The fate of Italy’s banks is still tied to public debt

IN ITALY’S BUDGET drama, the action is shifting away from Rome. Last month its populist government said it would run a fiscal deficit of 2.4% of GDP in 2019—wider than euro-zone rules permit, and than markets had expected. Cue a sharp rise in borrowing costs, to more than three percentage points above those in Germany […]

‘I don’t deserve to be compared to Satan’ – Italy’s Salvini responds to Catholic critics

Euroskeptic Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has hit back at critics, after a Catholic magazine depicted him as Satan for his anti-immigration policies. “Vade Retro Salvini”, read the front cover of Famiglia Cristiana, a popular Catholic weekly. The cover depicted a hand resting on Salvini’s forehead, while the title was a play on the […]

Italy’s resilient savers are driving consolidation in asset management

THE rumour mill is grinding again. In early 2017 reports swirled of a possible merger between Generali, Italy’s biggest insurer, and Intesa Sanpaolo, the country’s second-biggest bank. That deal came to nothing. But Intesa is still looking for a partner. Now it is said to be in talks with BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, […]

Italy’s political crisis is roiling financial markets once more

HERE we go again. Financial markets don’t much like uncertainty. Thanks to Italy’s politicians, in recent days they have had plenty. By May 30th some calm had returned: it seemed possible that a pair of populist parties, the Five Star Movement and the Northern League, would form a government after all (see article). Markets had […]

A little-known part of Italy’s constitution makes it almost impossible for the country to leave the euro

Reuters/Tony Gentile Article 75 of the Italian constitution forbids referendums dealing with international treaties. That means that the country’s constitution would need to be changed before a referendum could be held on EU and euro membership. A two-thirds majority in the lower house of Italy’s parliament is needed to change the constitution. Such a majority […]

Italy’s political turmoil is sending shock waves through global markets

Franco Origlia/Getty Yields on Italy’s 2-year debt rose by almost 50 basis points overnight. Yields on longer-term Italian 10-year debt also spiked, rising to around 2.77% — the highest level since 2014. European markets are under pressure amid the rising political uncertainty in Italy and Spain. When markets opened a short time ago, the dramatic […]