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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


Thu, 05/22/2014 - 22:33 | 4787262 salvadordaly
salvadordaly's picture

Thumbs? OK.,,,,,,,,,, To each his own

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:22 | 4786659 Mr. Magoo
Mr. Magoo's picture


Thu, 05/22/2014 - 23:31 | 4787378 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

I hate you now.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:18 | 4786643 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Prostitution and drugs are two areas that flourish as economies tank and people become desperate. I look forward to CNBS headlines that gloss over negative GDP by playing up the growth sectors of whoring and crack-peddling. Pimps and dealers can be interviewed for their expert opinions.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:23 | 4786665 813kml
813kml's picture

They already are, it's called CNBC.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:32 | 4786705 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

I wanna see Jim Cramer call black market syringes and used mattresses "screaming buys."

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:55 | 4786781 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

"Buy buy buy! Know what I'm sayin?"

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 03:27 | 4787615 Perfecthedge
Perfecthedge's picture

I want the financial markets to include derivatives based on black market syringes and used mattresses.  Now, that is something I would put some money in it.  Why not? What is the difference between a T-Note and a used mattress?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:29 | 4786686 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Playa:  Look Becky, ho's be in such demand I's gon' hasta hire me a subodinate, you know what I sayin'?

Becky:  Thank you, Playa.  Now we get Warren Buffet's take on this phenomenon.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:45 | 4786746 NuckingFuts
NuckingFuts's picture

If pimpin' was easy everyone be doin' it.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:06 | 4786803 NoPantsSpongeBob
NoPantsSpongeBob's picture

Pimping, unlike prostitution, is illegal in Italy. Interestingly, their law considers it a rape if a client fails to pay the hooker.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 04:03 | 4787648 Divine
Divine's picture

Its really easy! Just order a few russian/ukrainian brides and take them to honeymoon to some goat-fucker muslim country and trade them for 20 camel each. Then go to camel market and trade the camels to equal amount of mercedes bentz's

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 20:53 | 4787051 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

It's a problem in Cuba. The prostitutes get first crack at foreign exchange money which has put them on top of the economic ladder. Not sure what it all really means in the big picture.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 03:12 | 4787577 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

Last night my wife  came skittering into my mancave saying there were multiple flashlights in the front window and I needed to go check it out like right fucking now.  (yeah, she speaks like that.)

It's about 9:30 so, I'm a bit of a facebook (ZH) crank who doesn't hesitate to say that Pelosi should be shot at any opportunity, or that we've become a nation of facists with a new-age gestapo happy to shoot first.  I'm an NSA Registered Asshole.

I go outside.  There are two empty cop cars in our driveway blocking all means of exit, with the motors running.  Three more in our yard, and another three in the neighbor to the left's yard, another six are across the street.

Neighbors to the left are kinda assholes but I don't mind because I am too, but they don't realize their assholiness.  (Some day we're going to be great friends.) They're outside their house in a panic wondering what is going on.  I go out and see all the cop cars and go back to tell my wife that there's a thousand cops in front of our house.

We both go out and down our driveway and the neighbor lady asks my wife if she's ok. My wife still hasn't seen all the cop cars and she's had 35 years of my she just yells back that yep everythings fine.

Then she sees all the cars.  "What the FUCK did you post on facebook THIS TIME you stupid motherfucker!"

(I was still trying to figure that one out myself)

She stomps back into the house.  I decide to get a flashlight to see if there was a cop in any of the cars to ask what the hell was going on.  Coming back out, I shine it at the first car on the right in the driveway (one I had peered into to see if anyone was in it) and an Explorer Scout popped out to ask me to shut the light off because there was a tactical operation underway.

I shut it off, and the house lights, and watch.

Turns out, the cops made an assault on the drug dealer two houses to the right.  They came to my house by mistake.  The flashlights my wife saw were when the cops realized they were at the wrong address.

Where I sit I have a .45 with four ten round clips of fragible rounds, .357 revolver with seven quickloaders, and pump 12 gauge with five rounds of double ought, all are loaded.  If they had kicked in MY fuckin door I would not be here to type this, nor would have three or five of the first officers coming into my house.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 03:37 | 4787626 Perfecthedge
Perfecthedge's picture

To me it sounds you are ready for the great show.  You can continue being an asshole, at least you can back up your arguments.  Me? Can't afford to be a asshole to cops since I don't have one single gun (this is Europe...where we will be culled and shot without resistance).

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 10:04 | 4788318 Bad Attitude
Bad Attitude's picture

You are lucky to be alive!

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 05:09 | 4787693 Thom_333
Thom_333's picture

Desperate...whaddayamean desperate. Someday a book on the secret world of men will be written. Until then we just all go along ,smiling emptily , and just kinda agree to all the shit that´s being pandered by all the non-men of different genders. They don´t have a clue. Not a fucking clue.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:09 | 4786819 Canadian Dirtlump
Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Funny thing is it's more tangible than is the US's latest stunt including intellectual property and vaporware generators.


Either way the lesson here is that you should have a bordello in every city, require licensing and apply a tax

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 22:35 | 4787267 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

You cannot tax pussy ,you know why , you did not make that , God did and if he wanted to add tax he would off.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 00:01 | 4787442 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

God taxed Adam 1 rib for Eve.  There's no getting around paying.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 00:36 | 4787488 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

I'll be damned; that "Blonde with the gold boots is a dead ringer for an old girl friend of mine; but that was thirty years ago. Everything was thirty years ago, now.

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 09:17 | 4788167 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

If you like your prostitute, you can keep...

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 22:18 | 4787229 Silveramada
Silveramada's picture

AHH, la dolce vita 

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 00:28 | 4787480 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Outstanding. It just gets crazier and crazier. I need more popcorn .

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 01:52 | 4787554 Wile-E-Coyote
Wile-E-Coyote's picture

Go long Dildos

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 02:08 | 4787563 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

I imagine the hookers fall under the Service Economy and illegal drugs will be classified as Pharmacuticals?  Must have some semblence of order to the deck chair arrangement.



Fri, 05/23/2014 - 09:16 | 4788159 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

Got my Obamaphone and looking forward to Obamablow coming soon...wait a minute, maybe need a new name for that...

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 17:55 | 4786551 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

They conferred with Bill Clinton and Obama first before they did this.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 17:55 | 4786552 john39
john39's picture

the new normal isn't very normal.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:31 | 4786697 Wait What
Wait What's picture

think again. The Fable of the Bees (1705)

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 22:16 | 4787225 DriveByLurker
DriveByLurker's picture

As Bruce Cockburn taught us, "The Trouble With Normal is it Always Gets Worse."



Thu, 05/22/2014 - 17:56 | 4786554 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Wet your pizzoli, sinori?  Ees good for GDPa.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 17:56 | 4786555 caShOnlY
caShOnlY's picture

bananas and blow and hookers, bitchez

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:07 | 4786601 noob
noob's picture

USA national anthem (with lyrics)

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 17:56 | 4786558 Dre4dwolf
Thu, 05/22/2014 - 17:56 | 4786562 Okienomics
Okienomics's picture


Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:00 | 4786563 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I've seen that movie Ted 3 times and it still cracks me up :)

PS: Italy just wants to do what Spain is already doing for over a year now. They also already include hookers and dope and that stopped the GDP from dropping further.

But what they forget is that going to hookers now ihas become TAX DEDUCTABLE FOR COMPANIES!!! AND HOOKER CAN ALSO CLAIM UNEMPLOYMENT BENIFITS!!!

What a world we life in :)

If really want to tell my gratitude to all those fathers who did a pisspoor job playing a rolemodel for those fine woman...

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:23 | 4786661 Matt
Matt's picture

Won't they have to file and pay backtaxes first?

Besides, if GDP is supposed to measure the total economy, it should include everything, right?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:44 | 4786741 Wait What
Wait What's picture


Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:34 | 4787141 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

You are in fine form today, Sudden Debt!

