Italian Bonds Upcoming Crisis – May 2022

Italian bonds are headed towards trouble. A possible ending of bond-buying and higher interest rates by the European Central Bank has brought fresh light into Italy’s government debt. Low employment rate, stagnant productivity, lack of investment in education and technology, an extensive bureaucracy and a north-south divide have affected Italy’s ability to reform in past years. Much of the ECB’s recent stimulus package (Italy being one of the largest recipients) will only be delivered if market reforms are made. A parliamentary election next spring could bring in parties and leaders that are uninterested in carrying out reforms. According to Reuters: “Rome paid 4.5% of GDP to service its debt in 2007, when its debt-to-GDP ratio was 104%, according to OECD data. In 2020, the cost of borrowing had fallen to 3.3% despite the debt ratio ballooning to 156%”. Christine Lagarde and the ECB cannot support Italy forever, it must find a way to reignite growth and employment numbers. This could shape up to be another euro crisis.


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