Stimulus Package – But Not Too Stimulating

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Uh oh, here we go with the Financial Times Deutschland again! I swear, when I go looking for interesting European news to pass along, it’s not as if I first head directly to the FTD’s site (or, more accurately, to its RSS feeds). On the contrary, I always do try to cast my nets wide. It’s just that today’s economic report from them has a certain . . . let’s say spice to it, that I’m sure it won’t take you long to pick out.

The article is entitled Italy shocks itself to health, by FTD Milan correspondent Andre Tauber, and no, it has nothing to do with any kind of electro-therapy. It is rather about the fiscal stimulus plan recently announced by Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi. You know: the UK, Germany, Spain, etc. have each announced their own such plans recently (the United States is a laggard for well-known “lame duck” reasons); not only do the perilous financial times require such an initiative nearly everywhere, but in fact that was one thing the parties agreed to at that “G20 summit” in Washington, DC back in mid-November, i.e. that they would each more-or-less at the same time come out with their own stimulus plans, since it is disturbing to currency- and various other world economic equilibria if some nations hold back.

So Italy, too, has climbed aboard this stimulus-plan bandwagon. But, as Tauber reports in his article, Belusconi’s proposal has a few unique characteristics of its own. (more…)

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