Move Over Greece, Italy's Crisis Will Be Worse

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Daniel Mitchell via The Foundation for Economic Education,

Early last month, in a column on my hopes and fears for 2017, I fretted about fiscal chaos in Italy leading to default and bailouts.

Simply stated, I fear that Italy, along with certain other “Club Med” nations, has passed the point of no return in terms of big government, demographic decline, and societal dependency.

And this means that, sooner or later, the proverbial wheels are going to fall off the bus. And it might be sooner.

On Shaky Ground

I don’t always agree with his policy recommendations, but I regularly read Desmond Lachman of the American Enterprise Institute because he is one of the best-informed people in Washington on the fiscal and economic mess in Europe.

And Italy, to be blunt, is in a mess.

Here’s what Desmond just wrote about the country’s economy.

…while the euro could very well survive a Greek exit, it certainly could not survive in anything like its present form were Italy to have a full-blown economic and financial crisis that forced it to default on its public debt mountain. …Among the reasons that there should be greater concern about an Italian, rather than a Greek, economic crisis is that Italy has a very much larger economy than Greece. Being the third-largest economy in the eurozone, Italy’s economy is around 10 times the size of that of Greece. Equally troubling is the fact that Italy has the world’s third-largest sovereign bond market with public debt of more than $2.5 trillion. Much of this debt is held by Europe’s shaky banking system, which heightens the risk that an Italian sovereign debt default could shake the global financial system to its core. …the country’s economic performance since 2008 has been abysmal. Indeed, Italian living standards today are around 10 percent below where they were 10 years ago. Meanwhile, Italy’s banking system has become highly troubled and its public sector debt as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) is now the second highest in the eurozone.”

And here’s some of what he wrote late last year.

…today there would seem to be as many reasons for worrying about the Italian economy as there were for worrying about the Greek economy back in 2009. Like Greece then, Italy today checks all too many of the boxes for the making of a full-blown economic and financial crisis within the next year or two. …the Italian economy today is barely above its level in 1999 when the country adopted the Euro as its currency. Worse still, since the Great Global Economic Recession in 2008-2009, the Italian economy has experienced a triple-dip recession that has left its economy today some 7 percent below its pre-2008 crisis peak level and its unemployment rate stuck at over 11 percent. …deficiencies of its ossified labor market that contributes so importantly to the country’s very poor productivity performance. As a result, since adopting the Euro in 1999, Italy’s unit labor costs have increased by around 15 percentage points more than have those in Germany. …Italian banks now have around EUR 360 billion in non-performing loans, which amounts to a staggering 18 percent of their loan portfolio. If that were not bad enough, the Italian banks also hold unhealthily large amounts of Italian government debt, which now total more than 10 percent of their overall assets. …the country’s public debt level has risen from 100 percent of GDP in 2008 to 133 percent of GDP at present.”

The numbers shared by Lachman are downright miserable.

And he’s not the only one pointing out that Italy’s economy is in the toilet.

I shared numbers last year showing the pervasive stagnation in the country.

Falling Birthrates

So what’s the Italian government doing to solve these problems? Is it slashing tax rates? Reducing the burden of government? Cutting back on red tape?

Of course not. The politicians are either making things worse or engaging in pointless distractions.

Speaking of which, I’m tempted to laugh at the Italian government’s campaign to boost birthrates. Here’s some of what’s been reported by the New York Times.

…a government effort to promote “Fertility Day” on Sept. 22, a campaign intended to encourage Italians to have more babies. …Italy has one of the lowest birthrates in the world… Italian families have been shrinking for decades. In 2015, 488,000 babies were born in Italy, the fewest since the country first unified in 1861. It has one of the lowest birthrates in Europe, with 1.37 children per woman, compared with a European average of 1.6, according to Eurostat figures."

By the way, I actually commend the government for recognizing that falling birthrates are a problem.

Not because women should feel obliged to have kids if that’s not what they want. But rather because Italy has a massive tax-and-transfer welfare state that is predicated on an ever-expending population of workers (i.e., taxpayers) to finance benefits to retirees.

