The loan sharked


Instigation to get into debt is not a crime. But it should be. Interest rates of 15-20% are not considered usury. But they are usury. The producers gain on the interest on the repayments, not on the product value.
What's most annoying about these debt-mongers, of these open-the-route-to-family-bankruptcy people, of these usurers with the manager's tie, of these vultures of the TAEG is there face like a backside. The lira won the Oscar of currency when Italy saved.
There was the day of saving. Italy had no public debt. The children were given the little money-box pig as a present. Now there's the day of debt. It lasts 365 days a year. Usurious interest rates are the aim of those who sell. The car, the plasma screen, the kitchen are accessories to consumer credit. If saving was the engine of development, debt is the engine of underdevelopment.
The Statistics Bulletin of the Bank of Italy: "Monetary and Financial Institutions: banks and monetary funds" explains with its tables how Italian families are being transformed into beggars. In the 1960's we were poor, but without debts. Today we are precarious but with debts.
In the month of November 2006, loans for a value of 431,000,000,000 Euro were arranged. That's 10% more than in November 2005. The porky-pie that we are behind in relation to other countries. That we have to get ourselves more into debt to keep up. It's a the work of vile ruffians. Il Mondo has published an indebtedness table:

And a series of interviews about our debts. Personalities looking for a psychiatrist.

"A country like Italy today, where there is greater level of guarantee, for earnings, for health, for services, has less need of savings." Giuseppe Zadra, Director General of the Italian Banking Association.

"Once upon a time, repayments had a moral weight, they shouldn't be done, but now getting a loan has become normal for lay people. And this is an element in the modernization of Italy." Giampaolo Fabris, sociologist and university lecturer at San Raffaele in Milan.

"Consumer credit started off as an alternative to the "IOU" in the 1960's, then it was considered psychologically as getting into debt. In recent years it has become a payment tool… and there is strong demand to bring it in even for expenses like furniture removal, funerals and general medical expenses." Massimiliano Becheroni, Director General of Prestitempo.

"If in a recession phase, credit goes up, that means that a part of the Italians have managed to smooth out the fluctuations of their own income. And this is an indicator of the health of the markets." Tullio Jappelli, Economics lecturer at the University Federico II in Naples, editor of

I invite those who have had negative experiences with consumer credit to write them down as a comment to this post. The most important evidence of insolvency, bankruptcy, usury will be collected into a book: : "I cravattati" { The tie wearers, Italian for The loan sharked}.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:57 AM in | Comments (25)
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Hello there,
In today Global Economy, Financial Markets are scrutinizing each and every aspect of the Global Corporations, and to a lesser extents each Country Stock Market keeps an eye on the Champions and Company within the territory.

I am asking myself looking at Fiat, which lately is going in the right direction, and rightfully so because, it has put the emphasis back into building car that people wants or at least considering at par with the best in the Business.

Now what this tells me about Italian Politicians?

Three Laws have been challenged and found not in compliance with the EU (Sale Tax not deductible for Company, Digital Decoders for TV and the sale Autostrade blocked) and these Laws were legislated by both side of the isle, therefore the Incompetence is rampant in all of them.

Combine these three goof-up with the complete miscalculation of Italy deficit for the year 2006 (Mr. Prodi Govern. Estimated 4.3-4.8 % of GDP, now Mr. Padoa-Schioppa at the UE meeting stated 3.2-3.4 % of GDP).

I only wish I was a guru on Monetary and fiscal manners, although I am not I still consider this field an opportunity not only for myself but for everyone else.

This because these Idiots and I mean Politicians, Experts, Legislators, Economist have miss each and every estimate possible and imaginable creating a damage at par with the demise of Parmalat (14 Billions) and while Parmalat CEO is in jail (Or should be) these Incompetent Buffoons are still there and actually screwing up even further Italy.

Now what am I missing in this picture?

Who is the idiots here?

Your guess I hope is better than mine.

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | January 31, 2007 05:15 PM


In regards to the price of gasoline, I have to tell you that the price of gas at the pump near my house went down last weekend from $2.23 to $1.85 a gallon.

