Italy Going Boom

Authored by Jeffrey Snyder via Alhambra Investment Partners,

There may come a time not too much further down the road when Brexit will have been not quite forgotten but placed into a second tier of European disintegration. In that top level, if it should continue, would reside all on its own Itexit. The Italians not the Britons will goad the question of the euro, and therefore the whole of the European experiment.

By now, the formula is a familiar one. If you are against tighter integration and European Union, then you are a fascist xenophobe, a racist of the first order. Rather than dissuade voters, this has, it appears, worked against those using the slurs who fervently hope to keep the experiment for much longer.

Complete vote tallies are not yet available, but by all accounts the Italians in heavy turnout voted heavily yesterday for anti-establishment, anti-euro parties. Though the Italian parliament could be in for a mess in the near future, euroskepticism and anti-establishment fever dominated to a much greater degree than anticipated (for yet another election). Even the mainstream commentary written ostensibly to describe what’s going on can’t refrain from locking out reality:

After establishment parties managed to contain populists in German, French and Dutch elections over the past twelve months, their defenses were overwhelmed in Italy as voters rebelled against two decades of lackluster economic growth and a surge in immigration. The upshot is a far more unpredictable partner for European leaders such as Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron as they face the U.S. threat of a trade war while trying to reform the bloc.

This Bloomberg article (predictably) distills Italian economic angst as “two decades of lackluster economic growth” for the transparent purposes of delegitimizing voter dissatisfaction. A more honest paragraph would have been, “It’s been bad for twenty years, why are they now rebelling? Immigrants.” It wouldn’t have been any more true, just stripped of its obvious bias and the misanthropic intentions behind it.

It is technically true that Italy’s economy has been one of the more chronic underperformers, and yet it still can also be the case where that underperformance has changed. Up until 2008 or so, Italians may have been characterized as if not satisfied then at least apathetic about the lackluster nature of their economy under the euro. I don’t think that’s actually true, however, as the EU itself was popular in that country up until the worldwide “dollar” panic.

What explains the revolt now is the recovery from that panic; or the lack thereof. As I’ve written before, the dynamic becomes explosive simply because the Italians, like Americans and everyone else, have been told repeatedly that their economy has not just recovered but recently it is booming. For many, it might be.

That’s not the issue, however, as in any economy there are always proportions doing well and those not doing well. When far too many reside, and stay, in the former, that’s where trouble starts. And when those people left out of whatever economy hear repeatedly that things are really good and they can’t find exactly where that may be, mistrust and blame are surely the only guaranteed results.

The irrational fear of robots is of the same predicament. In not being given any candid answers, people will make up their own minds as to why they can’t seem to experience these boom times. Immigration is a similar if more complex issue (we have to take into account social as well as economic factors).

But even that general review understates the severity of the problem to a considerable extent. Even those who are employed, which is significantly less in Italy as a proportion of the population, they aren’t making much if any progress, either. This lack of opportunity can and does become palpable, a frustration that must be met with honest assessment but in this lost decade rarely if ever is.

Economists don’t countenance anything but recovery. It doesn’t matter how much evidence is stacked up against it, they will claim it’s there, or if pressed that it will be here tomorrow.

This view starts with a conclusion and then seeks evidence for it. The technocracy is defended at all costs, even when it’s most striking feature is its total incompetence. In July of 2012, Mario Draghi promised to “do whatever it takes” to preserve the currency, and thus in political terms to keep the integration dream alive.

Most people saw it as a noble gesture, the hard-pressed efforts of a committed statesman to help out the ordinary folks of Europe suffering under financial repression for reasons they couldn’t understand. These people should have instead heard Mario Draghi for what he was, an utterly confused near lunatic:

The euro is like a bumblebee. This is a mystery of nature because it shouldn’t fly but instead it does. So the euro was a bumblebee that flew very well for several years. And now — and I think people ask “how come?”– probably there was something in the atmosphere, in the air, that made the bumblebee fly. Now something must have changed in the air, and we know what after the financial crisis.

Like his predecessor Jean-Claude Trichet or Ben Bernanke, his counterpart at the Federal Reserve in the US, Mario Draghi has no idea what happened in 2008, or, for that matter, what happened again in 2011. His central bank like all central banks is trying to fix a problem they can’t understand, and the effect of doing so is that nothing ever gets fixed.

People might be understandably upset by that fact. It doesn’t take much to acknowledge that these voters might have a case, legitimate criticisms that have nothing whatsoever to do with the darker side of Europe’s tragic history. Economics, however, is the most fragile discipline perhaps ever invented; it prevents even a modicum of honest introspection, largely because it is more of a political force (farce) than a scientific one.

