NEW YORK (
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said he is going to resign next year. So Jim, is this a really big deal because, you know, when we look at Monti, the news said that he may resign as prime minister, but he may come back as president. It doesn't look like he's really leaving, but it could be bad because -- he said -- the gig is up and I'm out of here.....
Well, you don't want that.
...I don't want to be blamed for this mess.
He did say that it was going to be a finite period. He's a technocrat that has done a remarkable job. I mean, remember just 13 months ago Italy was considered to be the next domino to fall. Italy, the third largest bond market in the world and rates were seven, seventeen on the longer paper, and that has been brought down dramatically to below five. It's been one of the great trades and I think he's integral.
Now obviously, the European Central Bank decided to get involved to the point where you've got some good bond news because you had a bid underneath. But this guy is a serious professional and you don't want to lose him and you don't want Italy back on the radar screen.
So, his replacement could be back to Berlusconi or a gentleman named Bersani?
We just want peace over there. Berlusconi is terrible, okay. How he still is able to be a force... Berlusconi, I regard as a part of the problem. So, we don't want to see that at all. I know that there were some rumblings last week, my friend Bob Pisani was talking about Berlusconi maybe coming back and I said, "Oh here we go again..."
We don't want the
going down. We want the Euro going up. We want Europe to stabilize. We saw some better numbers from Germany this weekend. Italy is very important to be stable.
Right. It's much bigger than Greece so we really have to keep them square.
Oh I know. Right? So, let's just hope that Monti stays. He's one of the good guys. Okay now I think that there is a perception in our country that Italy is a big joke. That their saving is not good, that they spend too much money. Italy is not a joke. Italy is a serious industrial manufacturer.
They have quite a bit of manufacturing unlike Greece.
Yes. And they had some tax collection problems, they had to cut back some entitlements. They had to try to raise more revenue. Last year they were where we're afraid we're going to get to eventually. But let's just hope things calm down because, the European markets. when they're down, they can still pull us down. They don't move us up when things are good because the European markets, for the most part are much stronger than our markets, particularly Germany.
So, most of the major forces over there have done better than the United States. So, let's keep an eye on this. It would have been great not to have to.
All right. Well it's really just accelerated the process, as you mentioned he was going to only be in this role for a short term.
So, hopefully as you said, it'll turn out to be a positive thing.
I sure hope so.
--Written by Debra Borchardt in New York.
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