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Redwood reveals economic worry disturbing his sleep

Redwood reveals economic worry disturbing his sleep

John Redwood has said the macroeconomic issue which is causing him most concern is Italy's budget.

The Conservative MP and chief global strategist for Charles Stanley was speaking at the Personal Finance Society's conference in London yesterday (November 22).

He said a lot would depend on the actions of the European Central Bank, and whether it treated Italy in a similar manner to Greece when it faced a government debt crisis.

Earlier this week the European Commission took the first steps towards sanctioning Italy over its draft budget, which proposed a high level of spending which would push up the country's debt levels and European Union officials worry this could prompt instability in the Eurozone.

Mr Redwood said: "[If the European Central Bank treated Italy like Greece] we would feel that across the Channel but the worst of the storm would largely be through the Eurozone.

"That is my single biggest worry in the mornings when I wake up.

"Assuming they reach a compromise, all will be well but if they start to threaten through the bank we are in for extremely difficult times."

Mr Redwood said Charles Stanley was predicting the low yield environment would continue, with last month's volatility warning the world's central bankers against further interest rate rises.

He said: "If we have to live with that then where appropriate and proper we have to say to people they need to take a bit more risk."

damian.fantato@ft.com