Italy's largest bank is the now the Mafia, report says
Europe isn’t the healthiest of economies right now, though you need a degree from the Ivey School of Business to understand what’s going on.
Yet here’s a report even us laypeople can figure.
In Italy, where borrowing rates continue to drop, a new report claims the Mafia has become the country’s largest bank.
According to Italian trade group Confesercenti, the Mafia’s embarrassment of riches, coupled with a series of national banks still crippled by the recession’s effect, has led to a point where the mob now has larger cash reserves than any legitimate Italian lender.
The Confesercenti report estimates the Mafia brings in a whopping $180 billion through organized crime each year, more than seven per cent of Italy’s GDP. And it’s all tax-free.
It’s believed now the Mafia has cash reserves of some $84 billion on hand.
In Italy, as in many other downturn-ravaged countries, the mob has held an unfortunate role in its nation’s economic recovery, opening its coffers as traditional banks were forced to reign in lending.
Confesercenti laments that many desperate business owners have had to turn to the Italian mob to keep their companies afloat.
About 200,000 businesses in Italy have fallen victim to loan-sharking in just the past three years, the report says.
“The Mafia is Italy’s no. 1 bank,” the trade group said in a statement this week.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money