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Keynes was right of course, but there is one teensy-weensy problem with his daring, visionary approach on economics.

Large public projects paid for with borrowed investment capital or fiat money have to be governed well to have the desired effect.

As recently seen in the mobbed-up, bribe-heavy scandal around the EXPO exhibition due to start in Milan in 9 months, it doesn't matter if the intention is noble (an exhibition that concentrates on world hunger) if the bids are greased with envelopes full of cash and the pols get to play favourites with backscratching construction firms hungry for millions of OPM.

So regulate them better, you'll say, but look how easily regulators are captured! We'll need regulators to check on regulators ad infinitum, offering more and more challenges for organised crime to capture.

How many layers of regulation will it take? Is that the solution, just making it more expensive to corrupt?

Something recently dawned on me regarding a connected issue: What if the reason so many projects in Italy financed by the EU remain blocked from beginning is that the pols know that if they say yes to the mafia they have to say no to the camorra?

To pick up a bribe from one may lead to stopping a bullet from the other(s).

While the longer they sit on the fence, the bribes offered get larger.

Lot of incentive to slow things to a halt, eh?

It would explain certain er, conundrums...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Nov 27th, 2014 at 10:19:50 PM EST

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