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Sicily Is San Bernardino: With First Italian Region On Verge Of Default, Montius Pilate Washes His Hands

Tyler Durden's picture


Buried deep in the newsflow from Ben Bernanke is the following piece of very critical news for anyone who is still long Italian bonds: namely that Italy may not be Spain, or Uganda, but Sicily is about to become San Bernardino. From Reuters:  "Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Tuesday he expected the governor of Sicily to resign following a growing financial crisis that has pushed the autonomous region close to default." Because the resignation of Sicily Governor Lombardo will somehow allow all those who care about the fundamentals of Italy to stick their heads in the sand... at least until Sicily is followed by Calabria, Campania, Lazio, Abruzzo, Tuscany, Lombardy, Umbria, Liguria, Veneto and so on. At least the governors of those respective provinces now have an advance warning what the endgame is.


Monti said in a statement there were "grave concerns" that the island could default and he said he had written to the governor Raffaele Lombardo seeking confirmation that he would resign by the end of the month.


"The solutions which could be considered that involve action on the part of the government cannot fail to take account of the situation of the administration at regional level but rather have to be matched to this so as to deploy the most efficient and appropriate instruments," the statement said.

As to how Italy will actually fund the bailout its insolvent regions, fear not: ze Germans will be delighted to step in and make it rain cash courtesy of the ESM, which may or may not be active one day.

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Tue, 07/17/2012 - 11:46 | 2624486 mrktwtch2
mrktwtch2's picture

now thats a spicey meatball!!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 11:54 | 2624515 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

Boot meet Rock.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:20 | 2624596 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Really it gives "kick the can" a fresh new look.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:41 | 2624670 Jay Gould Esq.
Jay Gould Esq.'s picture

[ An attendant enters the Brussels conference room. He is holding a package of some sort -- an oblong object, wrapped in plain, brown packaging paper. The curious item is addressed to Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is in attendance. She is joined in the room by none other than Mario Monte, leader of the ever-mendicant Italian Republic. The attendant walks over to Frau Merkel, and presents the parcel. Merkel puts down her pilsener of Beck's and nonchalantly unfolds the damp, foul-smelling paper...in it, is a wet Bankia-issue Spiderman blanket. Merkel unwraps the blanket and to her utter horror, therein lies one, large, North Sea herring carcass, and a lapful of fish-soaked euros of various denominations. ]

"Mein Gott ! What the Hell is this ?" exclaims the Teutonic leader.

Monti, lounging on a nearby couch, sipping Sambuca on the rocks, gravely shakes his head:

"It's a Sicilian message. The euro sleeps with the fishes."

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 13:39 | 2624929 Dr.Vannostrand
Dr.Vannostrand's picture

<Golf Clap>

Bravo sir, bravo!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 14:13 | 2625060 knukles
knukles's picture

But-cha-kno, when ya think aboud-dit, suggesting that fellow in Sicily resign takes care of the whole problem.

Let's have a summit!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:55 | 2625856 Zeilschip
Zeilschip's picture

Every time I think I'm out...they keep pulling me back in!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:15 | 2624579 TheGameIsRigged
TheGameIsRigged's picture

Make him an offer he can't refuse....

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 11:47 | 2624491 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Do Sicillians still carry those 8 guage shotguns?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:22 | 2624594 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

nah, they use them only for hunting - and for my tastes they exaggerate there. remember that Sicily is so incredibly heavily armed that the Mafia was even able to dig a tunnel under a highway, deposit tons of explosives and blow a crater the size of a tennis court just to kill one public prosecutor. They have black markets where you get any conceivable weapon you might wish.

having said that, the finances of the island are catastrophic since the age of Emperor Frederic II, i.e. about 1250. The problem there is collecting taxes. You see, Sicilians don't really acknowledge too much the existance of any "state", be it a Kingdom, Empire, Republic or EU. Their total allegiance usually stops at the family level.


nearly forgot: once Rome gave the Monte dei Paschi di Siena (yes, the oldest bank) the authority to tax Sicily. The bank failed this task inside of months...

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:23 | 2624603 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture


No!! Stop it, it's the EU bleeding them dry. Anarchy in Sicily, pfffft!

EU. Stick to the narrative.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:38 | 2624662 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

yeah, must have forgot myself: yes, Brussels and Rome both bleed Sicily dry by sending huge amounts of cash for infrastructure and industry development...

