Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Magistrates Vs Politicians in Italy

This is likely to be a hot issue tomorrow. Today, Italy’s highest court of appeals is hearing Berlusconi’s appeal of his conviction for tax evasion and embezzling from his firm. As I wait for their decision, I write about the issue in general. Things are very different here East of the Channel. There is a […]

Policy transmission mechanism: Broken in Italy, better in Spain

by Rebecca Wilder Policy transmission mechanism: Broken in Italy, better in SpainYesterday, the Financial Times reported that borrowing costs for small businesses in the periphery were rising relative to the core using the ECB’s release of July MFI interest rate data. I highlighted this point exactly on August 1 following Draghi’s now famous London speech, […]

Economists don’t endorse candidates, because elections don’t matter…a note from Italy

Lifted from Robert’s Stochaistic thoughts is a post that comments on Italian political/economists and government policy.  There are some ‘in the know’ names for US readers: Simon Wren-Lewis asks. I answer. In real authentic East of the English Channel Europe, economists don’t endorse candidates, because elections don’t matter.  Neither do they endorse gymnasts, because our […]

The Italian Economy Is Sliding

by Rebecca Wilder The Italian Economy Is Sliding Today I.Stat released the breakdown of Q1 2012 real GDP for the Italian economy. Weak external demand plus a precipitous drop in private sector spending dragged the headline real gross domestic product (GDP) 0.8% over the quarter (3.2% at an annualized rate). The highlights are the following: […]

European Policy Makers Don’t Understand But Markets Do

By Rebecca Wilder European Policy Makers Don’t Understand But Markets Do So here we are: the Italian yield curve is flat at above 7%; the government institution is in question; and the ECB is using its SMP purchase program as a carrot to drive austerity implementation in and Berlusconi out. Some would argue that the […]

Worries About Italy: Growth and Politics

By Rebecca Wilder Worries About Italy: Growth and Politics< Current bond market pricing implies a 6.17% yield on a 10-yr Italian government bond, or 430 basis points (%/100) over a like German government bond. I’d call this distressed levels for Italian debt, especially for an economy that is very likely contracting as we speak. Today […]

What is Happening In Italian Politics ?

Robert Waldmann This will be a long post as it is not easy to explain how Italian politics got this way to foreigners. First I will discuss recent developments. Later I will discuss the characters in the commedia and history. Until this week, Silvio Berlusconi was, on paper, a very powerful Prime minister with a […]