The Mafia Is Now "Italy's Largest Bank"

Tyler Durden's picture

Whoever says there are no winners in the European banking crisis apparently has never woken up with a horse's head in their bed. According to a new report by Italian anti-crime group SOS Impresa, as reported by Reuters, "Organised crime has tightened its grip on the Italian economy during the economic crisis, making the Mafia the country's biggest "bank" and squeezing the life out of thousands of small firms, according to a report on Tuesday." You mean kinda like Intesa credit cards demanding a 39.95% APR: we knew we had seen that "life squeezing" thing before somewhere. Of course at least with the mafia you know that it will never rely on fake Libor fixings to pretend it is alive, or need an ECB bailout the next day due to being overly invested in US subprime mortgages (unless of course Goldman's rolodex stretches even further than we thought possible). It sure does, however, bring a new definition to the term "shadow banking"... or is that the old one, where nobody cared about repos, money markets, overnight drafts, and hyperrehypothecation and all the complexity could be explained away with a baseball bat. Yet the conclusion, no matter how defined, still strikes us as hilarious: '"With 65 billion euros in liquidity, the Mafia is Italy's number one bank," said a statement from the group, which was set up in Palermo a decade ago to oppose extortion rackets against small business." Because as we pointed out yesterday, it was companies which were responsible for bailing out banks in Europe. How long then until La Cosa Nostra provides a lifeline to UniCredit, but only if half the BOD is replaced with guys in tracksuits and buzzcuts? Actually, not too long we would wager...

From Reuters:

Organised crime groups like the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, the Naples Camorra or the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta have long had a stranglehold on the Italian economy, generating profits equivalent to about 7 percent of national output.


Extortionate lending had become an increasingly sophisticated and lucrative source of income, alongside drug trafficking, arms smuggling, prostitution, gambling and racketeering, the report said.


"The classic neighbourhood or street loan shark is on the way out, giving way to organised loan-sharking that is well connected with professional circles and operates with the connivance of high-level professionals," the report said.


It estimated about 200,000 businesses were tied to extortionate lenders and tens of thousands of jobs had been lost as a result.

Extortion - new vs old school:

Old style gangsters handing out cash in bars and pool halls had been replaced by apparently respectable bankers, lawyers or notaries, the report said.


"This is extortion with a clean face," it added. "Through their professions, they know the mechanisms of the legal credit market and they often know the financial position of their victims perfectly."


Small businesses, who have struggled to get hold of credit during the economic slowdown, may have been increasingly tempted to turn to the mafia, said the report.


Typical victims of extortionate lending were middle-aged shopkeepers and small businessmen who would struggle to find a new job and who were ready to try anything to avoid bankruptcy, it added.


"They are usually people in traditional retail sectors like food, greengrocers, clothes or shoe shops, florists or furniture shops. These are the categories which, more than any other, are paying the price of the (economic) crisis," it said.

Next up: a surge in prostitution, drugs, xenophobia, child labor, and all those great things that Italy thought it had managed to get away from, and which supposedly were no longer the mark of modern "civilized" society. Guess what - they never really left, they were merely on layaway. Only now, the country will be faked-ruled by insolvent banks with Frankfurt HQs, and completely ruled by the mob.  And in keeping with the deja vu, how long we wonder until Italy just says no to the currency pseudo-democratic political system and reverts to the one last seen making an appearance some 70 years earlier?

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HedgeAccordingly's picture

The mobster's gets all the chicks -

Silver Bug's picture

JP Morgan, Goldman sachs, etc, etc all have Mafia CEO's. I think this is just the norm.

Oh regional Indian's picture

just Google jordan Maxwell. All will become clear.


Canaduh's picture

Totally disagree, his site makes 'conspiracy theorists' look like the kooks most believe them to be. His site does more harm than good, seems he's more interested in attracting suckers than doing any worthwhile research. jmo

For someone who covers roughly the same topics, yet doesn't come off as batshit crazy/exploitive, check out

(The Laurel Canyon series is especially juicy)

economics1996's picture


Cliché of the day, “The more things change the more they stay the same."  Sorry I could not help myself.  Vote this crap down, I hate clichés.


YBNguy's picture

Here is a new article about the biggest Mafia outfit in europe (mentioned in the story above):

I like the part where they needed more capital to venture into the cocaine business so they kidnapped an oil tycoon's kid for 2 million in ransom.

trav7777's picture

Italians don't play baseball, Tyler

Oh regional Indian's picture

Sorry CannotDuh, Jordan is SPOT ON. In ways even HE does not know yet. 