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 00:29 | 4787481 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Don't forget the Eurocrats in Brussels and Paris who did a piss poor job of creating a world they could have actually survived in.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 17:58 | 4786565 GreaterFool1965
GreaterFool1965's picture

The Ministry of Truth does NOT approve this message!

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:52 | 4786771 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

but the Minister of Reality does!

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 10:59 | 4788516 detached.amusement
detached.amusement's picture

can still nod approval, even with the ball gag...

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:04 | 4786574 Sticky Wicket
Sticky Wicket's picture

Those economists should include the 'production' of hot air that every US politician blows out of their mouths. It's impossible to quantify, but they already just make up numbers.


Think about it. Anytime there's weak economic data, the GDP will skyrocket.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:01 | 4786576 The Reich
Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:02 | 4786580 BeerMe
BeerMe's picture

Getting you up like your GDP!

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:26 | 4786582 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Finally some stasi starts thinking outside or inside the box...whatever

Favorite Ted line... . , ' I'm a little fucked up right now ,,, "

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:02 | 4786583 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Amazing how two enterprises that are 'barely' taxed and 'barely' regulated are doing so well...

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:03 | 4786586 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

bunga bunGDPa!

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:22 | 4786657 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Yeah, our class is the biggest spender in this sector.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:03 | 4786587 i_call_you_my_base
i_call_you_my_base's picture

Soon to add murder-for-hire.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:03 | 4786589 Dorelei
Dorelei's picture

Nationalizing the mafia could boost GDP !!


Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:05 | 4786593 noob
noob's picture


Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:05 | 4786595 Malpheseus
Malpheseus's picture

Redboys and Chardonnay! Mutton and Mead! Opium and Warm Orange Juice!

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 00:35 | 4787486 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Opium and Warm Orange Juice ?  that's very interesting. At one time in my life, I used to mix my spoonful of Opium in room temp. Tang, ( the space spin off orange powder ); and drink my breakfast. Worked alright for me; but it's possible I'm not normal.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:06 | 4786597 GOSPLAN HERO
GOSPLAN HERO's picture

Bill Clinton has studied this form of economics.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:09 | 4786606 blindman
blindman's picture

not to mention thin lizzy and the stones.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:16 | 4786635 noob
noob's picture

Pussy Riot-Punk Prayer.mp4

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:06 | 4786804 blindman
blindman's picture

i hate to be racis' about it but the russian
music scene needs a whole lot more "felling"
in their popular, or unpopular, music.
that from mho and amerikan perspective.
the scales, they need some different scales.
but then it wouldn't be russian. maybe they
will incorporate some old chinese scales into
their popular tunes?
Kim Richey - Cant Find the Words

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:06 | 4786598 blindman
blindman's picture

wait till the vatican hears about this.
second thought, they originated capitalizing
the confessional, no? the good thing is you
can roll and fold it all into the phrase
"our way of life", in a manner of public speech,
and people will listen and the defer to the
television set.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:10 | 4786610 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

Minor point, but, as the title of the article states, it's 'Hookers and Blow', not 'Blow and Hookers'.  Otherwise, good for Italy in upping the bullshit ante.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:12 | 4786618 semperfi
semperfi's picture