This tells you what kind of crooks there are in Italy.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | January 18, 2007 06:19 PM

Ergo, the consumer groups are good for shit.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | January 18, 2007 06:03 PM

Hello there,
I said this many time before, although Italians don’t like very much take matter in their own hand but rather let someone else protect their rights.
Reality is they are too fat and too happy, and only I emphasize only when the water reaches your chin than you better learn to swim in a hurry.
Oil today at $50.6 a barrel (1 Barrel=56 Gallons)
1 gallon=3.785 Liters
Gasoline at refinery=$1.39 per Gallon
Euros=1.29 $ US
Price at the Pump=1.214 (Average)
Therefore having done all exchanges=1 liter gas=0.278 Euro
Difference=0.936 Euro (Tax and Profits)
Percentages=77% Tax and Profits while 23% Cost of Gas
Costs of Oil in 2006 (From Il Sole 24 Ore excel spreadsheet)
Oil $61.56 per Barrel
Cost of Gasoline at Pump=1.208 to 1.214 (9 Comapanies all within this range)
You do the math, and more importantly if you think these Idiots at the Government are protecting you or are there to improve your life, either you still believe in ferry tales or you are an Idiot as well.

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | January 18, 2007 05:45 PM

You know, Prince, the worst habit of italians is complaining, but only a few of them are ready to do something to change the situation. I'm personally privileged enough, I get a good salary, and I can provide for myself without difficult. I don't need to ask for loan to pay may bills. I'm a lucky person, and I didn't make hasty choices in my life, like to marry and have children, I must provide only for myself. I can't understand how people who are not so lucky like me can go on like this, but that's Italy!
People are happy with The Big Brother or l'isola dei famosi, and deceive themselves to be rich and famous, even if they must ask loan sharks for a loan...

Posted by: raffaella biferale | January 18, 2007 04:41 PM


You have Unions, Consumer Associations and Courts.

There is plenty to choose from if the Italian people could wake up from his slumber.

The primary job of the Courts is to apply the law.
A civil action could be solicited by the people to look into that.

The unions have to defend the interests of their affiliated but are not doing shit in spite of having almost everybody paying the fee to these lousy idiots.
The Reset could start also from tearing apart the memberships from these unproductive associations.

The Consumer's associations are the worst because looks like they are existing only on paper.
They are not moving their asses as they are supposed to and let a lot of shit to happen.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | January 18, 2007 03:32 PM

Prince: unfortunately nobody of us can do anything against that, apart from voting. We voted, but nothing changed. What can we do?
You ask why are we paying taxes, I must pay, I have no choice, they are deducting taxes from my salary.

Posted by: raffaella biferale | January 18, 2007 03:01 PM

Your story about the shepherds reminds me about a joke about the Alpini (The Italian mountain military corps) that had to choose their motto to put on their emblem.
Somebody proposed: "Ignoranti ma forti" (Ignorant but strong); the Alpini refused this and said: "No!!!!!! Forti ma ignoranti!!!" (No! Strong but Ignorant!).
Alpini, don't get mad at me now! I heard this joke from some Alpini at the "Adunata" in Bergamo (between rivers of good wine, grappa, polenta and cotechini).

Giacomo: the tolerance you are referring to is called "Stack" in USA.
Whenever I have to do with multiple and consecutive tooling for long parts I have to describe this concept to the customers almost every time (I'm in the multispindle field).

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | January 18, 2007 02:36 PM

Welcome back Eva!
The situation you describe is very similar to the one in the UK. English students are extremely naive about money and the average university student owes 12/20K to the bank. Giacomo couldn't be more right when he says that it's all down to personal responsability. My father has been a bank manager for many years and I can tell you that these guys don't fuck around they just take from you everything they can. Stay away from banks or financial institutions. If you really have to deal with them do your homework. Giacomo says something very simple in his post yet it's kind of enlighting. People are totally oblivious of what banks or credit institiutions are all about. They all are after your money and they constantly find new alluring ways to get it. Hey Mr Chiametti what you said at the end of your post (tolerances) reminded me something very funny that happened in Sardinia 30 years ago. I once was told by my grandfather that the area of Costa Rey (a famous and up market holiday resort) used to be owned by shepherds. Some day during the seventies two dutch
businessmen offered 1 billion lire for the above mentioned area. The shepherds refused. They wanted 500 million lire or nothing.

