Breakingviews

Renzi’s referendum gamble could be double or pits

August 15, 2016

Defeat in Italy's upcoming constitutional referendum could cost PM Matteo Renzi his job, and leave important reforms unfinished. A victory too could end badly. It could leave a strong Renzi government, but also pave the way for one led by the radical 5-Star party.

Renzi’s MPS gamble works win or lose

August 4, 2016

The Italian premier chose not to haircut the bank's debt for fear of losing a crucial referendum. The alternative - raising over six times MPS' market cap - is hard, but not impossible. If the rights issue fails, Matteo Renzi still wins: it parks the issue until after the vote.

Dixon: Fiscal union has no place in EU Brexit plan

June 7, 2016

European politicians’ knee-jerk reaction if Britain votes to quit the European Union will be to integrate further. This would be foolish, provoking a populist backlash. A better response would be to loosen fiscal policy while embarking on bolder economic and market reforms.

Cox: The other European referendum to fret over

By Rob Cox
May 24, 2016

While the world obsesses over Brexit, another perilous plebiscite looms in October. Italy’s leader has dangerously staked the future of his leadership over a constitutional reform vote. Its failure would present huge risks to Europe’s economy and global capital markets.

Marchionne’s job upgrade bodes ill for Fiat

May 3, 2016

The storied boss of Fiat Chrysler has taken over as chief executive of spun-out Ferrari, too. Leading the iconic luxury carmaker is surely the more alluring of the two jobs. Yet challenged Fiat Chrysler arguably needs Sergio Marchionne’s full attention more than ever.

Luxury groups should focus their FOMO on Iran

April 25, 2016

With $32.6 bln of frozen offshore cash to be repatriated post-sanctions and GDP to grow 6 pct next year, Tehran can be a magnet for high-end consumption. A lack of infrastructure and political volatility are reasons to hesitate. Offsetting that is the risk of missing out.

Italy’s bank rescue is a risky Plan C

April 12, 2016

Rome has corralled banks into backing a 6 bln euro rescue fund. It’s something, but raises knotty governance issues without decisively plugging bad debt holes. Were they available, market solutions or creditor bail-ins would have been much better than stiffing the bank sector.

Gucci gives sneak preview of life after turnaround

February 19, 2016

Kering’s most important luxury brand beat sales estimates in the fourth quarter, the result of more desirable products and a slick advertising campaign. It looks to be putting three years of bumpy growth behind it. Yet falling operating profit margins will continue to drag on the valuation.

Dixon: How to rehabilitate capitalism

February 1, 2016

The classic leftist response to capitalism’s unfairness - tax and spend - has failed. A better bet is to fight unfairness caused by corruption, vested interests and tax cheating, while investing in education. India and Italy show some of the right ideas.

Mediobanca gets Barclays to pay for its own pivot

December 3, 2015

The UK bank is paying its peer 237 mln euros to take its Italian branches. Barclays gets rid of an unprofitable, non-core deadweight. Mediobanca gets a leg up in the arms race for asset management fees in Italy. Just as well, given Italian retail banking is under the gun.