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Divided by rates.



Little divides Stefan and Georg living either side of the Brenner Pass linking Austria and Italy. Although they carry different passports, they speak the same language – German – run similarly successful tourism businesses in one of the wealthiest and most glorious corners of a united Europe, and are clients of the same banking group, UniCredit.

Only that Georg on the Italian side of the mountains pays twice as much interest on his loans as his neighbour Stefan in Austria. Georg – who incidentally has never been to Rome in his life but visits land he owns in Canada every year – wonders where Europe is heading.

So does Roberto Nicastro, general manager of UniCredit, explaining that based on Italy’s high borrowing costs on its sovereign debt – yielding more than 6 per cent compared with Austria’s just less than 2 per cent – the bank is obliged to pass on widely different rates to its prime clients in the two countries.

Source: Financial Times (online).

Unlike many Tyrolean politicians the Financial Times seems to share ’s opinion that borders do still exist. From an economical point of view — according to the newspaper — there apparently even is a “right” and a “wrong” side of the border to be on. And we live on the wrong side.

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2 responses to “Divided by rates.

  1. m.gruber avatar

    Wer den Artikel auf ohne registrierung lesen möchte:
    Pass: financialtimes

    Dort findet sich auch ein guter Kommentar:

    The chart included show that the difference is about 100 basis points between Italy and Austria. Why then does the author concentrate on individual differences — which might be affected by the credit-worthiness of those individuals?? Looks like another case of sloppy journalism…

    From an economical point of view — according to the newspaper — there apparently even is a ”right” and a ”wrong” side of the border to be on. And we live on the wrong side.

    “According to the newspaper” ?? Wo steht da was von “we live on the wrong side”?
    Da werden doch Zusammenhänge konstruiert (Financial Times – BBD) die für mich nicht ersichtlich sind.

  2. Florian B avatar
    Florian B

    Ok, die FT sagt natürlich nicht explizit, es sei “richtig” oder “falsch” (man beachte bitte auch die von pérvasion gesetzten Anführungszeichen), im einen oder anderen Staat zu leben, sondern konstatiert einfach nur, dass der jeweilige Standort mit erheblichen wirtschaftlichen Vor- bzw. Nachteilen verbunden ist.

    Von diesen Prämissen ausgehend eine simple Schlussfolgerung anzustellen, ist allerdings nicht besonders schwer…

    Was den Kommentar auf der Seite der FT anbelangt, möchte ich noch anmerken, dass auf der einschlägigen Grafik explizit die Angabe “on loans over €1m” angeführt ist. Wenn du hier in Italien ein Darlehen um 3% kriegst (bitte jetzt nicht eine Momentaufnahme der besten variabel verzinsten Angebote für Wohnbaudarlehen zitieren), dann kann ich nur herzlich gratulieren, zumal die Inflationsrate in Südtirol in den letzten beiden Monaten um die 4% lag, womit die Aufnahme eines Darlehens zu diesen Konditionen sogar ausgesprochen günstig wäre.

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