Chapter 11: Geographical aspects of recent banking crises in Italy
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Recent international financial and banking crises highlight the geographical context of the spatial propagation of shocks, particularly given that the international diversification of portfolios was a driving force of the global contagion. A different scenario is presented through the empirical evidence in this chapter, which examines the crises that affected four major local banks in Italy: Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara, Banca delle Marche, Cassa di Risparmio della Provincia di Chieti and Banca Popolare dell’Etruria e del Lazio. Here, a high spatial concentration of activities compromises stability: the geography of branches and loans and the loss of international competitiveness for export-orientated local economies results in financial unbalances and in the need for bail-outs. A geographical analysis of these banking crises in Italy underscores the perils of low spatial diversification in banking.

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