Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Italian Economy: Last Day!

(Because I didn't want to call it day thirteen, for obvious reasons...)

I still have my final tomorrow but essentially this is it. A lot of interesting stuff, most of it much more interesting than what I've blogged about. I'm going to try to write up a decent synthesis of all this info while I'm in California... we'll see what happens.

Today's most interesting snippet: according to my professor, no euro zone state has deposit insurance akin to the FDIC. This is because the banking sector is so highly regulated that deposit insurance is unnecessary. (I've been unable to verify this fact yet)

I can't imagine this is an optimal situation for anyone. Too much money spent on regulators, who may well make a mistake at some point anyway, and too little room for banks and citizens to profit. One of the biggest things holding back investment and innovation in Italy is the difficulty of securing a loan; easier credit would result in more defaults, but also more growth.

Next: 90% of Italian companies are family-owned. From Molteni to Circi, Versace and everything in between, nearly every business is passed from father to son, and even bears the family name.

Oh, and there are only 294 companies listed on the Italian stock exchange. Wow.

It's been a great ride. Final tomorrow, synthesis in the future, and retirement to a villa on the countryside in 40 years.

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Compared with the totality of knowledge which is continually utilized in the evolution of a dynamic civilization, the difference between the knowledge that the wisest and that which the most ignorant individual can deliberately employ is comparatively insignificant. ~Fredrich Hayek in The Constitution of Liberty