July 29, 2021

Prelude to crisis in Italy | Economy

Prelude to crisis in Italy | Economy



Said Brutus in the Julius Caesar Shakespearean that "the abuse of greatness exists when it separates remorse from power". There is no leadership in Italy worthy of the greatness of the country and its history, or repentance or modesty in the exercise of a populist power. From Rome sick Europe. The euro already pointed yesterday to its lowest value against the dollar since June 2017. And yesterday the ECB vice president, Luis de Guindos, warned that the situation in Italy introduces more uncertainty in the debt markets.

In Europe there is a lack of pedagogy. Teaching responsibility while exercising rights. The absence of commitment to ourselves, as a European project and as an economy, reduces us to a constant complaint against that same project. It throws us into the arms of a superior evil: the lack of control. Italy has been capable of the most beautiful events in history and is now the epitome of economic demagogy. Being the first community partner to have budgets laid on the hills from Brussels is a dubious honor that, however, does not seem to worry the executive of Rome.

The EU, however, remains firm. This is the week of Italy's second chance to amend budgets. It does not seem that the transalpine government is going to give its arm to twist. The excuse is the same one that has been abused on multiple occasions: the excessive budgetary austerity. Italy is the greatest danger to European governance, to financial stability and to the euro.

A few weeks ago, at the meeting in Madrid of the European Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee -An entity of political-economic analysis with representations from all over Europe- it was emphasized that, if there were risks of a new financial crisis, Italy agglutinated all the sources of uncertainty, highlighting four. The first, that some European banking sectors have once again shown signs of weakness and Italian stands out. The second is the difficult sustainability of public debt in some European countries. The committee proposed that the European Stability Mechanism take a step forward and be primarily responsible for setting fiscal discipline measures and linking them to the help needed to reduce the fiscal burden of countries in difficulty.

The third, that the legacy of bank damaged assets of the crisis has been mitigated substantially in some countries, but in others like Italy is still huge and is related to sovereign risk. Finally, it was also highlighted that the new bank resolution structure was perverted from Rome, manipulating the concept of bail-in, for which bank shareholders and bondholders must pay before the taxpayers in case of solvency problems.

Perhaps it is convenient to learn from the example of those who, being rich and having been stuck for decades (as in Italy), have never lost the reference of their responsibility (as happened in Japan).

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