29 May 2020 3 min read

Italy: the mountain and the pebble

By Christopher Jeffery

I discuss Italy and the ECB on CNBC.



In the words of the late, great Muhammad Ali, “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

For the Eurozone, Italy is both the mountain and the pebble. The Italian debt burden is expected to rise to over 150% of GDP by the end of this year. The latest proposal to give grants to struggling countries via the “Next Generation EU” Fund is the first serious attempt to start scaling that mountain by effectively forgiving some of that debt.

In the near term, the European Central Bank is looking to address the pebble of bond market volatility through its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme.

I recently discussed both with Julianna Tatelbaum and Geoff Cutmore on CNBC.

Christopher Jeffery

Head of Macro, Asset Allocation

Chris is Head of Macro within LGIM’s Asset Allocation team. He oversees LGIM’s Economic Research, Rates and Inflation, and the Multi-Asset Strategists and idea generators. He joined LGIM in 2014 from BNP Paribas Investment Partners where he worked as a senior economist and strategist within the Multi-Asset Solutions group. Prior to that, he worked as an economist within monetary analysis at the Bank of England with a focus on the UK domestic economy. Chris graduated from University College, Oxford in 2001 with a first class degree in philosophy, politics and economics. He also holds an Msc in economics (research) from the London School of Economics and is a CFA charterholder.

Christopher Jeffery