Italian Government on Brink of Collapse (Bloomberg)
If you think the U.S. government shutdown is an extreme move, Italyâ€™s political crisis makes that look like a walk in the piazza. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta spent the weekend trying to hold his coalition government together in the face of pressure from ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berusconiâ€™s backers. Berlusconi faces expulsion from Italyâ€™s parliament for tax fraud, yet still wields considerable control. Heâ€™s worked feverishly to tear down the Letta coalition in the hope of avoiding expulsion. All of this instability has left investors leery of funding the country — leaving it with the worldâ€™s third-largest debt burden, behind only Japan and the United States. And until the political situation is resolved, donâ€™t expect to see the world racing toward Italy for investment.