garlic-banana republic

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:12 | 4786620 Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture
Italian journalist says Hong Kong banks make money laundering easy for criminals Antonio Papaleo said Standard Chartered was willing to open an account for him despite his already expired [Italian] proof of residence. An Italian journalist who mounted an undercover operation to expose a suspected eastern European gangster told the District Court yesterday how easy it was to set up a money-laundering operation in Hong Kong. Key prosecution witness Antonio Papaleo said he was hired by defendant Juraj Jariabka to come to Hong Kong with the express purpose of setting up front companies and opening bank accounts to launder the proceeds of crime. Papaleo told the court he was able to register two companies using out-of-date documents and that a local bank - identified by the prosecution as Standard Chartered - was willing to open an account for him regardless. "The bank would take my already expired [Italian] proof of residence. They would take everything," said Papaleo, adding that he had no intention of going through with the scheme for fear of violating Hong Kong law. "The bank had a very relaxed manner … I started to realise an expired proof of residence would be accepted by any Hong Kong bank." Papaleo responded to the defendant's progress inquiries by fabricating excuses, but told the court that in reality he could have established the account in a couple of days. Slovak national Jariabka denies one count of incitement to deal with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence. According to the former Italian national television reporter, the process of incorporating the two alleged front companies was also straightforward, with the employee responsible laughing off inquiries about the anti-money-laundering declaration. "I asked her about the paper and she looked at me, started to laugh and said: 'This is the anti-money-laundering declaration,'" Papaleo told the court. "She kept laughing and said: 'With this you declare not to launder money,' and then laughed again." Papaleo had been in hiding since June last year, when Hong Kong police arrested Jariabka using video evidence obtained by the journalist using a hidden camera. The men had returned to the city following an earlier visit in May to make another attempt to open a bank account. In footage played for the court, Papaleo is heard trying to tease out the exact nature of the defendant's business activities, but being rebuffed. However, Jariabka seemingly says, "It's not drugs, guns or tax," before adding: "Ah well, tax would be the smallest problem." As part of his investigation, Papaleo adopted the guise of a desperate drug addict and alcoholic in order to infiltrate the eastern European criminal underworld. The case continues today. This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as HK banks accused over dirty money
Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:31 | 4786701 Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture

Note to myself:

In addition, a range of other companies with varying back-

grounds are involved in project development. These include Re-

newable Energy Systems (UK), part of the Sir Robert McAlpine

engineering and construction group and Airtricity (Ireland),

which started off selling green energy in the Irish market. RES

has built wind farms in the UK, in Ireland through its coop-

eration with B9 Energy and in France through its subsidiary

Eole-RES. More recently it has been involved in developing and

constructing some of the largest projects in the United States,

particularly in Texas. Airtricity started its wind farm develop-

ment in Ireland but has since moved across the sea to Scotland

and is now one of the most active developers in the US. Earlier

this year, the company announced its involvement in a con-

sortium planning to build up to 4,200 MW of wind capacity in

the Texas Panhandle. In Europe, Airtricity has also committed

investment to large offshore wind farms in the Netherlands and

Germany. An example of the increasing involvement of general

investment companies in the wind business was the recent

takeover of long-standing Italian developer IVPC (Italian Vento

Power Corporation) by Irish investors Trinerg


GL Garrad Hassan has been the technical consultant to

the Italian developer, IVPC,

 since it supported the project

finance of its very first wind farm portfolio back in 1998.

Since this initial project, IVPC

has developed, constructed

and currently maintains wind farms across Southern Italy,

Sicily and Sardinia with a total capacity of 1040 MW

- approximately 20% of the current total Italian wind


Experts from GL Garrad Hassan have provided technical

support for all 56 wind farms, working on behalf of

multiple lenders to the projects by providing a range of

services including energy yield assessments, technical due

diligence reviews for project financing and construction

and operation monitoring.


Garrad Hassan Canada-,%202013.pdf


Worldwide Offices - GL Garrad Hassan - United Kingdom

40+ items – As the world's largest independent renewable energy ...

Garrad Hassan Pacific Pty Limited Suite 25, Level 8 401 Docklands Drive ...

GL Garrad Hassan Canada Inc. 4100 Rue Molson Suite 100. Montreal QC H1Y ...


Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:21 | 4786845 disabledvet
Fri, 05/23/2014 - 06:53 | 4787772 Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture

Must read paper.


Clean or "Dirty" Energy;
Evidence on a Renewable Energy Resource Curse




Mafia laundering via wind on rise

The mafia and other organised crime groups are increasingly targeting clean energy schemes such as wind farms as a way of laundering their dirty cash, according to a Europol report.

The EU law enforcement agency’s Threat Assessment on Italian Organised Crime study says the proceeds of criminal activity are increasingly being run through the legal business structures that renewables projects provide.

