Policy brief

How not to create zombie banks: lessons for Italy from Japan

How can Italian banks address the issue of non-perfoming loans? What lessons can they learn from Japan?

Publishing date
08 March 2017

Japan serves as a cautionary tale for Italy on how to clean up banking-sector problems. A general lesson is the need for policies to forthrightly address non-performing loans (NPLs) in countries with widespread banking problems. This helps address zombie banks and sluggish economic growth.

What can Italian banks learn from the Japanese experience? The authors of this Policy Contribution provide a comparison of the situation in Italy with that in Japan almost two decades ago to illuminate the causes and effects of, and the possible solutions to, the zombie bank problem.

About the authors

  • Mark Hallerberg

    Mark Hallerberg has been a Non-Resident Fellow at Bruegel since September 2013. He is a Professor of Public Management and Political Economy at the Hertie School of Governance and is Director of Hertie's Fiscal Governance Centre.

    He is the author of one book, co-author of a second, and co-editor of a third. He has published over twenty-five articles and book chapters on fiscal governance, tax competition and exchange rate choice.

    He has previously held professorships at Emory University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has done consulting work for the Dutch and German Ministries of Finance, Ernst and Young Poland, the European Central Bank, the German Development Corporation (GIZ), the Inter-American Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.

  • Christopher Gandrud

    Christopher Gandrud is a Lecturer in Quantitative International Political Economy at City University London and Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Fiscal Governance Centre, Hertie School of Governance. His research focuses on the international political economy of public financial and monetary institutions, as well as applied social science statistics and software development. His work has been published in peer reviewed journals including the Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of Peace Research, Research and Politics, Review of International Political Economy, Political Science Research and Methods, Journal of Statistical Software, and International Political Science Review. He has been a Lecturer in International Relations at Yonsei University and a Fellow in Government at the London School of Economics where in 2012 he completed a PhD in quantitative political science.

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