Firm or flexible?

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Prior to August 2007, one of the big debates taking place within the Italian financial services industry was whether the rigid asset limitations that have been around since 1997 should be eased, and the extent to which flexibility should be allowed to trump prudence.

Countries such as the US and the UK have earned a reputation for having a greater appetite for risk, while investors in Italy typically display more caution. Decree 703, introduced into Italian law in 1997, imposes strict limits on

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