Schadenfreude is a German word meaning the pleasure derived by someone else’s pain. But in the European financial system, it seems the tables have started to turn. For months, German leaders have held the feet of Italian policy makers to the fire by providing little flexibility in their efforts to rescue their ailing banking sector. But Germany’s ability hold such high ground may increasingly be put to the test as their own two largest banks in Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank continue to slide toward crises of their own. As a result, it may be Italy that ends up feeling an increasing degree of gioia dannosa toward their euro zone counterparts as we move toward the end of the year. And with it all may come a nasty dose of market volatility before it’s all said and done.
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