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With financial markets increasingly jittery over political developments in Italy, it is easy to imagine a world in which interest rates rise and remain elevated, in which case the Italian debt could pose a serious threat to the eurozone, and even to the global economy.The first, and most basic, component of the madman strategy is an ability to introduce a level of uncertainty that is damaging to other countries.Assuming a country is big enough to rattle global markets (as Italy clearly is), three other factors determine the success of a madman strategy.Finally, to succeed, a madman government needs to have a plausible war plan for causing a general disruption.As more governments, parties and leaders come to imitate the madman strategy, the scope for agreement in any negotiation will narrow, and will become more likely.But exposing the dangers of the madman strategy will not be enough to defeat it.
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