And may I suggest Mr. Astrotheology.

have fun.


Canaduh's picture

This page tells me all I need to know about Mr. Maxwell  (zomg I can get the whole set for only $279.95, and 'private consultation' is only $250 an hour, whatta steal!)

If you believe all he says, you are hyper-gullible.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Don't need his DVD's to know which way the wind blows.

Sometimes a hint is enough, especially to the wise-ish, or so they say.


Canaduh's picture

The wind apparently blows with the strong stench of BULLSHIT.

Mr. Maxwell is nothing but a shameless exploiter of gullible people.

Oh regional Indian's picture

And you sir are a student of ancient and occult symbology?

You do sound very erudite in your rebuttals of JM's insights.


Canaduh's picture

What insights?? Please link some. All I see on his website is a rehash of all the other low-grade conspiracy hack websites.

His 'research' section is just pretty pictures and speculation, not much insights or research to be had. Seriously, please link some of his insights, I couldn't find any worth mentioning.

Thankyou for the backhanded compliment, but I still think you and Mr. Maxwell are a couple of bullshit artists.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Why thanks. apologies for the underhand jibe.

Different strokes etc. His stuff on the Vatican, on Law/Legal System and the unholy divorce of Religion and Astrology/Astronomy are amazing.


ManOfBliss's picture

Yeah Jordan's work is legit. I learned A LOT from his talks and seminars.

All the clowns trash-talking him are only looking at his work superficially, and trying to find reasons to NOT have to actually use their brain.

Treason Season's picture

@ Canaduh  Thanx for that link. Some serious weirdness.

junkyardjack's picture

In the US that shit wouldn't fly.  JPMorgan would have smart bombs dropped on them before they'd take over their usury business.

NotApplicable's picture

JPM is the US mafia. At least part of it.

ebworthen's picture

And Dominus Dimon is the psychopathic Godfather.

11b40's picture

Yep...Just Ask Corzine.

Teamtc321's picture

It does happen in the U.S. Banker's illegally take pieces of business deal's often behind the scenes set up through other holding companies or LLC's. 

You know, if you want the loan for the new equipment etc. I have a nephew that is wanting to get into that field, we should look into this. 

This shit is very common, maybe not the exact scenario above. Although I have scene much worse, much worse.

It happen's, not all but some banker's are fucking crook's right here also. 

GOSPLAN HERO's picture

Mafia is a relative term ... legal or illegal.

Th Fed is legal mafia in USSA.


stirners_ghost's picture

Government is legal mafia.

____ extorts civilians for "protection", whereas ____ extorts civilians for "protection".

Mix and match.

SilverIsKing's picture

I trust the Mafia more than I trust our politicians.

Ghordius's picture

Sadly lot of Italians say the same

ArgentoFisico's picture

Noooo.. that's not true! Only a few in Naples say so.

.. well, i told you Italy's much richer than many may think. As an example look at this:

 > 9 tons of private gold/month took the way from italy to switzerland in 2011

economics1996's picture

If Romney gets in the US gets a VAT tax.

Irish66's picture

Simple way of life..s/on off can't decide

Capitalist10's picture

Get ready for the "Mafia to bailout Italy" rumor.

Nascent_Variable's picture

Long piano wire and fishes.

ucsbcanuck's picture

This bank makes offers you can't refuse

11b40's picture

Would you like fish with those bonds and CDOs?

Gubbmint Cheese's picture

at least the Mafia has a code of conduct.


Sudden Debt's picture






unless you're 2 weeks late.... THAN WE TAKE YOUR WIFE AND KIDS!!


Saro's picture

"unless you're 2 weeks late.... THAN WE TAKE YOUR WIFE AND KIDS!!"

And then you'll owe them two favors . . .

LouisDega's picture

Archie Bunker used that five letter word and  had to deal with Ralph Salvestri. You dont want to fuck with Ralph. Per Ralph, That word is defunkt.

Dr. Engali's picture

I thought there was no such thing as the mafia ?

Rainman's picture

That's it, heathen...gimme 3 our fathers and 3 hail marys

Ratscam's picture

the fathers for sexual debaucheries and the marys for reproduction.
Certain dogmas never change.

Financial_Guardian_Angel's picture


Hey, the central bankers have some real competition in Italy.

"No Mr. Mario, YOU don't understand. I'm making YOU and offer you can't refuse."

Long horses heads and cement shoes...

marginview's picture

sounds like the USA since the Goldman coup.

King_of_simpletons's picture

Bank of Italy....oops that would be the old name for Bank of America.