Posted by: piero sanna | January 18, 2007 01:15 AM

Piero here in Australia is school holiday the equivalent of august in Italy,I have been away from a computer,glad you miss my comments

Andrea I agree with you about teaching financial matters at school,here in Australia there are lots of young kids (18 years old and over) full of debts,that they cannot pay back,because of nobody tough them about how to deal with money, and they get lured by credit cards companies,in some way I do feel sorry for today children there are bombarded by ads and peers pression,very materialist society,I have cultural differences with my husband ,I was tough the old school that say "non fare il passo piu' lungo della gamba"do not do a step longer of your leg,and keep something for rainy days,fortunatly he is not a big spender, and not for plasma tv,he spend on is racing car,wich is even worst,ciao

Posted by: eva kulnura | January 17, 2007 11:50 PM

Hello there,
I do realize that the perfect society is like vaporware every one is drooling about but no-one seams to coherent with, only applies to the other person.
Having sat that, obviously looking around myself, television, the net, advertisers, fashion icon and celebrity most of the people is enticed into thinking why not me?
Here it come the Personal Responsibility, I can barely rationalize taking out a loan to get to the end of the month or to get a badly needed operation (Most bankruptcy are dictated by catastrophic health issues, although in Italy the health service is paid by the Government so if this is the reason complain with Politicians not who loan you the money) while to get to the end of the month, please folks I can understand it one time after that is bad budgeting in someone part.
Now the real issue comes in when someone enter a Financial Institution, with a loan in mind and therefore he/she should have done his/her homework before jumping into the fire.
I recognize that the average Joe Blow may not be up to speed on every thing about a loan, but being cognizant that every Financial Institution give you money based on the fact that first of all you have the means to pay it back and above the loan there are interests applicable to the loan.
Folks this is basics 101 otherwise sorry you live in your own world and should look for loans in that specific world.
If you live on this world and can’t grasp these simple facts, well maybe the responsibility should be on the person responsible for your well being.
I am in the Engineering world and one time I had a choice to present to a supplier about a tolerance for a part and here is how I presented to him:
1) Tolerance of 0.01 mm over a distance of 50 mm
2) Tolerance of 1.00 mm over a distance of 5000 mm
Guess what happen the guy flat out sat I can’t accept the first is too tight, while I like the second because I can easily maintain the second tolerance.
Moral of the story is that the angle I was trying to achieve was the same in both tolerances cases although he was much happier with second while I was happy either way.

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | January 17, 2007 11:31 PM

Italy is the only western country I know where the scientist's business travel must be put on the scientist's personal credit card. (If they don't have a credit card or some other means to cover their business expenses, then the cannot preform the travel requirements for their job.)

They are not reimbursed for the interest rates that they pay on using their own credit card. And they are reimbursed when the governement feels like reimbursing them, which can be many months later.

Posted by: Amara Graps | January 17, 2007 08:22 PM

AAAAAAh! that's better! Giacomo what can I say I find your post very insightful. I never quite looked at things that way. However it's a prospective that surely makes sense. I reckon that along with personal responsability one should also value social responsability as in our country there's a distinctive lack of it. People seem to fail to understand the very basic principles that make Democracy really work. I also agree with what you say about capitalism. The way business is currently conducted doesn't have anything to do with capitalism and free market.
Giovanni has a different take on things. he's got what I call a honest and laid back approach to life. Take it as it comes brother!. What is really funny is that these two different approaches can perfectly coexist in a fair and just society. It's not idealism. It can be done . I am perfecltly aware of the fact that we will never have the perfect society. That's human nature. I believe however that a better way of life is possible. If only we had a bit more coherence in this world. We have now countries tha are sending very mixed messages to the public. They want to bring Democracy(as if it was a commodity) to other places with war. We live in a society where the vast magiority of the population struggles to get by and yet we are constantly bombarded with images of success and wealth. Priorities are all wrong. we should take back control of what we see, listen to and really need. By saying this I don't mean that people shouldn't aspire to have more. it just shouldn't be a prerogative. money Today is the mean by wich we all are judged, gauged and valued. Damn it I shouldn't have quit smoking ! Now I think to much.

