Monday, 11 July 2011

Nessun Dorma!

Nothing induces insomnia quite like stress, so I can well imagine a bit of Nessun Dorma in Italy over these coming weeks.

Fears that the "Euro Contagion" were spreading like Ebola to Italy has caused the country's cost of borrowing to reach it's highest level in almost a decade, prompting a large sale of bank shares and a sizeable plummet in the stock market. The problem is being exacerbated by Silvio Berlusconi and Italy's Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti who allegedly, and perhaps somewhat operatically, emphatically stated “If I fall, Italy falls as well…If Italy, a country too big to be rescued, falls, then the euro falls too!”

As a result of the latest fears, officials from the European Central Bank know report that the current eurozone bail out funds are insufficient and suggest doubling the available money to €1.5 trillion.

The creeping insolvency is also stalking its way across the continent to Spain who thus far have remained astonishly free from talk of rescue packages. It will once again fall on Germany's shoulders, who have actually enjoyed a serious period of good growth, to wade in and pull her floundering neighbours out of the shallow waters. And so again the debate continues - full fiscal unity, or break up the Monetary Union altogether, and risk making the EU a laughing stock?
Even in the Financial Times commentators are dismissing threats that contagion would only spiral out of control should Greece leave the euro or default as utter balloney designed to promote whichever purported rescue plan is currently on the table. Yet most EU leaders are now beginning to embrace some degree of default as the only option for Greece.

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