But old people are living longer and low birthrates mean that there won’t be enough taxpayers to prop up the Ponzi Scheme of big government.

But while the government deserves kudos for acknowledging a problem, it deserves mockery for thinking empty slogans will make a difference.

More of the Same

Moreover, there’s also a problem in that Italian voters have been so conditioned to expect handouts that they think the answer to the problem is even more government!

The problem is not a lack of desire to have children, critics of the campaign say, but rather the lack of meaningful support provided by the government and many employers. …”I still feel very offended,” said Vittoria Iacovella, 37, a journalist and mother of two girls, ages 10 and 8. “The government encourages us to have babies, and then the main welfare system in Italy is still the grandparents.” …Italy’s government has tried to help families with a so-called baby bonus of 80 to 160 euros, or about $90 to $180, for low- and middle-income households, and it has approved labor laws giving more flexibility on parental leave."

Ms. Iacovella is crazy for thinking that more taxes, more spending, more regulation, and more mandates will make things better.

Heck, even leftists are now admitting such laws undermine employment and specifically hurt women by making them less attractive to employers.

Meanwhile, the Italian government is taking lots of other dumb steps. Including, as reported by the Telegraph, creating a new entitlement for teenagers.

Italian school leavers may face the dismal prospect of 40 per cent youth unemployment, but at least they have one thing to look forward to – a €500 “culture bonus”, courtesy of the government. From next month, every 18-year-old will be entitled to claim the money and spend it on culturally enriching pursuits such as going to theatres, concerts and museums, visiting archaeological sites, and buying books. The scheme, which starts on Sept 15, will benefit 575,000 teenagers, at a cost to the government of €290 million (£250 million)."

By the way, is anyone shocked to learn that Italian teenagers look forward to these handouts?

…it has been welcomed by 18-year-olds, who face a difficult economic landscape when they leave school – high unemployment, a lack of secure, long-term contracts and an economy that has performed dismally for a decade. “Of course we’re happy…,” said Angelica Magazzino, a teenager from the southern region of Puglia who turns 18 in November."

If you read the entire story, you’ll learn that the government justifies this new entitlement by saying it will fight terrorism. I don’t know if that’s more crazy or less crazy than the American leftists who blame terrorism on climate change or inequality.

Say What?

Last but not least, CNN is reporting that the government is also enabling other forms of Italian “culture.”

Italy’s highest court has ruled that masturbation in public is not a crime, as long as it is not conducted in the presence of minors."

No, this is not a joke.

The decision came down from the Italian Supreme Court…in the case of a 69-year-old man…The man was convicted in May 2015 after he performed the act in front of students on the University of Catania campus, according to documents filed with Supreme Court. The man was sentenced to three months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of €3,200 (around $3,600). However, the defendant’s lawyer appealed the case to the country’s highest court, which ruled on the side of the accused in June but only just made its decision public. Judges ruled that public masturbation out of the presence of minors is no longer deemed criminal conduct due to a change in the law last year, which decriminalized the act."

Great. I’m looking forward to my next trip to Italy. Though I guess it’s nice to see Italian seniors are staying active in their communities.

More seriously, this is why I’m sympathetic to Italians that are either privately dodging or publicly revolting when you have a government this profligate and senseless.

P.S. Amazingly, some leftists think the United States should have a bigger government and be more like Italy.

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Fireman's picture

Is the dead bankster "bounce" finally over?

limited man's picture
limited man (not verified) Fireman Feb 24, 2017 5:13 AM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

Montani Semper Liberi's picture

 Anybody stupid enough to click on that link deserves what he gets.

UnclePhester's picture
UnclePhester (not verified) Montani Semper Liberi Feb 24, 2017 5:45 AM




Old Order Amish Run Media SILENT...but not for MILO!

