature of crippling debt. And if giving up a few symbolic tax breaks is the only price the right has to pay to get the libs to agree to major spending cuts, we dammnned well better give it to them.
Can you imaging our own insane fiscal policies bring down this great nation, when the soviets and Bin Ladin were never able to?