I forgot to insert above that even the possession of half a stick of dynamite without tons of paperwork can send you for years of prison, in Italy.

Sicily! Ah, you have to go there, it's truly a fantastic place of breathtaking beauty. And they are not anarchic, they are just let's say "allergic to imposed order from above".

I once had to explain to an American that lived there that nobody in her village would never dream to call the police only because she damaged a street sign. She was shocked. I pointed to the street sign: full of drive-by bullet holes. Nevertheless, she found out with the years that she lived in an extremely safe environment. Illegally armed, very polite and safe... until you break the unwritten rules, that is.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:49 | 2624695 cossack55
cossack55's picture

So, they are a bit like "southern Basques".  I gots lots of r.e.s.p.e.c.t. for the Basques ever since I had a quiet run in with them in 91.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 14:41 | 2625154 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

   Sicilians don't really acknowledge too much the existance of any "state", be it a Kingdom, Empire, Republic or EU. Their total allegiance usually stops at the family level.

Sounds anarchic to me.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 11:48 | 2624494 Peter K
Peter K's picture

Ciao Bella :)

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 11:50 | 2624502 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

Sicily, California...what's the difference. Eventually they are all going to be unable to keep the promises of the Socialist politicians who gave away the future for a few votes today.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:13 | 2624578 SmittyinLA
SmittyinLA's picture

Being a Socialist politician is quite lucrative

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 14:15 | 2625064 knukles
knukles's picture

Being a politician is quite lucrative

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 11:51 | 2624504 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

No way the debt can be forgiven, not with this Sicilian Thing that's been going on for 2,000 years!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 11:54 | 2624516 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

maybe it is the PM's daughter's wedding day?!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 11:53 | 2624508 BozoHater
BozoHater's picture

"Montius Pilot Washes His Hands"-  That's a good one....

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 11:54 | 2624513 Cult_of_Reason
Cult_of_Reason's picture

Who is manipulating VIX again?

NY Fed or "Chuck" Schumer's cronies having fun with Aleynikov algo?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 11:55 | 2624517 Dubaibanker
Dubaibanker's picture

Mamma mia!!

I thought US crisis arrived on the shores of Europe approx 1-2 years later, once subprime began in June 2007 approx. so extrapolating from there, the bankruptcy 'infection' should have arrived 1-2 years later from the Californian bankruptcies in Europe.

The bankruptcy crisis seems to be arriving to the summer sun bathing beaches of Europe even sooner! Will Italy 'sink' with the sharks in the peak summer time holiday season? At least, they should have waited until the summer finished, no? These crises have a bad habit of arriving without any 'advance' notice! Lol

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 11:58 | 2624520 i-dog
i-dog's picture


"deploy the most efficient and appropriate instruments"

How about a "We resign. Good luck with your Euro!" letter to Montius from the people of Sicily?

C'mon, guys! We're counting on some brave state [anywhere] to get the collapse of their house of straw started!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 11:57 | 2624522 HellZero
HellZero's picture

Get to work Mario

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:00 | 2624534 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I am astounded that people sit around and do nothing while their rulers dither around like a bunch of ass clowns.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:13 | 2624576 Biosci
Biosci's picture

When in history has this not been the case?  Revolutions are rare events.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:05 | 2624552 SmittyinLA
SmittyinLA's picture

Another economy based on mass immigration and debt bites the dust.


Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:08 | 2624560 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

More bullish news.  Markets should rocket on this event.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:12 | 2624575 Piranhanoia
Piranhanoia's picture

So Sicily is into the deep, and Mario quietly creeps

he pulls out a sack, behind the governor's back

and off with the fishes to sleep

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:55 | 2624728 MillionDollarBoner_
MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

See, yous...Mario won't be sleeping with no fishes...he's a made man and don't you forget it... 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:13 | 2624577 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

Now Monti will be able to appoint another Vampire Squid alummi to the governor's job. There must be a bunch of them super-qualified to take over Sicily's government.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:20 | 2624595 Father Lucifer
Father Lucifer's picture

Perhaps the French can build cars that run on olive oil.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 13:45 | 2624957 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Actually, communities in Germany have exactly been doing that since the 1980s, although the olive oil was rapeseed oil.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:32 | 2624636 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

"Montius Pilate Washes His Hands"

And seals his fate....

doo dah doo.....


Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:35 | 2624652 The Reich
The Reich's picture

The federal Germany is bankcrupt, too,  2 trillion officially, 6.6 trillion if you sum up all obligations. On the next lower level it's the 16 federal states (Länder) that are bankcrupt, too, no to talk from the 3rd level, cities and communities, where the majority 'survive' only on agreed overdraft facilities.


Oh, I see, Spanish banks, Uganda and Italian communities needs some money, too.

Get ze check book out, chancellor Merkel...

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:42 | 2624671 JR
JR's picture

Fast forward to the deepening American economic crisis: Bernanke Orders the Firing of the San Bernardino City Council and Mayor. The Sicilian development is what a police state tyranny looks like; give the bankers the rule and they will take it all including elections.

For the moment, the word “austerity” has become THE banker word to quell the people; the ordered replacement of politicians is next.

Here is the banker speak:  It’s your fault, you did this and now you’re going to pay. And if you can’t pay, you at least can take a reduction in your life style and give up your national resources to help pay. 

Because they are so much influence in the media, the bankers’ water carriers then promote the idea that we the people need austerity, we need to cut, we need to take a reduction in our standards of living, and in the meantime, we need to pay up because if we don’t, we won’t have a strong financial sector and the consequences would induce massive collapse “beyond experience or comprehension in a Western democracy,” in the words of Economist Andrew Lilico.

The definition of the European Union is compromise, loss of sovereignty, and bankers in control. And when the media and the paid economist say that the EU ought to be preserved or everything will fall apart, what we need to say is, it needs to come apart. For it is an unnatural union – it was to be a mixture of meat, cheese, milk, commodities and marketing but that was a lie. Its purpose all along was to form a political union whereby the people and national politicians have no voice, where only the bankers will decide.

Look at who wrote the constitution for the EU, look at who is managing the decisions now. They are not politicians; they are bankers. The people who are deciding what Spain should do, what Merkel should do, what Italy should do, are bankers. They are not representatives of the people, they are the people who have pushed the loans and who are now demanding austerity and surrender of sovereignty.

These people are thieves, the man with the gun who says you are going to give me your billfold; you are going to give me your watch and your diamonds. They’re saying, give up everything and we’ll give you back what you need. And it turns out they never do, in the end you end up starving.

The good news is the people know better and that’s why the international bankers with world governance on their minds are not able to wrap this thing up. And that’s why the EU is unraveling and will continue to unravel.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 14:54 | 2625227 boooyaaaah
boooyaaaah's picture

What should we expect
The create money out of thin air
The lend it to us and our governments and pols and then we pay interest on it

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 13:19 | 2624846 Satan
Satan's picture

The only bank lending money right now is the " Mafia Bank". Small and large companies, rich and poor individuals. The interest varies but rates are reasonable. Obviously this is a huge problem for the government. Mafia influence in all aspects of Italian life is growing once again as they are the lender of last resort to a desperate population.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 13:42 | 2624938 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

"whats a madder you?  We send Guido to make deal ECB cant refuse.....ok, then. now passa me da meetballs...."

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 13:49 | 2624962 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Read somewhere the other day that on Sicily there are 20,000 forest rangers. They really love their forests or it is good to receive them gravy social benefits being a forest ranger on Sicily.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 13:51 | 2624978 loveyajimbo
loveyajimbo's picture

Lake Gregory, bitchez!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 14:28 | 2625104 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Just say Nein

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 14:46 | 2625182 boooyaaaah
boooyaaaah's picture

An Italian washing his hands!

John 18:38 KJV

Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

Good question Pilate

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:26 | 2626004 giovanni_f
giovanni_f's picture

They are by orders of magnitude less broke than third-world UK, e.g., but endowed with a good infrastructure courtesy a generous EU. They have excellent ice cream (in partcular Pistacchio), know how to do justice to fresh fish (crudita del mare) and some areas in the south east (e.g. Ragusa) are actually wealthy with a real unemployment rate that the U.S. of A. may just dream about for the next 30 years even in nominal terms. Sicilians, as South Italians in general are debt free, don't owe their monthly salary to a credit card company many times over as has become a national habit in U.S. and U.K. So please stop comparing this beautiful island or its well educated non-obese people to the U.S. (you simply won't find Detroit-like places in Europe anyway). Sicilians have drawn tremendous profit from sticking with Europe and even Italy and will be part of the Eurozone long after the U.S. will have  disintegrated or been renamed to U.S. of Sheeplestan with a military government.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 18:12 | 2626139 Tunga
Tunga's picture

All your sovereignty are belong to us.

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