Italy and Ireland in Free-fall

By:  Charles Scaliger
07/14/2011
       
Italy and Ireland in Free-fall

Europe’s crisis took a dramatic turn for the worse with the sudden awareness, reflected by a steep increase in government bond yields, that the Italian economy may soon be on the financial chopping block alongside those of Greece, Portugal, and Ireland.

Italy, whose national debt is second only to that of Greece in the Eurozone as a percentage of GDP, was long assumed to be too big to fail. The fact that Italy’s more prudent lending practices have prevented a major real estate bubble was faint reassurance that somehow Italy would be immune to financial contagion.

Europe’s crisis took a dramatic turn for the worse with the sudden awareness, reflected by a steep increase in government bond yields, that the Italian economy may soon be on the financial chopping block alongside those of Greece, Portugal, and Ireland.

Italy, whose national debt is second only to that of Greece in the Eurozone as a percentage of GDP, was long assumed to be too big to fail. The fact that Italy’s more prudent lending practices have prevented a major real estate bubble was faint reassurance that somehow Italy would be immune to financial contagion.

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