BuddyEffed's picture

Remind me again about Italys strong resource base?
What is it that they offer to the world economy?
Real economies run on real resource inputs.
Has their resource inputs come mostly from foreign lands?
Lots more competition for resource inputs now than 20 years ago.
Are those markets tightening?

Déjà view's picture

HEAVEN...where police are British, cooks French, mechanics German, lovers Italian and all organised by Swiss.
HELL...where chefs are British, mechanics French, police German, lovers Swiss, and all organised by Italians.

Salzburg1756's picture

The Canadian version runs:

Canada could have been a country with French culture, British government, and American know-how.

Instead it became a country with French government, British know-how, and American culture.

The joke originated before the Thatcher regime in Britain when the British economy was crippled by socialism and the American economy was flourishing.

zippedydoodah's picture

A joke from the 1980s, 

How do you make an Italian woman pregnant?

Cum on her shoes and let the flies do the work.

new game's picture

of course the gov would promote something that people couldn't afford, moar people. wtf?

moar poverty, but hey, wtf, make up the difference with moar rape-u-gees.


italian revolution coming, bankers beware, tic toc...

every italian i've ever know has a fireball inside, know if they can just dirrect their anger at the real source...

greece certainly didn't.

bluez's picture

Clearly the accumulated collective positive wealth of a given realm is its total productionality (quantity of manufactured products, utilized natural resources (especially water and energy), vital services (such as adequate health care), etc.), (plus plunder in the case of pillaging parties). The accumulated collective negative wealth is the utilization, thus diminution, of this positive wealth.

The fact is that the real positive wealth of the earth has diminished drastically since around 1971. Most of this diminution has been due to the cost of warfare.

spdrdr's picture

What, a life-time "Get Out of Jail - Free!" card if you are caught playing pocket billiards in Italy?

Megaton Jim's picture

I clicked it and made $50 the first 2 minutes.............

rmopf2010's picture





The elephant in the room that nobody adresses

Sample Replicated everywhere in the so called west

This why the so called west is so DOOMED with QE+NIRP/ZIRP and negative growth

I'll do the math: I'll Imagine a police with 5000$ salary/month since begining of carreer as theres was no inflation and thus 0% inrtrest on how much is put aside (don't forget he'll be earning 5000$ from the begining of his career)

5000$ => 13.5% = 675$ Month 9450$ Year , 14months 330,750$ was saved/put aside for 35 years

Now this sample police retires at 58 and life expectation is currently 77.48, he will be retired almost 20 fucking years !!!!!!

Now let's see how much that 330,750$ will last

330,750$ / 5000$ = 66.15 months (don't forget when he was active in this sample was turn aside 14 months, now retired he only gets 12 months)

66.15 months / 12 months = 5.51 years (paid by his tax discounts)

What we are witnessing here is the greater TEFTH of HUMAN HISTORY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well he pays for 5.51 years and receives extra 15 years for free from taxpayers money


Ps: This applies to almost every civil server around the world, this why they love big government/welfare state

No wonder money is never enough to fill deficits and service debt




Montani Semper Liberi's picture

 How can you have falling birthrates with gorgeous Italian babes running around everywhere?



Batman11's picture

The whole thing was a farce from beginning to end.

The comedy of errors that is the Euro.

How is the system supposed to work?

Bankers are given the privilege of creating money out of nothing for loans which they can charge interest on.

In reality it provides a mechanism for you to borrow your own money from the future and the interest you pay is the charge for this service. You pay the initial sum, plus the interest, back in the future and get to spend that money today on a house or a car or whatever.

This mechanism has an interesting effect on the money supply as the money comes into the economy immediately and is only removed slowly by the repayments. Very slowly, in the case of long term mortgage debt.

For large loans banks set the interest rate depending on the risk assessment of the loan.

Loans to countries are large loans and the interest rate is set depending on the risk of default.

Greece and many Club-Med nations used to have to pay high rates of interest as there was a higher risk of default.

Then The Euro came along.

The ECB was helping Germany get over its bust when the Neuer Markt collapsed by 97%.

