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In recent weeks, the eyes of the financial world have been firmly fixed on Turkey, since its lira plunged in reaction to a doubling of trade tariffs by the United States.
Italy’s banking sector, mired in bad debt and low profitability, has been labelled Europe’s weakest, but fortunately it is making progress in addressing long-standing issues—with a little help from the government. Recent bank bailouts have given renewed hope to struggling lenders, while raising concerns that the arrangements conflict with Europe-wide rules prohibiting the use of taxpayer funds to bail out failing banks.
The European Union is exactly that, a union. This interconnectedness works well when all members are doing well, but what happens when one is not? Many investors are concerned about the health of banking in one member country in particular, Italy, and how its struggles may infect the Eurozone as a whole.
Following a period of political turmoil and uncertainty in the UK, the new prime minister, Theresa May, has taken a stand on her views for business reform. She has vowed to enforce worker representatives on boards as part of her vision of “putting people back in control”.
On June 8, the European Central Bank (ECB) began its Corporate Sector Purchase Programme (CSPP), which was initially announced by the bank’s president, Mario Draghi, on March 10 as an addendum to the ECB’s quantitative easing (QE) program.
Within the industry-wide disaster experienced by Eurozone banks thus far in 2016, Italy has managed to clearly stand out as the group’s worst-performing member.