Is Italy's Problem Our Problem?
Italy may be close to falling off a cliff and might have to grab hold of our hand.
I spent some time this week with Jim Cavalli. He teaches history at Clark College and is also active in Italian-American organizations. Cavalli lived in Italy when the country switched its currency to the Euro.
Jim recalls the price of almost everything seemed to double overnight. That included the cost of pensions promised to government workers.
Cavalli believes Italy will fix its debt problem. But he says it will be "messy and brutal." Italy owes more money than Spain, Portugual, Greece and Ireland combined. Jim says there may be some lessons for the U.S. in all this.
Jim says a bailout of Italy may involve help from the United States and China. He says Italy needs to end corruption, do a better job of collecting taxes (huge underground economy) and thin its bureaucracy.
Cavalli will be on Portland's Morning News Thursday, November 17th.Steve Leader