The financial sector made an assumption that everyone would be bailed out by Germany if they got into trouble.

Interest rates were set at very low levels across the Euro-zone, due to the incorrect assumption of risk by the financial sector and the ECB’s efforts to help Germany.

The Club-med and Ireland boomed, they had never seen interest rates like these, borrowing was so cheap.

Interest rates in Greece used to be about 18% with the Drachma, it was time to party and stock up on German luxury goods like the Porsche Cayenne, a great favourite in Greece at the time. It was party time in the Club-Med nations and Ireland.

Housing bubbles inflated in Spain, Ireland, Greece and Holland.

Germany itself was in a state of shock after the bust, it didn’t borrow and tightened its belt becoming more competitive.

All this new debt elsewhere, creates money which floods into these economies increasing the money supply, prices and wages. Their competitiveness is going down compared to Germany, but it doesn’t show up as they are consuming with debt that, in itself, creates money that is pouring into the economy.

They thought the good times would never end, until they did.

A hurricane blew out of Wall Street and laid low the once vibrant global economy. The Euro-zone nations had to load up on debt to bail out their banking sectors.

The financial sector realised that Germany wasn’t going to be bailing everyone out and re-assessed the risks and raised interest rates accordingly. The sustainable debt became unsustainable and the housing booms turned to bust.

The Euro-zone crisis was in full swing and things were allowed to run for quite a long time before the ECB swung into action and bought down interest rates at the periphery and a lot of damage had already been done.

The EU took the debt off the private banks and placed it on EU taxpayers, they were still very concerned about the health of their banks after 2008.

The vast majority of Greek bailouts just return to the EU as repayments on the debt and less than 10% goes to Greece.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest austerity doesn’t work including the IMF’s own forecasts for Greek recovery with austerity.

The IMF predicted Greek GDP would have recovered by 2015.

By 2015 it was down 27% and still falling.

There are many players in this comedy of errors but Greece and the Club-Med nations get the blame.



Batman11's picture

Why are there so many NPL's in the Italian banking system.

Austerity leaves people with less money to pay off their loans, Mario you dickhead.


Batman11's picture

The McKinsey Global Institute - “Poorer Than Their Parents? Flat or falling incomes in advanced economies”, July 2016 

“In a startling finding, the report said that 65 to 70% of households in 25 advanced economies were in income segments that had flat to falling incomes between 2005 and 2014, up from less than 2 percent between 1993 and 2005. More troubling is that for some of the biggest supposed winners from globalization such as the US, this number is as high as 81%, while in Italy it soars to just shy of 100%!

We’ve seen Trump in the US and Italy is worse.

Well that’s another fine mess you’ve got us into Euro-zone techno-twats.


rmopf2010's picture

"Austerity leaves people with less money to pay off their loans"


welfare state/big government grew so huge that in order to pay for it, government have to increase huge taxes to the point people is left without money, nevertheless taxpayers is not enough to pay for it, so there's tha huge pile of sovereign debt

What was IRS top tax at 1987 what is now in 2017 ?????? can anyone form Italy answer ?



rmopf2010's picture

Clubmed politicians were elected on the promisses of big government/welfare state as good as German but with Zimbabue produtivity


Club-Med nations get the blame ????? dah ?

"Never before had so many people been hired by the state, with such salaries, pensions and benefits—to the point where the average government job paid almost three times the salary of the average private-sector job. An egregious but not isolated example was the national railroad company, which had annual revenues of €100 million against an annual wage bill of €400 million, on top of €300 million in other expenses. This is how the average state railroad employee came to earn €65,000 a year."

Modern Greece — What everyone needs to know



Batman11's picture

If the financial sector hadn't made an incorrect assumption and charged very low interest rates to the Club-Med nations the problems would never have materialized in the way that they have.

The financial sector needed to look at the facts you are showing me when assessing risk and not make incorrect assumptions.

They create money out of nothing and only have one job to do which is to lend prudently but they can never manage it.

