Posts Tagged ‘italian debt crisis’

Italy In Distress: Italian Debt Crisis Now Center Of Gravity In The Eurozone

November 8th, 2011 Comments off

The Eurozone’s latest Greek debt bailout plan, following previous Greek, as well as Portuguese and Irish bailouts, was supposed to ring-fence the largest PIIGS nations; Spain and Italy. The Spanish economy is highly vulnerable to a raging economic recession and massive unemployment. However, it is Italy, with a two trillion euro public debt and stagnant economic growth, that is now the greatest danger to the Eurozone. The supposed ring-fencing of Italy that was the prime motivation for the Greek debt write-off and bailout is clearly a failure. Only days after the latest Eurozone debt crisis plan, spreads on Italian government bonds are soaring.

The latest yield on ten year bonds issued by Italy is now in excess of 6.6 percent. Should  these yields pass seven percent, it becomes mathematically impossible for Rome to finance its deficits and debt repayments. That would mean that the Italian government would require being bailed out. The problem, however, is that there is not enough resources available in the Eurozone to bail out Italy. The only hope left, and it is a feeble one at best, is that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will resign, and thereby restore some level of market confidence. However, the problems with Italy’s finances go beyond one single bumbling politician. The issues are structural, not personality-based, and so far no real viable solutions have emerged.

A full-fledged Italian sovereign debt crisis will probably be the kiss of death to the Eurozone, at least in its present form.





Officer Larry of the NYPD is on his way to Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan to arrest peaceful protesters involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Being a public spirited member of the New York Police Department, Officer Larry does remind us that there is a global economic crisis underway that rivals the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Italy’s Credit Rating Downgraded By Moody’s

October 6th, 2011 Comments off

As the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis worsens (joined by the U.S.A. and U.K.), the ratings agencies are at it again, with their lagging indicator of choice; the credit worthiness downgrade. This time, Italy got hammered. Moody’s cut the Italian credit rating by three levels, from A2 to Aa2. That is a lower rating than Moody’s rates the credit worthiness of the Baltic republic of Estonia.

According to Moody’s, “the negative outlook reflects ongoing economic and financial risks in Italy and in the euro area. The uncertain market environment and the risk of further deterioration in investor sentiment could constrain the country’s access to the public debt markets.”

The downgrade of Italy’s public debt will translate into widening spreads on Rome’s government bonds, making it even harder to service the multi-trillion dollar public debt accumulated by successive Italian governments. This all happens as the inept European politicians still clamor over another ill-fated effort to “ring-fence” the Greek debt crisis, pretending that is has not yet spread to other PIIGS countries, including Italy. The Moody’s downgrade is more concrete evidence that policymakers in Europe are totally disconnected from economic, financial and fiscal reality.