Rediscovering risk

Italy

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Italian retail investors did not have a particularly good 2005. Most investors who betted on the yield curve steepening and ploughed into constant maturity swap (CMS) products, last year's biggest selling product by far, have been left with mark-to-market losses as the yield curve flattened in the latter part of the year. Other products, such as Snowballs - which bet on short-term rates remaining at low levels - also performed poorly when short-term rates rose.

Participants feel that, under t