Friday, December 02, 2016

Italy Is Not Saved

... no matter which way the vote goes on December 4.

On that day, Italians will decide if their government will raggle-fraggitz nomshapop or if it will fendergarb wilsenstache. Honestly, I have no clear idea what the referendum says and most Italians probably don't, either because the written version is huge. If you're unable to sleep, you can find a summary of it here.

If it passes, the current prime minister will stay in office. If it fails he will resign. Or maybe it's the other way around. It hardly matters as Italy changes its government once a year on average.

The problem isn't the prime minister, it's the people. For decades, they've voted for more government spending and more government regulations and now they've got an unsustainable debt, banks on the verge of collapse and a moribund economy. Until they come to grips with the realities of life - that someone has to pay for their handouts and all those regulations make business owners want to leave - nothing will change.

Over on ZeroHedge where every day is Black Friday (or Monday or Tuesday or whatever) and Total Economic Collapse is just a few hours away, they're predicting massive stock market crashes.

I guess. I'm not sure why our markets would have more than a brief downturn and then go back to normal. No one has been counting on anyone in Europe to be an engine of recovery so it hardly matters if the imported olive oil market falls to bits.

Here's my prediction. Whatever happens to the referendum, at some point in the future, the debts will seemingly kill off the banks and cause national crises in a variety of countries. Some might leave the EU and the EU might even fall apart. There will be a short spasm of panic and then the central banks will step in and print money, doling it out to the stricken financial institutions with the flimsiest of fig leaves in the form of demands for "change" which will take the form of yet more government regulations. Some places might even nationalize their banks.

The populace will see a reduced standard of living, but the overall governing philosophy of the culture - more government intervention is a good and necessary thing - won't change. The slow decay into socialism's entropic state of stagnation and failure will continue.

Paul Krugman and Robert Reich will write columns extolling Europe and talking about how we need to follow their example. The Mainstream Media will interview them extensively and Sage Academics with Impeccable Credentials will nod their heads in agreement.

Meanwhile, somewhere out in the wilds, the Gods of the Copybook Headings will be gearing up to return.

Yeah, a vote will fix that right up.

No comments: