Montag, 11. Juli 2011

Italian apathy Italien droht eine „Explosion von innen heraus

Italian apathy: Italien droht eine „Explosion von innen heraus 

Steen Jakobsen, Chefvolkswirt bei der Saxo Bank, konnte sich vergangene Woche in Mailand persönlich ein Bild von der Lage in Italien machen. „Ich war überrascht von der Apathie, die ich vorgefunden habe. Italien scheint aufgegeben zu haben. Es herrscht wohl allgemein Konsens darüber, dass sich niemals etwas ändern wird.“

Jakobsen befürchtet, dass der Widerwille Italiens, Risiken einzugehen und Veränderungen voranzutreiben, eine „Explosion von innen heraus“ zur Folge haben könnte. „Wir sehen die Gefahr für Länder wie Spanien und Italien weniger in einer möglichen Ansteckung durch die Griechenland-Pleite, als vielmehr in den jeweiligen Ländern selbst.“

Risikobereitschaft und Innovation in Italien lassen nach Einschätzungen des Saxo Bank Experten sehr zu wünschen übrig. „Wo sind die neuen Olivettis und Bennettons geblieben?“, fragt er.

Den vollständigen Kommentar von Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist, Saxo Bank A/S auf Englisch finden Sie auf diesem Blog:

Italian apathy

By Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist, Saxo Bank A/S
I had the pleasure of being in Milan at end of last week and I was struck by the apathy in Milan. Italy is country that seems to have given up – a society weighted down by the consensus that nothing will ever change.

This kind of inertia translates into no growth because an unwillingness to take risks and change how things are done will almost certainly result in an 'implosion from within'. By this I mean the idea that countries like Spain and Italy are more at risk from their own inability to get their economies on the right track rather than the predominant theory of “contagion” from the Greek default (and yes, de facto default is what we are looking at regardless of the politicians’ attempts at avoiding the term!)

The apathy is even more extreme than what I witnessed in Portugal. There, the people are at fighting or at least going through the motion, whereas in Italy, the attitude seems more one of “we can’t change it so let’s get the best out of what we’ve got”.

Italy is proud and productive country, but where is the risk willingness, the innovation? Italy’s main exports remain agricultural ones! Where are the new Olivettis and Bennettons?

The Finance minister’s austerity plan is valid but is also back loaded to avoid the real pain until 2013 onwards, or more precisely well into the next election cycle!

Here lies the basic premise for my negative outlook on Europe: The election cycles will kick-in from here on out. In Italy, Berlusconi was dealt a fatal blow to his re-elections chances after recent local elections and in France, some polls have 'any Socialist' leading Sarkozy. To me, the elections in Spain in March of next year are the most important as other election campaigns will take their lead from the positioning and results from there. Whether real austerity and change plays or not with electorates will dictate not only the Spanish agenda but probably most of Europe’s.

From our vantage point, the strategy remains the same for approaching the markets: keep the powder dry and look for the odds of Crisis 2.0 to continue to increase the closer we get to the end of the year.

It will be a hot summer for European politicians and policy makers and it looks like they will have to cancel their holidays as Europe could be entering the final phase of dealing with its fiscal – and existential – challenges.
Steen Jakobsen was appointed to the position of Saxo Bank’s Chief Economist in March 2011.Mr. Jakobsen returned to the Bank after two years’ absence. During that time he has been Chief Investment Officer for Limus Capital Partners. Prior to his departure in early 2009, Mr. Jakobsen was with Saxo Bank for almost nine years as Chief Investment Officer. Mr. Jakobsen has more than 20+ years of experience within the fields of proprietary trading and alternative investment. In 1989, after finishing his studies in Economics at Copenhagen University, he started his career at Citibank N.A. Copenhagen from where he moved to Hafnia Merchant Bank as Director, Head of Sales and Options. In 1992, he joined Chase Manhattan in London as VP, Head of Scandinavian Sales, and then the Chase Manhattan Proprietary Trading Group. 1995-1997 he worked as a Proprietary Trader and Head of Flow Desk at Swiss Bank Corp., London. In 1997, he became Global Head of Trading, FX and Options at Christiania (now Nordea) in New York until he joined UBS in New York in 1999 as the Executive Director in the Global Proprietary Trading Group.

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