Nowhere is that more evident than in Europe. The risk to the European political situation is not really all that complex. It is easily attributed to the one thing nobody is allowed to question:

The threat to the euro is today greater than it was in 2012, and for that Draghi has completely failed. It comes not in Target II imbalances and Greek default penalties, but in political upheaval tied directly to what it is that Mario Draghi can’t seem to figure out. He can promise all he wants, but Europe’s fate will not be determined by his euro.

It’s recovery or bust for Europe, the same choices as are being faced around the rest of the world for the very same prolonged stagnation. In China, as noted earlier, they are moving in preparation, it appears, for the bust. European voters might seem as irrational, but only if you think the euro was and is like a bumblebee in the capable hands of the brilliant technocratic beekeepers.

It hasn’t been two decades of economic problems, just the last one has been more than enough to turn Italy against that which it once enthusiastically embraced. The breakup began in monetary destruction, nurtured by mistake after mistake, and now moves ever closer to completion drawn forward upon technocratic uselessness covered only by political shrillness. Are we really supposed to wonder why it hasn’t been a winning formula at the ballot box?

If anything, I think Italians, the British, Americans, etc., have until recently all shown remarkable restraint. They gave the technocrats the benefit of the doubt time and again, with dubious policies and experiments and then promises that haven’t come close to being kept. Ten years is a long, long time for nothing being accomplished. That’s really all there is to it. It’s just that simple. 

You want to save Europe? You can start by ending all this blatantly dishonest boom nonsense.


Crazy Or Not Haus-Targaryen Wed, 03/07/2018 - 07:02 Permalink

>Snyder is a brilliant mind, ...the lengths EU will go etc..

I probably don't read Snyder often enough, but he's kind with the "like a bumblebee.." comment. A hoarde of horse flies around sh*t would probably be more accurate.

EU's a marketplace a modern old silk road East-West trading post. It's the sometimes chaperone between the US and Eastern block powers, but so bloated now with it's self serving nepotism thats its become a fifth wheel, but worse due to its fuel and consumer dependence to it's East. The consumer resentment during the last two years with online shoppers paying/avoiding their EU taxes on GearBest etc purcharses was palpable. The whole postal system was in breakdown from November to January. Citizens are rejecting "the suck" of the heavy taxation of the EU project. The market corruptions of excessive layers of overblown mandarins is dawning on the citizenry and whiffs of rebellion are growing. IN PART, because many of Europe's problems are a result of it's own lack of decisive direction. Citizens are tired of the blind implimentation of  Globalist policy without forsight to local consequence. Unchecked Immigration that's drowning Italy and beyond is a direct consequence of Globalist foreign policies in Middle East & Northern Africa, as well as Europe's own negligence of proper trade relations to the South. It should have dawned on people that conflict creates refugees and these will end up in safe places that they can walk or swim to..and the service to USA Corp 's interests is to have weaker European allies, dependent on US financial/technological support. Rather than masters in their own independent future. EU mandarins that have been pushing agendas are sell outs to their citizens for far too long, who finally are seeing the reality of that, and somewhat drunkenly are looking for exits.

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

YouJustCouldnt dubaibubble Wed, 03/07/2018 - 05:39 Permalink

Indeed. To say that Italians have been patient is such an understatement. Can you imagine living in a country where there has been such economic stagnation and then you have 10's of thousands of violent Sub-Saharan Africans invading you that are not only extremely aggressive towards you, they also get of those boats with a massive sense of entitlement. Western Europe is imploding as its citizens are finally waking up to the fact that nothing will change unless they vote for change.

In reply to by dubaibubble

chubbar YouJustCouldnt Wed, 03/07/2018 - 07:42 Permalink

Let's re-write your statement above with some changes to see how it flows.

"Can you imagine living in a country where there has been such economic stagnation and then you have 10's of thousands of violent ANTIFA invading you that are not only extremely aggressive towards you, they also get off those BUSSES with a massive sense of entitlement. The US is imploding as it's citizens are finally waking up to the fact that nothing with change unless they vote for change (Trump)."

Is this sounding familiar???

In reply to by YouJustCouldnt

chubbar TheSilentMajority Wed, 03/07/2018 - 07:37 Permalink

No country can survive millions of people from a totally different culture and belief system that overwhelm the social safety net, set up their own laws (sharia) and think nothing of ignoring the laws and cultural norms of the host country.

The police have been told to stand down from enforcing the laws. The Italians are being raped and robbed with relative impunity and the people believe this was all by happenstance?

This is nothing less than a designed assault on the European culture in an effort to corrupt the homogeneity of the various groups so that the EU could install whatever system they wanted without concern of being overturned by a majority of voters. This is the same shit that the deep state is doing in the US with the Illegals!