It also stresses that green schemes “offer attractive opportunities to benefit from generous EU grant and tax subsidies”, meaning the criminals are “effectively exploiting eco-friendly incentives for their financial gain”.

Italian police seized assets worth €1.3bn from a Sicilian renewable energy developer in April this year, in what was reported as the largest ever seizure of assets linked to organised crime.

The Europol document is available here.

Image: wind schemes offer attractive incentives as well as legal business structures (

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:34 | 4786708 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

But do not forget that "money laundering" is a made up crime for the benefit of the criminals of government and their bankster masters.

Or put another way: "There is no such thing as the crime of "money laundering."

As Cognitive Dissonance said/says, "Control the language and you control the mind. The body soon follows."

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:38 | 4787149 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 1

In .gov's eyes, "money laundering" is any money they do not know about and so cannot tax.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:13 | 4786628 oklaboy
oklaboy's picture

inflation is gonna be a bitch...

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:16 | 4786638 JonNadler
JonNadler's picture

“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.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:40 | 4787152 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Nadler!  Good seeing you around!  

Hope losing the kitco gig didn't hurt your feelings too much...

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 12:04 | 4788476 JonNadler
JonNadler's picture

Senor Dochen, always a pleasure to be greeted by such a gentleman. Nobody talks to me anymore, am avoided like the plague. Am basically selling hot dogs in Toronto right now to pay the rent. Even that Carbone chick at KITCO doesn't say hi to me anymore, ME! the Great Jon NAdler and all because of that barbarous relic! I just hope i don't run into AKAK at my hotdog stand. Where's AKAK by the way

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 13:35 | 4789160 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture



akak pulled out of ZH, alas.  One of the greats.

kitco is going downhill.  Carbone doesn't even wear revealing clothes anymore.  WHAT is the world coming to?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:18 | 4786641 km4
km4's picture

yes but Bloomberg and BW do not have that cool graphic for storyline like ZH

Cocaine Sales to Boost Italian GDP in Boon for Budget via @BloombergNews

Cocaine Sales to Boost Italian GDP in Boon for Renzi’s Budget via @BW

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:19 | 4786647 Cacete de Ouro
Cacete de Ouro's picture

Some bears have all the luck

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:21 | 4786652 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

Actually, who gives a fuck anymore?  There doesn't appear to be any negative consequence associated with all this lying and creating and spending pretend money.  It seems everyone's doing it, so it must more or less balance out.  Granted, the super wealthy and the welfare classes are the primary beneficiaries, but so what - the super rich are so incomprehensibly super rich now that eyen they probably don't notice the increments - I mean, what the fuck can a person do with 10 Billion that they can't do with 1 Billion?  And sure the welfare class gets their free shit, but it's not like its that luxurious a lifestyle, so fuck it, who cares?  And I know, I know, the debt's the taxpayer obligation, but it's not like anybody's ever going to PAY it - I mean even bondholders understand that they're only price speculators, and they all have too much skin in the game and benefit too much from its continuation to bust it up - better just to try and one-up the rest of the liars.  Honestly, fuck it all.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:32 | 4786703 OC Sure
OC Sure's picture



When will people who do productive work walk away from the counterfeit and only exchange their efforts for the efforts of others by the means of a mutually agreed upon unit of measure like gold or silver?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:49 | 4786738 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

Never?  Why bother?  The fake money works just fine, as long as you're getting your fair share?  The entire global financial system has gone from being generally corrupt to completely corrupt and insolvent, and yet it hasn't made a damn bit of difference.  Apparently nobody gives a fuck about 'mutually agreed upon units of measure'.  Apparently 'lying and creating the money we need to buy shit as the need comes about' is an acceptable mode of business FOR THE ENTIRE FUCKING WORLD!. 


I can't understand how it works, but apparently it does, apparently all the lying and cheating just cancels out.  So maybe the .01% now live forever, and you see their hovercars passing over as they head to the teleportation station for their visit to some alien brothel in another galaxy on the other side of the universe, because they've discovered the secret to eternal life and faster-than-light travel but haven't shared with the rest of us?  Big fucking deal.


