EppsNet Archive: Italy

Greece is Going Out of Business

I remember the good old days when we only had to worry about small banks going out of business. Then big banks started to go out of business, then non-bank financial institutions, and now small countries. The problem with having a lot of debt is that, with some exceptions (“too big to fail”), bad things happen when your investors get nervous. My memory is not photographic as some of the legends about me say, but I am sure I would remember if the works of Adam Smith included the phrase “too big to fail.” — Garry Kasparov What are the odds that people running companies or countries will make smart decisions about money if they don’t need to make smart decisions — if they can do just as well or better making dumb decisions and being rescued from the consequences? According to the government debt chart below, the next countries… Read more →

See You in Hell

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] Greetings from the underworld! I see that Pope Francis put a bee in Turkey’s bonnet a couple of weeks ago by calling the mass killing of Armenians in 1915 a genocide. According to the Turks, the Vatican should look to its own history before casting stones. Tu quoque! On that note, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Biography was just awarded to David I. Kertzer for The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe. Historically, popes have been far more circumspect in condemning genocide and other atrocities when committed by countries willing to aggrandize the Church (or when committed by the Church itself!) See you in Hell, clerics of all stripes . . . Read more →

Pope John Paul II Just Killed a Guy

Man crushed by giant crucifix dedicated to Pope A man has been crushed to death after a giant crucifix dedicated to Pope John Paul II collapsed, just days before a historic Papal canonisation in Rome. The 30-metre-high (98ft) wooden and concrete cross fell during a ceremony in the Italian Alpine village of Cevo, near Brescia. Another man was taken to hospital. The structure was dedicated to John Paul II on his visit to the region in 1998. — ITV News It’s clear to me that the Pope intended to kill this man. What’s the rule? Does this cancel out one of his life-saving miracles? If you believe that a dead person can be the agent of unexplained happenings on Earth, then you’ve got to take the bad with the good. If the Pope gets credit for a miracle when a woman’s health improves after seeing his picture in a magazine,… Read more →

Five Guys in Europe: When in Rome . . .

. . . pay attention to these helpful tips. Read more →

Five Guys in Europe: Venice

Here’s the latest slideshow Read more →

Five Guys in Europe: Italy

Italians need to step up their manners . . . Read more →

Twitter: 2011-01-24

I once killed an Italian man in a duel after he accused me of not understanding Dante. # Read more →

The Problem With Debt

These are all from today’s headlines: Ireland told: Take EU bailout or trigger crisis – The Guardian Euro under siege as now Portugal hits panic button – Montreal Gazette Greek deficit much bigger than estimate – The Guardian Thirty years ago, we had the savings and loan crisis. Those were the good old days, when investors were only nervous about small banks. Investors have since become nervous about big banks, then non-bank financial institutions, and now small countries — Greece, Portugal, Ireland . . . That’s the problem with debt — bad things happen when your investors get nervous. What’s next? Medium-sized countries, obviously — Italy, Britain — and eventually the biggest of the big: the United States. Read more →

The Alfa Romeo Sloth

This is an Italian Alfa Romeo commercial. To look at it, you wouldn’t know it’s a car commercial because there’s no car in it, but in Italy there’s a series of these Alfa Romeo sloth commercials. The running gag is that the sloth is a lethargic, slow-moving creature — until he gets in his Alfa Romeo — but this one’s a little different, in a mesmerizing WTF kind of way . . . Read more →

Another Reason I Like to Just Stay Home

ROME – Italian railway police say an American tourist was hit and killed by a train at a Rome station as he was walking on the tracks in a daze after being drugged and robbed. Police official Giovanni Piccolantonio said Monday that 74-year-old Frank Phel from California died early Friday at the suburban Tiburtina station. — Associated Press Arrivederci Roma! Read more →