We, collectively, have one chance to stop this shit and save our country/world. Let's hope Trump is up to the task and that enough people are now fighting back against the deep state to make a difference.

In reply to by TheSilentMajority

Yen Cross Wed, 03/07/2018 - 03:39 Permalink

 Tyler please quit posting NYT and WaPo articles, unless you strip out their cling ons. [trackers]

  They crash our browsers.  All you have to do is have your tech guys open the page script and rehash the tracking code. I don't want those assholes looking at what I do.

  Every other link you provide works fine except those two. Hmmm, must be a coincidence?


  P.S. Italian bonds, banks, GDP, unemployment, are a big joke. 



 Spain 10Y1.460  1.489   1.470  1.457    -0.029    -1.95%08:44:03


even better!

France 10Y0.9180   .9340  .9320  .909-0  .017   -1.72%08:45:09

Pandelis Wed, 03/07/2018 - 03:40 Permalink





instead of Itexit ... I guess they charge an arm and a leg for these ideas, but i just give them away for free ... yeah well.

JDFX Wed, 03/07/2018 - 03:46 Permalink

Yes, the Brits are fair up to a point. Uncontrolled immigration  was top concern for Brits the last decade, 85% saying it was number one issue. EU said, NON, NON , NON, you can't control Immigrant access to your tiny island.


Lol... No matter the law on the books, if things are making situations , nations , worse , the public will react. 


Humans aren't complicated. It's funny to think ruling elites assume cultures all share same emotional intelligences of good standing, in order to successfully live in a Multipolar diverse Society.


Reality tells us, as does the data, not all cultures are capable of Western integration . 


So, beçause elites are not stoopid, it's by design, to shatter and fragment nation identities, traditions to further Globalism and control down on the old human farm.


Fortunately, the masses, can see their hand.  


So we're going full cycle, full circle.


Tradition is not the worship of ashes but preserving the fire.... 


Britain is like a Jack Russell terrier, it's a tough little bastard that kills rodents. 


It's a healthy nation that rejects EU . Woof sausages...!


Yen Cross Wed, 03/07/2018 - 04:27 Permalink

  What ever happened to Greece and Cyprus?

  Out of sight out of mind, Like the Middle East and Central Africa I guess?

  Getting interesting. In front of the euro GDP print.  :-D


S&P 500 VIX 20.34   +1.98    +10.78%

Golden Showers Wed, 03/07/2018 - 05:27 Permalink

Wow. Italy and Greece are in the shitter. Persia is in the shitter. Of all the formative civilizations: historic, educated, documented western civ nation states that kicked ass are getting curbed stomped left and right from inside. Periphreal communities like Sweeden, Ireland, Germany, France are on the pyre. Western Europe is doomed.

This plague of filth, this idealism, whatever it is... it is canker. Cancer. It's sad. The Balkan nations are just as fucked. North Africa is fucked. God help us that St. Petersburg stays. Washington is fucked. When I hear "oligarch" the joke is it's Russian. Oligarch means exactly this: controlosphere on you. What you read, hear, and are told don't measure up with your education, experience, or reason.

Oligarchs change the rules at will to consolidate power of state (read: Private Interest). Nations die, suffer, whither under them.

This nobility is euphamism. Sewer rats live below the gutter,and below the canal like Rothschilds. They are the keepers of the shit. They create the money. They legally launder the money. They expertly fix prices every day. They have a hostle in the Promised Land of Judea which belongs to God first, they usurp and are not even legitimate heirs. They're not blood.

Bauer. Red Coat. Liars. Thieves. Murderers. Inescapable. It's us hoi polloi whom allow it. We accept it. Like our security as a human race comes from the demon tit of this singular demonic lineage and without our demons (Queen Motherfucker Deuce, et. al.), our Presidents, our assassins intel, our Gitmo, our moat, our Diamonds for wedlock, our elixers of red bull, our modern art, our hip hop, our paper. Fuck it.

Italy has always been a tracer country. They have always traced what others have done. But Italy was fastidious. Yeah, they're dicks but they are honorable dicks. Of course it didn't stop the Moors from fucking their blonde wop asses just for men black, but you know... it's because they are weak, lack testosterone, and have to cover it up all the fucking time.

Really not sure who's worse: Machismo half breed Mexicans or Italians. That's counting Catholics. But if you count District Attorneys across the US, who knows? What half of the Mexicans don't know is they are Sephardic Jews and Catholics like my cousin Vinney (no, I really have a cousin Vinney and his dad was my Uncle a DA out of Youngstown) well, who the fuck cares?