“What is wrong with lending more money into real estate?” Australian, Canadian, Swedish, Dutch and Hong Kong bankers now

“What is wrong with lending more money into the Chinese stock market?” Chinese banker last year

“What is wrong with lending more money into real estate?” Chinese banker pre-2104

“What is wrong with lending more money into real estate?” Spanish banker pre-2012

“What is wrong with lending more money into real estate?” Irish banker pre-2010

“What is wrong with lending more money to Greece?” European banker pre-2010

“What is wrong with a NINA (no income, no asset) mortgage?” US banker pre-2008

“What is wrong with lending more money into real estate?” US banker pre-2008

“What is wrong with lending more money into real estate?” Japanese banker pre-1989

“What is wrong with lending more money into real estate?” UK banker pre-1989

“What is wrong with lending more money into the US stock market?” US banker pre-1929

“What does prudent lending mean anyway?” a typical banker.



rmopf2010's picture

"Never before had so many people been hired by the state, with such salaries, pensions and benefits—to the point where the average government job paid almost three times the salary of the average private-sector job. An egregious but not isolated example was the national railroad company, which had annual revenues of €100 million against an annual wage bill of €400 million, on top of €300 million in other expenses. This is how the average state railroad employee came to earn €65,000 a year."

And if political parties haven't made irealistc promises 

And if people haven't voted for irealistc promises 

And if people haven't voted for big government "more state jobs"

And if people haven't voted for welfare "nice pensions" on backs of taxpayers money


For example Portugal has state workers pensions far greater than private ones

0,5millions public pensioners have unfunded pensions of 5,000,000,000€ EVERY FUCKING YEAR which the taxpayers have to fill the gap

It avarages 50,000€ per pensioner !!!!!

Who made this promisses ? who voted for it ?

Who voted for subprime loans ?


Batman11's picture

These countries have always been the same.

What dickhead thought they would work in a common currency area with Germany?

When they could de-value their currency against Germany it used to work.

Who gave bankers the privilege of creating money?

We did, let's take it back.

The IMF is re-visiting the Chicago Plan, no more money creation for banksters.




rmopf2010's picture

These countries have always been the same.


What dickhead thought they would work in a common currency area with Germany?

Euro was a great ideia

When they could de-value their currency against Germany it used to work.

If ClubMed was to cut it's welfare state pensions and its big government jobs salaries, isn't it the same as de-value the currency ?

In currency de-value people also loose purchasing power or not ?

Of Course they do !!!! and loose far than a 30~40% income cut

So what's wrong ? to cut public servants wages to the same level as private workers earn in my Greece example and pensions to the  extent as a "currency watering"

Who gave bankers the privilege of creating money?

Creating money QE plus NIRP was the only hope to mantain governments and welfare solvent

Private workers are another time busted by public workers because many private sector pension funds are only solvent at interest rates of 5~8%

After all these years with NIRP we have private funds also unfunded

We did, let's take it back.

The IMF is re-visiting the Chicago Plan, no more money creation for banksters. And i add no more money creation for government jobs and welfare state


hoos bin pharteen's picture

The solution is simple: Logan's Run, Bitchez!

mijev's picture

A falling birthrate is a bonus when almost all new jobs will be automated. They should be encouraging people to have less kids and stop all refugees from entering the country. 

gespiri's picture

In order to boost falling birth rates without importing all these animals from Africa and the ME, European countries, Japan, and in some aspects the USA should make it cheaper to have families by massively reducing or eliminating taxes for working parents.  Falling tax revenues should be offset by decreasing military budgets and funds used on foreign intervention (not applicable to Japan though).  

The main reason why women don't want to have more babies nowadays (aside from having a career) and men is the ever increasing cost of having a large family combined with both parents' lust for material things. This also applies to being married where you pay more taxes than being single in most cases.  Therefore, we are stuck in a never-ending spiral and unless they address the cost issue, it will be more of the same

Stinkytofu's picture

so that's NOT pigeon poop on the park benches?

