Italy

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Olé, Katainen

MADRID | The Corner | New Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Jyrki Katainen –Finnish, as his predecessor Olli Rehn- has pledged pure orthodoxy about the European Stability Pact. In an interview with German daily Die Welt, Finland’s former Prime Minister and now one of the most powerful men in the EU ruled out speculations about creative interpretations of the fiscal framework. Mr Katainen is the same who, during the worst moment of the crisis (Aug 2012), asked Greece and Spain for collateral in exchange for aid and reckoned that some peripherals were introducing major structural reforms that were “simply not being recognized in the market.”


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Industrial Production: Will there actually be an acceleration in 2S14?

MADRID | The Corner | After France and Italy’s (second and third most important countries in the single currency bloc) poor industrial production data of -1.9% (vs previous -0.51%) and +1.4% (vs previous +0.2) respectively, expert at Barclays Alberto Vigil wonders why analysts are so sure that there will be an acceleration in the 2S14.

*The green line is the Eurozone’s GDP, whereas the other two are Italy’s and France’s industrial production.


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Draghi is in trouble: credit still doesn’t flow in the periphery

MADRID | By Francisco López | The ECB President announced with fanfare last month a battery of measures to revive the credit in the EZ. The problem is that the open bar announced by Draghi won’t have an impact on loans until 2015 and, meanwhile, credit fall continues to accelerate in some peripheral countries, especially in Spain and Italy. There are those who believe that the latest data could force Mr Draghi to approve a direct debt purchase program before year’s end. 


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Italy is on sale… for a while

MADRID | The Corner | On July 1 the new Italian fiscal reform will begin and the tax rate on capital gains will go up from 20% to 26%. Both private and institutional investors are selling before that date so as to rebuy again after and get a +2% after tax return. The FTSEMIB stands below the levels recorded after Mr Renzi’s victory and at the same levels registered before Mr Draghi’s last intervention. The index is behaving worse than the Spanish Ibex 35, and –if this trend continues, next week will be the moment to resume positions.


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The fair value for Italian and Spanish spreads

LONDON | Cagdas Aksy at Barclays | A model framework, which takes into account economic/fiscal fundamentals and risk aversion factors, indicates a fair value level of about 200bp for 10y Italy and Spain vs Germany. The high debt problem for most peripheral countries is something that will take many years to reverse and the ECB’s commitment through OMT and potential QE can contain these concerns to a large extent, as long as it maintains its credibility. Under this more optimistic scenario, fair value moves down to 90-100bp. After 350-400bp of tightening over the past two years, 10y core periphery spreads are 30-40bp away from stretched levels.


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Italy: The burdensome legacy of Il Cavaliere

ROME | By Barbara Spinelli at La Repubblica via Presseurop | Silvio Berlusconi has been expelled by his peers from the Senate and stripped of his immunity in a long-awaited vote on November 27. Despite no longer being in Parliament, Il Cavaliere has indelibly left his mark on this era and society, writes Barbara Spinelli.


No Picture

Spanish and Italian inflation wrap-up: Services and food driving inflation down

LONDON | By Barclays analysts | Taking into account today’s downward revision in Spanish HICP, we now revise our October French HICP forecast from -0.2% m/m (0.6% y/y) to -0.1% m/m (0.7% y/y). The Italian final October HICP inflation rate was revised up by 9bps to 0.76% y/y. We note that historical subcomponents indices have been revised since the beginning of the year (although not the headline index). This nonetheless does not alter our view that euro area HICP inflation rate should come in unchanged at 0.7% y/y. If anything, we see slight downside risk to our 116.99 HICP ex tobacco projection.



Berlusconi - Italy

Berlusconi and the blackmail of a nation

By Tim Parks via Presseurop | ‘Vote me out of jail, or I will bring the country down with me’. This is the message Il Cavaliere has just sent to the Italian government, ahead of a Senate decision on whether he will lose his seat after being convicted of tax fraud. Such blackmail speaks volumes about the state of Italy in 2013, says British writer Tim Parks.


Germany

German culture and economic growth

BARCELONA | By Enric Fernandez | Both institutions and culture have a lot of inertia. There is no doubt, however, that this is much more the case with culture. Implementing a cultural change is surely impossible in the short term.