My point is that the sewer trash that runs the game could be you. If you like it, fine. I don't care. But the sewer trash that runs the game cannot do it without you. That's why you have power. That's why I don't give a fuck. I just like saying it to your face.

I am an Irish white male fluffy whambler motherfucker with a fucking attitude and I'll never ever ever stop telling you to your face you are an asshole. I'm expressing my self. Today I saw a nigger. A real black nigger, not the average white idiot, threatening to
"beat your ass" outside of a "sonic" restaurant. I was in my vehicle and could hear him threaten people while he was leaving. I mean if you're leaving, well, how can you be a legitimate threat? Well, that's niggers for you.

PS I'll Beat your ass while I leave Sonic and let everyone know.

That's being a nigger. Unfortuenately, when you realize that you can never leave the shit hole our oligarch fake ass bastard inbred fucks have engineered for us, this shit makes me laugh.

Ok: so if I walk into a "Sonic" what has to happen that I get so pissed off that I threaten to beat your ass while I leave? Assuming I'm not retarded. Nothing.

But if you're a nigger, white, black, I don't fucking care, you're a nigger. And my point is that the Bauer clan presumes you are stupid while they're fake.

Nigga Nigga. Yeah. When you let niggaz in charge because they so emotional, they'll do anything to get a piece they don't own or know what to do with. We can thank our fake Jew fake nobility fake ass demons for leading dumb assholes into their trap and that's why fuck you.

catilina Golden Showers Wed, 03/07/2018 - 23:44 Permalink

yes, Italy in the shitter, a small country small population yet the 8th economy in the world, bigger than Russia.

Irish you, so Celtic, you never ever recovered from the glorious Gallic wars when Caesar kiiled one million of you, enslaved other million, with thousands of survivors having their arms chopped off and sent back to their villages as a warning.

You Celts never recovered psychological from that. Boudicca was the final Celtic carnage.

Ireland in the shitter, yesterday, today, tomorrow.


In reply to by Golden Showers

Paul Morphy Wed, 03/07/2018 - 05:30 Permalink

Visiting Rome last week, one couldn't fail to notice how things have become very run down in that city.

And sellers of goods/services still price goods/services in both Italian Lira and Euro. And have done so since 2001.

Dump Wed, 03/07/2018 - 05:54 Permalink

The problem is the same in US EU, Japan: debt.  

Debt is consumption forgone on one side and consumption brought forward on the other.

Caused by public pressure for governments to spend more than they earn in tax revenue over time.

3% deficits each year for ~40 years since 1980 means 100%++ debt/GDP everywhere.

No country can pay back its purchasing power borrowed, only print money to cover the debt.

EU countries cannot even do that individually, only thru the EU.

The debt will not be repaid, which means the holders of the debt will eventually lose value.

That will affect governments, individuals, pension fundees, treasury note holders, everywhere.

As debt is simply consumption forgone, future consumption (read GDP) will fall accordingly.

It will be a depression, starting anytime soon, as consumption reverts to the mean.


Grandad Grumps Wed, 03/07/2018 - 06:14 Permalink

Supposedly Marshal law and the takedown of the deep state start on Sunday March 11th. I have mixed feelings.

If it does happen, it will just prove an old axiom. Revolution is never started by the people, but by elitists taking power from other elitists. The people are told it is for them, but it never is.

Maghreb Berspankme Wed, 03/07/2018 - 09:40 Permalink

I´d agree but you do realize the Italians elected Silvio Berlusconi. The guy was basically a knock off of Frank Sinatra. Another thing is they have always had a hugely decadent culture provided there was not an Imperial collapse, Civil War, or Pandemic.  

They have been living in the shadow of the secular power of the Roman Empire and the Spiritual power of Vatican for two thousand years now. Italians culturally are a leviathan being where European identity and Christianity began.

Despite this materially ,financially, demographically they are withering. Its a nation of empty mansions and museums ruled by ghosts. Churches kept open for atheists to visit and brag about. The Roman Legionnaires in costume are more important than their military. At the current rate with no immigration eventually there will be as many people living there as perhaps at the peak of the Roman Empire. the same could be said of other large parts of Europe.

Nobody wants to integrate with a dead civilization and culture.

In reply to by Berspankme

FIAT CON Wed, 03/07/2018 - 10:53 Permalink

When will the poor of China and India invade Europe, what's good for the Africans must be good for the Indians and Chinese and of course it must be good for the EU as well....No?

I am so sick of this bull shit....

 Common sense says;

  1. 1.) stop bombing their country
  2. 2.) sending many to help the people of these countries goes a lot farther than brining them to the EU or any other country
  3. What is the real reason that Merkel welcomed them?????? Whatever it is, the sheeple are not being told.