2018-05-30

MacroView | Forget Brexit, Fear of Italy Doing a EURO Exit Shakes Markets

UPDATE: Wall Street Climbs as Worries Over Italy's Politics Ease | NYTimes.com: May 30, 2018 12:32pm EDT.

Original post:
If you're in the U.S. and got back from your Memorial Day weekend late, you may be wondering, what happened to cause markets to tumble Tuesday? Here's a recap:

Italian president rejects nomination of Eurosceptic minister

Financial Times (ft.com) video above published May 27, 2018: Leaders of Italy's leading populist parties have dropped their bid to form a government after President Sergio Mattarella rejected their nomination of a Eurosceptic finance minister.

Dow Tumbles Nearly 400 Points; S&P 500 and Nasdaq Also Decline | TheStreet.com May 29, 2018: "Stocks fall sharply Tuesday as a political crisis in Italy rocks markets across the globe." Also: Investors are dumping Italian government debt | ft.com.


Italian bond yields are rising rapidly because the country is laden with debt and in political turmoil. TheStreet.com's Tracy Byrnes enlisted London Bureau Chief Martin Baccardax to help explain how it will affect the rest of us.
Germany's DAX
Who  is  was Carlo Cottarelli?

Financial Times (ft.com) video above published May 28, 2018: As newly appointed prime minister, the former IMF official will focus on improving Italy's finances ahead of new elections, but many think he will immediately face a vote of "no confidence" and some now think new elections may be scheduled as early as July, 2018--major parties in Italy say Cottarelli’s mission is 'all but dead' and parliament will soon be dissolved --Italy may return to polls in July, sources say, amid market rout | Reuters.com.
The MacroView:
Italy's new election could become a referendum on the European Union and the euro--President readies Italy for snap polls to be fought on EU, euro | Reuters.com--the far-right League and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement may unite for an upcoming new election in Italy. League leader Matteo Salvini said on Monday, May 28: “Today Italy is not free; it is occupied financially by Germans, French and eurocrats ... if there’s not the OK of Berlin, Paris or Brussels, a government cannot be formed in Italy. It’s madness, and I ask the Italian people to stay close to us because I want to bring democracy back to this country.” When? New elections in Italy 'by start of 2019' at the latest or as early as autumn: Italy's president named a former IMF economist Carlo Cottarelli as caretaker prime minister to lead the country into new elections, possibly as soon as the autumn in the eurozone's third largest economy.  Mr Cottarelli, 64, was director of the IMF's fiscal affairs department from 2008 to 2013 and became known as "Mr Scissors" for making cuts to public spending in Italy--rte.ie.

Most Exposed to Italy’s Sovereign Debt? (Other than Italian Banks): BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, with €16 billion of Italian sovereign debt holdings, Dexia (French-Belgian) holds €15 billion of Italian debt, and Banco Sabadell has €10.5 billion invested in Italian bonds (40% of its entire fixed asset portfolio, worth €26.3 billion, and 110% of its tier-1 capital)--WolfStreet.com.

ECB & Eurozone: Banque de France to pursue efforts to spur consolidation of Europe's financial sector: Villeroy | Reuters.com--Editor's note: if consolidation is "encouraged," Europe may end up with a few (5 or 6?) large banks (mostly German or French) controlling the EU/eurozone financial sector. The five largest commercial banks in the U.S. had 44 percent of total assets in the banking system as of 2014 (most likely even more now). Unlike the U.S., however, Europe still has a lot of large "troubled" banks with underlying financial problems--consolidation now could exacerbate a situation the ECB has failed to remediate.

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