Posted by: piero sanna | January 17, 2007 04:52 PM


Then what are you guys paying taxes for?

Do you realise that the government is stealing money out of people's pockets and kid's mouths?

What you are saying here must be covered by the government through taxes paid by (almost everybody).

I don't think that what in Italy is lacking today must be entirely to blame on tax dodgers.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | January 17, 2007 04:32 PM

Prince: the worst is that the most of Italians doesn't ask for a loan only to buy a plasma TV or a new car, but for the daily or unforeseen expenses like medical examinations or surgical operations, children's education, or even the daily shopping.
Many families in Italy have not money enough till the end of the month, pensioners, single mothers, large families or unemployed persons.
The average waiting time for a TAC in the public health system in Rome is 8 months, in case of urgency you can't wait so long, and you must turn to the private service...and pay!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | January 17, 2007 04:26 PM


You are right.

Where are the consumer's associations when you need them?

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | January 17, 2007 04:13 PM

I receive in the mail every kind of offer for credit cards and loans, which will get regularly opened and shredded.
I save only the empty envelope, which I mail back to them because the stamp is pre-paid.

Screw them.

Whenever you guys receive this stuff don't throw it in the trash without shredding it first because there are weird people out there, which go thru your trash to find out any which way to steal your identity.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | January 17, 2007 04:09 PM

I agree on the point of personal responsibility.

However, it is not the whole story. Two points should be added: One, that people are kept financially uninformed because this subject is not included in mandatory education; the other is that there is substantial lack of transparency in many financial offers. Sometimes, the consumer is downright cheated.

So, there is a collective responsibility--which boils down to the absolute inadequacy of the system.


* Basic schooling should include literacy in financial matters.
* Laws should much more effectively protect consumers.
* And, once the two above are in place, people should be left to face the consequences of their own lack of prudence.

Posted by: Andrea Marchi | January 17, 2007 04:08 PM

In Canada Credit Card Companies can legally charge up to 60% yearly on the money they loan. No financial institution is applying these astronomical charges, but this upper limit tells a lot about our level of tolerance for usury.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | January 17, 2007 03:56 PM

I grew up with the mentality of saving money and in my family the belief was summed up in the words "a little bit but mine" (Poco ma mio).
Probably I'm a little bit old fashioned but I can tell you that I don't care about this because I sleep good at night.
I'd rather not have a Plasma screen, a new car or vacations in the tropics rather than wake up in the middle of the night with cold sweat and shit like that.
A friend of mine that died 16 years ago told me that once he had cold sweats and his friend told him that he had an habit. In fact he was shooting Heroin in his arm and he quit "Cold Turkey".
Since the moment I heard this story, I always associated the cold sweats with the fact of having an habit.

Do Italians wake up in the night with the same problem? In that case they have an habit which needs to be kicked "Cold Turkey" which means to not try to imitate the habits of people with much more money than us.

We don't need that shit.

We need to be happy with ourselves otherwise we will end like that bitch pictured in the previous post.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | January 17, 2007 03:51 PM

