Skip to comments.Mafia now "Italy's No.1 bank" as crisis bites: report
Posted on 01/10/2012 3:05:16 PM PST by Olog-hai
ROMEOrganized crime has tightened its grip on the Italian economy during the economic crisis, making the Mafia the country's biggest "bank" and squeezing the life out of thousands of small firms, according to a report on Tuesday.
Extortionate lending by criminal groups had become a "national emergency," said the report by anti-crime group SOS Impresa.
Organized crime now generated annual turnover of about 140 billion ($178.89 billion) and profits of more than 100 billion, it added.
"With 65 billion in liquidity, the Mafia is Italy's number one bank," said a statement from the group, which was set up in Palermo a decade ago to oppose extortion rackets against small business.
Organized crime groups like the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, the Naples Camorra or the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta have long had a stranglehold on the Italian economy, generating profits equivalent to about 7 percent of national output.
Old-style gangsters handing out cash in bars and pool halls had been replaced by apparently respectable bankers, lawyers or notaries, the report said.
"This is extortion with a clean face," it added. "Through their professions, they know the mechanisms of the legal credit market and they often know the financial position of their victims perfectly."
Small businesses, who have struggled to get hold of credit during the economic slowdown, may have been increasingly tempted to turn to the mafia, said the report.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Organized crime here in the states (at least Michigan) is called Friend of The Court!
Haven't they always been?
I guess that we’ll be seeing an epidemic of broken kneecaps before long.
There is no such thing as the Mafia. Just legitimate Italian businessmen that have been persecuted by the Federal government. Fugetaboutit!
Its never a good idea to start looking into the ethnic makeup of banking outfits. No good comes of that.
Then they are smarter than many legitimate banks.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.