BritBob's picture

Time to dump the Euro and leave the EU.

Do a Brexit...


The UK has opted for a hard Brexit especially when one country (or part of a country in Belgium) can stall negotiations for so long. Spain could act in a similar fashion over Gibraltar and has the cheek to maintain its Gibraltar sovereignty claim. Claim?

Gibraltar - Some Relevant International Law:

So it looks like a quick hasta luego !


cowdiddly's picture

Bullshit, Italy will be alright.

Why you ask? Because they are sitting at the poker table with a big ass stack like the rest of them, that's why.

You can play all your bond games, debt writeoffs, and all the fiatski parlor tricks you want. In the end  they are nothing more than ledger entries and strawman accounting mismash that can be thrown in a trash can in an instant. POOF.

Gold, yes that barbarious relic  "Gold is MONEY, and everything else is just credit." What, didn't you listen to old J.P. Morgan back in the day when he let it slip out?

It's the unspoken truth the every central banker and Mouton Rothschild sipping vault owner knows and will never disclose or admit to in public, because then you would demand to be paid in it.

I know it, Greenspan knows it, Swiss bankers know it, the Russians and Chinese know it, and everyone at the G-8 or 20 knows it.

At about 88 million ounces Italy has the third largest gold pile IN THE WORLD. That works out to about 1.33 ounces for EVERY Italian citizen. Even at the mine price thats about a 2k reserve PER CITIZEN, babies and all. And, that don't even include the Vatican's 800 ton stack. These Venetian pirates, Sicilian mob bosses and crooked Holy Roman bean counters are no dummies.They are not going anywhere.

They could write off, expunge, or just nuke that fiat pile of rubbish leaving a smoking crater for every Italian bank TOMMORROW and the only real consequence of that action is they would be locked out of the credit market for a few years. They then would have to issue the Lira back by this humongous pile of gold in relation to the countries size and keep right on rockin, even better than they are now.

Why do you think this is the last item an indebted nation is forced to sell at the end of the rope? Why did the Czar's gold start showing up in the market right before the Soviet Union collapsed? Why did Maduro finally have to put up his gold last year/ (and the idiot lost half). Why did they FINALLY get around to mentioning Greece's 108 ton the other day? Do you think these old European powers who have been through dozens of collapses over the centuries will ever un-ass off their stacK? Ha, its why they ALL keep a HUGE STACK. Why does the United States never want to even whisper the word Ft. Knox. Why is the fiat Swiss Franc considered the best currency when its just a worthless unbacked scrap of paper like the rest. Could it be because the Swiss are TOP DAWG and own 5 ounces for every Swiss citizen? Nah, that could'nt be it.

Yes, because it backs everything. IT'S THE MONEY. and its price can be reset at any time you like to any price you need at the end  if you are only willing to buy it at that same price.

That's why Rickard's always mentions 50K an ounce when talking about gold. He had done the math and knows at what price it would have to be to cover the debt in a reset.

ITS THE GOLD DUMMIES. At the end of the day every thing else is just a post-it note.


Megaton Jim's picture

"Italy’s highest court has ruled that masturbation in public is not a crime, as long as it is not conducted in the presence of minors."

Maybe that's why they have so much grease in their hair!

XRAYD's picture

Central bankers master bait on TV all the time.  And after 7 years there is still no relief, or even any hope for any!

androkles's picture

In europe every country had its own currency. When the local economy slumped, a country could lower te value of its currency to stimulate its economy with increased exports.

This was destroyed by the introduction of a flawed system with a single currency for nations with very different cultures.

If anyone is to blame, it's not Club Med but the forces behind the introduction of the euro.

An exit is complicated. Brittain never joined the euro and has a lot of gunships. With countries like Greece or Italy, I think it is also a question of wether they are allowed to leave. Beggars cant be choosers.

Ghordius's picture

"When the local economy slumped, a country could lower the value of its currency to stimulate its economy with increased exports."

damn, I really did not know that it's that easy. 1) problem, 2) devaluation, 3) problem is fixed

I guess all those gold bugs that want "honest money" or that point out that a devaluation is about robbing the poor are mad

also those who point out that a devaluation of 10% is the same as cutting every wage in the country by 10% vs whatever is imported are mad, too

worse of all is those who point at the currently ongoing euro QE and say that it is a huge move versus devaluation of the euro itself

but the max of madness is those who point out that if the EUR is flawed, gold was/would be even more flawed

oh, I forgot the /sarc

SpanishGoop's picture

1) problem, 2) devaluation, 3) problem is fixed 4) revaluation


Somehow step 4 is skipped lately.

It used to be a working temporary measure.


androkles's picture

Whatever the utopian ideas were behind the euro, it is not working well and the poor have been robbed big time.

Haven't said you or anyone else is a Magazine with Alfred E. Neuman on the cover.

I would say: all brains and and all thinking is fallible, including mine.

Let it Go's picture

Poor Italy, nine years after the onset of the financial crisis in 2007, output remains 8% down from its pre-crash level. As far-fetched as the thought Italy would follow the U.K.'s example and leave the European Union may seem, capital flows suggest that some people aren’t waiting to find out.

A great deal of money has been sneaking out the backdoor, it's not surprising that some depositors prefer not to hold Italian euros, given the chance that they might eventually be converted into lira. Either way, the capital flight doesn’t speak well of confidence in the European project. This is something EU leaders will have to keep in mind as they negotiate the terms of Britain's exit. more on this in the article below.

Sudden Debt's picture



risk.averse's picture

Italy today is VERY different to Italy of 20 years ago. Whoever decided joining the euro was a good idea should be hung, drawn and quartered as an enemy of the people. Italy was like a mini-China: it made just about everything: from jet aircraft and computers to toothpicks. To stay competitive it would devalue the Lira . Yes, thus making imports more expensive but not such a problem if -- apart from raw materials -- Italy manufactured most of what its people needed, often in small "mom and pop" backyard operations.

To see "made in PRC" (peoples republic of china) labels replacing "made in Italy" in Italian shops and street markets is heart-breaking for anyone who appreciates what Italy had achieved over the previous century. The Euro is basically "How to Kill a Nation 101". Thankyou Eurocrats!


All Italians need to now rise up against the state & Vatican in Rome that are responsible for the worldwide Ponzi fraud being turned into one BIG casino skim scheme that has enriched a few at a cost to a majority in all populations. Pre-1994 & JPMorgan Securitization Scheme, there was no worldwide Ponzi casino operating. Once JPMorgan employees designed & implemented the Securitization Scheme in Miami at a hotel, there was no possible way that Wall Street Investment Banks could get the MBS risks off their books to stick it to mainstreet serfs. Once the Securitization Scheme was in place all countries mistakenly thought they could leverage the Debt-to-GDP through the roof. Clearly, if Debt-to-GDP was manageable we would not be seeing this conflagration spread into the public domain & discourse.


I recommend that the masses in Italy collectively storm the Vatican to rape & pillage it of artworks & gold so that it is stripped bare for the world to see. Then the masses need to arm themselves with CAT bulldozers to demolish the Vatican entirely so that they are unable to direct the masses through fear & intimidation through Finance frauds.



Paul Morphy's picture

Italy is a mess for sure.

One glaring issue is that most of Italy's economic activity is dependent on their own internal market, namely the Italian population buying Italian product. Italy for whatever reason as a nation exports very little for an economy of it's size. Therefore any contraction in internal Italian expenditure is ruinous for their economy. A deadly loop has been created where create is created to buy their own indigenous product. This compounds Italy's economic woes.


If the Eurozone is to fail, as the man from the Bundesbank said a few years ago, the Euro will die in Rome and not Athens.

dunce's picture

I like Italions in general and mourn for them though their current condition is self inflicted. The young men live with their mothers and the women are loath to have children. What the world needs now is love, sweet love in vast swathes of Europe, not muslims.