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Hookers And Blow: How Changing The Definition Of GDP Officially Jumped The Shark

Tyler Durden's picture


A year ago it was the US which first "boosted" America's GDP by $500 billion - literally out of thin air - when it arbitrarily decided to include "intangibles" to the components that 'make up' GDP (in the process cutting over 5% from the US Debt/GDP ratio). Then Spain joined the fray. Then Greece. Then the UK. Then Nigeria, which showed those deveoped Keynesian basket cases how it is really done, when it doubled the size of its GDP overnight when it decided to change the base year of its GDP calculations. Now it is Italy's turn, and like everything else Italy does, this latest "revision" of the definition of GDP easily wins in the style points category. As Bloomberg reports, "Italy will include prostitution and illegal drug sales in the gross domestic product calculation this year." Yup: blow and hookers. And that, ladies and gents, how it's done.

Alas for Keynesian economists everywhere, since this "adjustment" largely shows that what one includes in GDP is now absolutely meaningless and for lack of a better word, a joke, it also means that the core concept of economic growth measurement has now officially jumped the shark.

But at least one will get a laugh out of the Italian GDP line items for hookers and blow. Bloomberg has the full story:

Drugs, prostitution and smuggling will be part of GDP as of 2014 and prior-year figures will be adjusted to reflect the change in methodology, the Istat national statistics office said today. The revision was made to comply with European Union rules, it said.


Renzi, 39, is committed to narrowing Italy’s deficit to 2.6 percent of GDP this year, a task that’s easier if output is boosted by portions of the underground economy that previously went uncounted. Four recessions in the last 13 years left Italy’s GDP at 1.56 trillion euros ($2.13 trillion) last year, 2 percent lower than in 2001 after adjusting for inflation.

The punchline:

“Even if the impact is hard to quantify, it’s obvious it will have a positive impact on GDP,” said Giuseppe Di Taranto, economist and professor of financial history at Rome’s Luiss University. “Therefore Renzi will have a greater margin this year to spend” without breaching the deficit limit, he said.

And that's what it is all about: literally making numbers up allowing the government to spend even more money it doesn't have on ridiculous political schemes, kickbacks, crony deals and corruption, and then when the people start to riot, blaming it all on "austerity."

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Thu, 05/22/2014 - 17:54 | 4786543 RacerX
RacerX's picture

golf clap for Italy. Well played.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 17:58 | 4786553 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Adds new meaning to the term GDP deflator.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 17:59 | 4786568 maskone909
maskone909's picture

finally a metric i can get behinde

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:04 | 4786591 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

Political graft and bribes should be entered into the GDP calculation as well. The debt/GDP ratio would certainly drop to near zero.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:13 | 4786625 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture


Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:32 | 4786679 Looney
Looney's picture

Out of those five babes in the picture, I like the blonde in the middle! ;-)




Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:34 | 4786709 ACP
ACP's picture

Hey it's Dan Bilzerian's house!

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:30 | 4787131 old naughty
old naughty's picture

"...those five babes"


Did you miss the highlighted one with a bottle in each hand?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 22:53 | 4787303 Greenskeeper_Carl
Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

i post this unrelated thing up here so that more of yall will see it: I turned ghostery off because it wouldnt let picture windows load on a site i was shopping on, and came over here without remembering to turn it back on, and it loaded 43 fucking trackers and cookies. it used to be like 25. what the fuck tyler? i know a lot of you guys use ghostery, turn it off and click on the 'home' just once, see what all ghostery finds. this 'fight the power' site has more bullshit tracking and making money from people like google than literally any other sight i have come across.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 07:49 | 4787897 Ranger4564
Ranger4564's picture

This is a pro free market capitalist website operated by ABC Inc, so why does it surprise you?

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 18:29 | 4789948 KnightTakesKing
KnightTakesKing's picture

I use Ghostery (Mac) and there's "only" 12 trackers on this page. 

Sun, 05/25/2014 - 20:33 | 4794289 fedupwhiteguy
fedupwhiteguy's picture

I'm using googlicous chrome at work and running the ghost man. There are only eleven listed entities for me.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:32 | 4787132 jaap
jaap's picture

Netherlands already included drug trade into their GDP in February.

2,4 billion euro to be precise.

Ook worden 'illegale activiteiten' als drugshandel, prostitutie, gokken, illegaal kopiëren en smokkel meegeteld in de omvang van onze economie. Van de 45 miljard die de economie in 2010 groter was dan in de oude berekeningen, is 2,4 miljard euro afkomstig uit illegale activiteiten.


Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:43 | 4787162 snr-moment
snr-moment's picture

Which, of course, raise the question.  If my wife does me, am I guilty of tax evasion?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 22:14 | 4787218 Againstthelie
Againstthelie's picture


Fri, 05/23/2014 - 00:20 | 4787472 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Homefucking kills GDP.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 02:46 | 4787580 snr-moment
snr-moment's picture

What should I do when the IRS/FDIC show up wanting a bail-in?

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 09:47 | 4788267 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

Not sure what this article is all about so I had to search for more details.




Fri, 05/23/2014 - 02:46 | 4787581 Prime Rib
Prime Rib's picture

My doctor told me one time "the three most overrated things in America are homecooking, homefucking and the Mayo Clinic". 

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 00:31 | 4787483 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

That's a big if.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 13:20 | 4789122 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

You got that backwards, if you do her, she's evading the taxes.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 22:19 | 4787230 Againstthelie
Againstthelie's picture

The amazing thing is, this kind of GDP-manipulation has no negative impact anymore on the country's debt and on it's stock markets anymore. It seems as the only thing that matters anymore, is the music that is playing.

This can not end well.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 07:29 | 4787848 RazvanM
RazvanM's picture

What is PUTIN's oppinion on that? He may be a beacon of hope for the true freedom loving people that oppose americanism and the western decadence, but he is also a personal friend of Silvio Berlusconi aka Bunga Bunga.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:05 | 4786801 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

That's a dude!

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:34 | 4786876 Looney
Looney's picture

Dude, how do you know that bear-bitch is a dude, Dude? ;-)


Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:09 | 4787083 jballz
jballz's picture


Because it's Ted. 




Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:28 | 4787124 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Having seen the raunchy movie...  :)

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:53 | 4786931 Midas
Midas's picture

Not only is it a dude, but a bear no less.  However, I do not see any twinks, twunks, or otters.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:43 | 4786901 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

I'd take the Asian in blue...


I don't do dudes.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:08 | 4787082 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture


I am a rice king too

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:21 | 4787115 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

Hot girls. Damn, kinda wish I'd win the lottery soon.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 07:03 | 4787783 de3de8
de3de8's picture

All the way to the right, it's all pink inside

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 06:12 | 4787733 Anasteus
Anasteus's picture

No chance Looney, the blond in the middle is reserved exclusively for the bear wrestler.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:23 | 4786633 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

How to purify your Cocaine.




How to purify your Hooker.



Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:35 | 4786718 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

I use turpentine on all my hoes.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:10 | 4787086 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Only deal in the high end markets. Anything under $200 is too cheap.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 02:22 | 4787567 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

Got hit on by a gorgeous black hooker in Las Vegas for $100.  Took her back to room.  She's around 20, I'm 50 then.  When she told me that $100 was the Senior Discount I got offended and threw her out.  But I had made a contract I could not fulfill so I still paid her. 

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:20 | 4787112 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Graft, bribes, hookers and blow. It's where the QE money ultimately goes so it should show up in their calculations.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:30 | 4787130 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Why not?  Our economy could use (another) boost!  

All That CTRL-P has to go somewhere...

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 00:31 | 4787482 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

And not to forget money laundering.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 01:47 | 4787547 mt paul
mt paul's picture

lobbyist contributions ....

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 17:59 | 4786572 GreaterFool1965
GreaterFool1965's picture

And Participation Rate

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:42 | 4786903 old naughty
old naughty's picture

it's natural to include all mafia activities !

will all participants get medical coverage?

Is "ponzi" Italian?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:02 | 4786579 Stackers
Stackers's picture

My eyes, My eyes, My eyes !!!! Ahhhhhhh!!!!

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:11 | 4786612 salvadordaly
salvadordaly's picture

Damn picture sucked me into the article looking for a larger picture. When will i learn?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:21 | 4786654 Matt
Matt's picture

If you use Chrome, right click on picture -> search google for this image.


Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:13 | 4787096 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

I'm turned off by the fact there is so much champagne left in her bottle.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 02:24 | 4787569 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

Every TITillating element is covered by something.  It's Mormon Porn.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:23 | 4786660 Mr. Magoo
Mr. Magoo's picture

Thumbs Up for the opening pic

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:40 | 4786892 Frank N. Beans
Frank N. Beans's picture

among other things


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