2009 OECD Economic Surveys: Italy 2009

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Italy 2009

OECD's periodic review of Italy's economy. This edition finds Italy facing a sharp recession. After a general review of the impact of the crisis and potential for stimulus, it takes a closer look at the financial system, regulatory reform, and schools and opportunities for learning.

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Weathering the storm

the financial system in Italy

The Italian financial system managed to cope with the “first round” of the crisis better than most of its European peers, and banks have suffered mostly on the funding side, due to the strong tensions affecting interbank markets. Banking supervision rules and practice played an important role in ensuring Italian banks took a relatively prudent attitude as did some specific features of the economy, such as the comparatively smaller size of firms and the low debt of households. However, some of these same features that helped to shield Italian banks from the first round of the crisis may expose them to the consequences of the recession. Italian authorities and the European Central Bank provided a prompt response to ensure the banking system had sufficient liquidity, and tensions in interbank markets eased significantly in recent months. A bank recapitalization scheme, though less urgent than in other countries, has been set up relatively late, and carries conditions that may have important limitations. 

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