Hello there, Mr. Sanna I am here!
I like to write in this blog, and although very frustrated since what I read in between the lines of other commentator is the same old story “The Devil made me do it”.
Seams to me, that Personal Responsibility has gone down the tube, and no-one has the courage of facing his/her own responsibility.
Folks no one is putting the gun to your head when decision time comes?
The so called Financial Services are in business and thrive only for a reason “They provide a Service and generate income for someone”.
We like to cuddle our self with the Linus security blanket of the Italian Government Institutions, folks you are fooling yourself; capitalism doesn’t work this way.
How do you think Mr. Berlusconi made his money, by complaining to the institutions about loan sharking from the Banks?
This a cruel world, a world made out of “Have and Have not”, reality is anyone takes a risk when he/she starts an activity or takes a loan, whether to open a business or to buy whatever he/she needs, and to cry after the facts that someone made a huge profits after all is the “Crocks Tears attitude”.
What if the Loan and the Activity started and it worked, would you be here complaining or would You be enjoying the fruit of your risk?
This is how society grown and prosper, takes risks with rewards and penalties associated, and the basis are Personal Responsibility, you are aware of them and You decide before hand if you don’t like them don’t take those risks.
To cry after the facts is ludicrous and irresponsible.
Sorry my hearth doesn’t bleed for you, the only thing I think is unbalanced is the fact that Financial Market are coveted and protected by this Political Establishment, they know it while the remainder is bagging for equity and control to a bunch of thieves themselves.

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | January 17, 2007 03:45 PM

What the fuck is happening here? Could you please post your comments in Italian? Has the english version of this blog gone dead? Giacomo, Enrico, Eres, Eva are you missing in action?

Posted by: piero sanna | January 17, 2007 02:34 PM

You can blame the world for the debt you have.

But if you have debt, it is only because YOU decided to borrow.

So you should blame only yourself.

Posted by: Stefano Desi | January 17, 2007 09:30 AM

Caro Beppe, ti voglio solo ringraziare per questo mezzo che ci poni a disposizione per essere informati e giustamente "preoccupati" per la nostra nazione anche da cosi' lontano. (Hong Kong)
Ho ordinato nel frattempo i tuoi CD perche' mio figlio (che si affaccia al mondo della scuola con interessi sociopolitici e critici ) possa capire essere informato e sviluppare un senso comune della logica e del buo senso che mi sembra perso nel nostro paese.
Ti prego di fare attenzione con le tue iniziative a non istigare quella violenza che verrebbe spontanea di fronte alle innenarrabili stupidita' di chi ci governa. Un esempio, tassare di piu' chi non ha i soldi per cambiare la macchina e ne ha pertanto una vecchia e incentivare chi li ha per cambiarla prima..(una catalanata) istigando cosi' inoltre questa politica infernale del debito del quale tu hai gia' iniziato una campagna di sensibilizzazione.

Penso che il problema degli italiani sia fondalmentalmente anche quello che non hanno una struttura come negli USA che portegge i consumatori. Gli avvocati costano troppo per un singolo per mettere alla berlina chi merita di andarci. Il tuo Blog e' una brillante idea ma temo rimanga il foglio elettronico solo nelle memorie dei compiuter non in quelle della gente perche' tra dire e il fare "c'e' di mezzo il mare" .
Sensibilizza gli avocati giovani e moderni a servire i consumatori sulla base della percentuale del risarcimento. Succedera' come in America che partiranno le denunce per un Hamburgher poco cotto che ha creato dissenteria.Ma alla fine il maltolto viene restituito ai consumatori che lo meritano.
Grazie .
tuo lettore e "riscopritore" . Se ti canditi certo ti voto.

Posted by: zagorfly | January 17, 2007 02:42 AM

ciao beppe
ti voglio raccontare la storia della mia famiglia.
Nel 1983 Mio padre acquisto` un ristorante a sesto fiorentino vicino a firenze. Il locale fu` acquistato a 250.000.000 milioni delle vecchie lire mio padre a lavorato per 15 anni per 15 ore al giorno fino a gennaio 1998 quando un giorno a chiuso il locale e se ne ` andato in inghilerra con tre bambini a rangiungere mia madre che nel frattempo aveva trovato casa e lavoro. mio padre mi ha raccontato che il giorno che ha chiuso ha ftto due conti ed ha ripagato alle banche 5, 6 volte il valore iniziale dell`azienda abbiamo perso tutto e siamo dovuti andare via da dove siamo cresciuti e posso dirti che non ci siamo piu` rialzati. E` una vergogna

Posted by: Mark F. Russo | January 16, 2007 10:25 PM

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