Monday, September 29, 2008

Italy, circa: 1933....

(Update: Well, it went down BIG. Wonder what TPTBs will try next?)

Trying to handle the crisis, the Fascist government nationalized the holdings of large banks which had accrued significant industrial securities.

The government also issued new securities to provide a source of credit for the banks and began enlisting the help of various cartels that had been created by Italian business leaders since 1922.

The government offered recognition and support to these organizations in exchange for promises that they would manipulate prices in accordance with government priorities.

A number of mixed entities were formed, called instituti or enti nazionali, whose purpose it was to bring together representatives of the government and of the major businesses.

These representatives discussed economic policy and manipulated prices and wages so as to satisfy both the wishes of the government and the wishes of business.

The government considered this arrangement to be a success, and Italian Fascists soon began to pride themselves on this outcome, saying they had survived the Great Depression without infringing on private property.

Banking also came under extraordinary control. As Italy’s industrial and banking system sank under the weight of depression and regulation, and as unemployment rose, the government set up public works programs and took control over decisions about building and expanding factories.

The government created the Istituto Mobiliare in 1931 to control credit, and the IRI later acquired all shares held by banks in industrial, agricultural, and real estate enterprises.

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