BTW I'm serious about the 'live forever' comment.  I think those fucks have figured it out - you notice how old some of those guys are getting?  But no slowing down, what the fuck, Prince Phillip must be 150 by now.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:54 | 4786775 Pareto
Pareto's picture

Its true man.  Absolutely nobody gives a shit about the reality of the situation and the insanity that is being instilled everyhweres.  We have adopted a "whatever it fucking takes" atitude with little to no regard for consequences.  And this is why when the reset comes - and lets be clear - it will come - it will be swift, violent, and punishing.  Until then.......hookers and blow.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:10 | 4786818 Crawdaddy
Crawdaddy's picture

Kissinger must be on his third liver by now.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:29 | 4786860 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

never had a heart so the doctors never had to bother with that part.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:32 | 4787136 effendi
effendi's picture

With abottle of Chianti?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:48 | 4786915 CrazyCatLady
CrazyCatLady's picture

You arent too far off.  I think they believe that they will reincarnate into the same family, thereby keeping their wealth infinately.  Also im sure its not hard to keep their motors running when they dont have to stress about pesky things like compassion or non agression.  

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:54 | 4786776 Wait What
Wait What's picture

"don't notice the increments"

i recently read an article that basketball star lebron james no longer bothers to take even dollar bills as change. i imagine his owners haven't seen a dollar bill in decades.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:22 | 4786655 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

When my Mom makes me dinner or does my laundry, it should be included in GDP.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:25 | 4786672 Matt
Matt's picture

Parenting should be valued at at least $25,000 per year per child. That should add quite a bit more room for borrowing.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:02 | 4786791 zaphod42
zaphod42's picture

On-line help sites for parenting add hedonic value to that!!!  At least double - maybe triple.


Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:24 | 4787118 Cobra
Cobra's picture

I have it pegged at half a million, soup to nuts, if it doesn't duplicate and leaves after 25 years... Which is why I'm not doing it.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:35 | 4786715 effendi
effendi's picture

When I service myself does that have a negative consequence for the GDP because I'm not using a hooker?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:45 | 4786749 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

No, it's ok.  A hooker would be better, but you're still adding to the GDP, as long as you move some money.  Just have 2 bank accounts and move a few hundred from one account to the other every time you jerk off and you're doing your bit.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 20:29 | 4786996 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

Good point.
And people who can blow themselves should be highly prized by the government for they could get the economy going again as long as they're not taxed. Special economic zones for tax free self-blowjobs anyone?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:43 | 4787163 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Ahh, so that's why some guys take yoga...  I had always thought it was just a ploy to meet women.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 19:01 | 4786790 DR
DR's picture

Depends. Do you pay yourself under the table?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:26 | 4786662 Wait What
Wait What's picture

could have omitted everything in this article after the headline, and i would have still clicked on it... cuz this guy loves hookers and blow. most of my discretionary spending goes into this category, which is why it doesn't show up in US GDP. i soon expect the BLS to make up for that deficiency.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:24 | 4786667 grekko
grekko's picture

Please!  Someone stop the world. I want to get off.


Are we here at ZH the ONLY sane people left in the world?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:27 | 4786682 seek
seek's picture

Only a small subset of the ZH visitors are sane, so it's worse than you think.

There's stil pockets of sane people offline and at a few other forums.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 21:45 | 4787168 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Well, OK, but do we really want to go there?  I'm not sure I would feel welcome at thos other places...

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:30 | 4786690 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Sorry, you must stay on the ride until it comes to a complete stop.

Actually, I feel more insane knowing what I know. At least the sheeple get some form of bliss before the SHTF.

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 18:26 | 4786674 medium giraffe
medium giraffe's picture

Italy is a special case.  When 40% of GDP comes from organised crime, you really don't have a lot of choice but to declare it.  Shopping for Italian labels supports organised crime in a way that buying a bag of weed could never hope to. 

Institutionalised criminality, we should be so surprised. 

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