Europe – Italy

Which Country Is Europe’s Biggest Narco State?

By Don Quijones: Revelations of a dirty, big business in Europe, and of the role banks play to make it possible. In fact, during the financial crisis, European banks “were as good as saved by the global drug trade.”

The Mind-Game Of “Fixing” Europe’s Big Zombie Banks

Danièle Nouy, chair of the ECB’s newfangled bank regulator that doesn’t exist yet, had a term for it: “do whatever has to be done” so that the banking sector “is seen as sound and safe and transparent.” Is seen as…. Smoke and mirrors.

ECB’s Draghi: Knowing Too Much About Our Big Banks Could Set Off A Panic

European regulators are desperate. The only thing known about the holes in bank balance sheets stuffed with decomposing assets is that they’re deep. No one knows how deep. No one is allowed to know – not until Eurocrats decide who will pay for bailing out these banks. How do we know? ECB President Mario Draghi said that.

(Broke) Italy “Would Love To” But Can’t Pay Its Bills This Year

In most countries, it would be an act of mind-bending chutzpah, or perhaps a display of political insanity, but in Italy it barely made ripples: for a government official, a minister no less, to declare that the country cannot pay its long overdue bills, and not for a month or two, but for the rest of this year! Due to “technical” problems.

Italy’s Corrupt Political Machinery Lurches Forward

“Those wanting to prevent change are willing to do anything,” firebrand Beppe Grillo griped. “They are desperate. Four people, Napolitano, Bersani, Berlusconi, and Monti, met in a living room and decided….” They’d ganged up on him and restarted the corrupt political machinery he’d brought to a stop. The one that is strangling Italy’s economic core.

Italian Political Trouble Just Became EU Economic Trouble

Contributed by Chriss Street: Italians are electing their 63rd government in 68 years. Normally, Europeans chuckle about this. But Italian political trouble just became EU economic trouble as its debt was downgraded to BBB+ and a bank run seems to have begun. The realization that it’s too big to bail out is heating up the Eurozone debt crisis.

The Stunning Differences in European Costs of Labor: Or Why “Competitiveness” Is A Beggar-Thy-Neighbor Strategy

The ominous term “competiveness” is bandied about as the real issue, the one causing Eurozone countries to sink deeper into their fiasco. To address it, “structural reforms,” or austerity, have been invoked regardless of how much blood might stain the streets. And a core element of these structural reforms is bringing down the cost of labor.

A “Politically Explosive” Secret: Italians Are Over Twice As Wealthy As Germans

The ECB and the national central banks of the Eurozone set out to collect “micro-level information” on household wealth. A massive bureaucratic undertaking. Surveys went out in 2010. Results are now ready. No one in Europe had ever done a survey on that scale before. And no one might ever do it again. Because, in the era of bailouts, the results are so explosive that the Bundesbank is keeping its report secret—and word has leaked out why.