November 22, 2018

Worse than Italy “sleepwalking into instability” is the European Commission pushing the Eurozone into it fully awake.

Sir, Jim Brunsden and Miles Johnson writes the European Commission stepped up action on Italy’s rule-busting 2019 budget, warning that its plans to stimulate the economy through increased borrowing, risks “sleepwalking into instability”. “Brussels warns Italy’s budget threatens ‘instability’” November 22.

Of course, as Pierre Moscovici, EU economy commissioner, says: “this budget carries risks for Italy’s economy, for its companies, for its savers and its taxpayers”.

The sad fact though is that reaching an acceptable agreement on the budget issue would still be like papering over Italy’s and EU’s real underlying problems, not solving much.

The European Commission must/should know: 

1. About the challenges the Euro imposed on Eurozone members and that it has, for soon twenty years now, done nothing to resolve. 

2. That, for purposes of bank capital requirements, assigning a 0% risk to all sovereign borrowers within the Eurozone, those who de facto have their debt not denominated in a domestic (printable) currency, is a regulatory subsidy that impedes markets to signal the real costs of sovereign debt; which will necessarily cause many of its members to incur in dangerous excessive levels of public debt.

Before EC face up to these issues and does something real and sustainable about it, though much mightier, it has still not earned much right to lecture Italy.

Just like all regulators and central bankers, believing that what bankers perceive as risky is more dangerous to our bank systems than what bankers perceive as safe, have no right to lecture us on risk management.

EU can’t keep forcing its members to walk the plank, as it did with Greece, and still remain a viable union. Anyone against a Brexit and for a Remain should be very aware of that… that is unless his position has nothing to do with EU and all to do with local politicking.