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AssessmentsApr 13, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A man wearing a protective mask walks in the empty square in front of a cathedral in Locri, Italy, on April 7, 2020.
Southern Europe’s COVID-19 Crisis Is Just Beginning
For many governments in Southern Europe, containing the COVID-19 contagion in the coming weeks may prove to be the easy part. After the immediate health crisis subsides in the region, much bigger economic and political troubles will quickly follow in the second half of the year. Countries including France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal will experience deep recessions and severe fiscal problems, which in some cases will be made worse by the return of political instability and the strengthening of nationalist opposition parties. 
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GuidanceAug 10, 2018 | 22:35 GMT
The Turkish lira plunged to a record low against the dollar this week. Concerns over deteriorating relations with the U.S. and the central bank continue to affect Turkish markets.
Turkey's Economy Takes a Tumble. What's Next?
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke before the nation twice on Aug. 10, but the country's currency continued its descent, reaching about 6.4 lira per dollar, a decline of about 14.6 percent. At one point during the day, it had fallen more than 20 percent. Meanwhile, new Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, also the president's son-in-law, previewed a new economic program for the country. The president -- instead of reassuring the markets, whose collapsing confidence is one of the main drivers behind the lira's unprecedented depreciation -- slammed Western countries and accused them of waging economic warfare on Turkey. He returned to his familiar refrain of urging Turks to use their reserves of dollars, euros and gold to buy up lire. The markets reacted swiftly, and the lira dropped even further.
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ReflectionsJun 27, 2017 | 21:53 GMT
Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza's assets were consolidated over the weekend. It's the second time the European Union's new Banking Union rules have been tested in Italy.
The EU Bends the Rules for Italy's Banks, Again
Over the weekend, two of Italy's most troubled banks were wound up: The good assets of Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza were taken on by Intesa Sanpaolo, a larger peer, while the bad assets were moved to an underperforming bank to be financed by state funds. Overall, the cost to consolidate the institutions could come out to around 17 billion euros (roughly $19.1 billion) for the Italian government, considerably higher than earlier estimates. More problematic for Europe, it's the second time its new Banking Union rules have been tested in Italy in the space of six months. It's also the second time those rules have been bent for political expediency. The European Union, buoyed by good economic growth and the recent electoral victories of moderate political forces, has turned discussions back toward integration. But if this episode demonstrates anything, it's that Italy will still stifle such ambitions.
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AssessmentsAug 2, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
In Kazakhstan, Saving the State Oil Company May Devastate the Sector
In Kazakhstan, Saving the State Oil Company May Devastate the Sector
The minority shareholders of Kazakhstan's lucrative energy firm, KazMunaiGas Exploration and Production (KMG EP), will vote Aug. 3 on whether or not to sell their shares to the firm's parent company, effectively consolidating the two. The parent company, KazMunaiGas (KMG), is fully owned by the state and is involved in some capacity in most of the country's major energy projects, including Kazakhstan's largest oil fields, transportation firms, refineries and sales groups. In 2004, the Kazakh government established KMG EP to act as a separate exploration and production company. KMG currently owns 57 percent of it, but KMG EP has been fairly autonomous since its foundation, a fact that has at times put the two at odds.
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AssessmentsAug 1, 2016 | 09:30 GMT
European Banks' Struggles Will Continue
European Banks' Struggles Will Continue
European regulators officially consider most banks in the eurozone stable, despite the timid economic growth and low interest rates in the currency area. Most banks in the eurozone have enough capital to face a new economic crisis, according to stress tests by the European Banking Authority (EBA) on July 29. The tests come as the banking sectors of several EU members are dealing with multiple sources of vulnerability. In recent weeks, Italian banks have come under intense scrutiny from investors, analysts and politicians. Most of the attention has focused on Monte dei Paschi, which has required two state bailouts in recent years. Other institutions, including Italy's largest bank, UniCredit, have seen their share prices decline sharply in recent weeks. Since the beginning of the year, the shares of Germany's Deutsche Bank, weighed down by low earnings and multiple lawsuits, have dropped by half. Spanish banks are probably stronger than they
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AssessmentsNov 18, 2014 | 10:00 GMT
Leaders meet Nov. 15 during a plenary session at the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.
How the End of 'Too Big to Fail' Will Hurt the Eurozone
The increase in banking regulation follows a predictable path. In the West, it will succeed in its ambitions of ending too big to fail, at least in the medium term. Ultimately, complacency and greed will erode the new regulations and a banking crisis will result, though that will fall within the purview of a regulator far in the future. In the emerging world the future is less clear, since there is less anti-banking sentiment in these countries, there is also less political capital to be gained by bashing banks.
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AssessmentsApr 20, 2011 | 12:16 GMT
Trouble Ahead for the Eurozone's Banks
The European Central Bank's recent interest rate hike, along with Germany's reluctance to make financial reforms, will be problematic for the eurozone's banks. (With STRATFOR interactive graphic)
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AssessmentsNov 18, 2008 | 12:05 GMT
Part 1: Instability in a Crucial Country
In the first installment of a series on Ukraine, Stratfor examines Ukraine's economy in light of the current global financial crisis and the ongoing political chaos in Kiev. (With Stratfor map)
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