A downward spiral?



During 2006 and 2007, Italy was a major source of business for structured products arrangers, as retail investors flush with cash and riding the upward run in real estate prices looked for capital guaranteed products with payoffs on everything from commodities to foreign exchange and emerging markets equities.

But activity has since slumped even more dramatically in Italy than in other European markets. One banker estimates that sales of structured products were down by 80% in the first quarter o

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