Italy

Previously his day job afforded him little time to do much more than show up but now? He can head up the planning, decorating, food/beverage, and guest list committees. Read more »

“Italy’s Casanovas Hit Where It Hurts” the headline declares, and where it hurts is in the wallet and by extension in the pants. The European financial crisis has claimed many victims– from the scores of unemployed who have no hope of finding a job, to the people who can no longer afford to put a roof over their family’s heads– but the ones hit the hardest? The ones whose plight tugs most violently at the heartstrings? Italian men who in good times were able to keep dozens of women in the rotation and now can’t even afford one measly mistress. Who previously spent lunch eating a “tasty treat” and now have only a tasty treat, no wink-wink, to look forward to. They are the Casanovas– strike that, ex-Casanovas of Italy and this is their story. Read more »

The bad news: they rejected his appeal of a verdict sentencing him to four years (reduced to one due to overcrowding). The good news: that one year might be served at home, where the hookers can come to him, and he might still be able to hold office! Read more »

1. He gave his underage lady friend €45,000 simply to get her off the streets and with no ulterior motive. 2. He will fight today’s conviction that he paid for sex with said underage lady friend (and then tried to cover it up) to the grave because you people will not find a more innocent man than Signor Silvio. He didn’t abuse his power to secure her release from jail because he was sleeping with her. He abused his power because he had gotten a bad tip that she was the niece of one of his dictator buddies. Read more »

Italian judges have ruled that former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was guilty of having sex with a minor and abusing his power. Berlusconi has been given a 7-year jail sentence, though the sentence is pending appeal. He has also been given a lifetime ban from public office. Berlusconi’s lawyer said he would appeal the verdict, as expected. Earlier, judges in a Milan court had retired to consider their verdict on Monday in a trial surrounding allegations that Berlusconi had sex with former nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug, known as “Ruby the Heartstealer,” who was then under 18…According to Giovanni Orsina, professor of Italian history at the Luiss-Guido Carli University in Rome, the real worry for Berlusconi and the future of Italy’s government isn’t from Monday’s ruling but from another case that Berlusconi faces over tax fraud, which could ultimately undo his political career. “This trial has more visibility, it’s more interesting than the tax trial, but ultimately the tax fraud trial will have more of a final effect,” Orsina said. “But the trial in November over tax fraud is the last appeal and if guilty, Berlusconi would be out of politics for good,” he added. [CNBC]

  • 02 Apr 2013 at 5:48 PM

Italian Bank Loses Money, Deposits, Short Sellers

If Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena has any more really bad news to announce, now might be a good time to get it out. Read more »

Now that the U.S.’s economic recovery is a sure thing, thanks to the hard work our sage and wise leaders put in a couple of hours after allowing the country to fly off the fiscal cliff, weary eyes turn to the other side of the Atlantic, where the Germans and Italians look to elect similarly sage and wise representatives. Well, the Germans, anyway. Read more »

Every time I talk about Europe I begin by saying “Europe is all better,” because Europe these days operates on big-bang fixes followed by long slow decays, repeated indefinitely, so I guess you should sell the news and buy the quiet. Anyway, Europe is all better, since Mario Draghi announced today that the ECB will be buying unlimited quantities of European government debt, subject to a series of footnotes to which I tip my hat as a fellow connoisseur. Like me, the ECB likes its footnotes suggestive rather than exhaustive,* so the details are a little vague but will include “conditionality” in which the subject governments need to sign up for EFSF bailouts and adhere to their conditions. Without many details you can pick lots of nits; a good one is the ECB’s attitude to the seniority of its purchases, which is ably picked here.

The analyst reaction is mostly of the too-cool-for-this, everyone-expected-it variety but then there’s this:

So either “the market has gotten ahead of itself,” or “expected” comes with some variance, or I guess both why not.

Anyway, this is the internet, you can’t just be like “the ECB is buying lots of bonds,” you need a theory; two worthwhile ones are: Read more »