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NPR: Crony Capitalism and America’s ‘Berlusconi Spiral’

Posted on Jul 11, 2012
Wikimedia Commons

Silvio Berlusconi with President George
Bush in Crawford, Texas, in 2003.

Is the U.S. on a course toward crony capitalism? Italian-American economist Luigi Zingales and NPR examine similarities between the politics and economics of Italy under Silvio Berlusconi and of the United States. Americans losing faith in their government are completely justified when they point to the bailouts, appointments of business insiders for government positions, and widespread tax loopholes and exemptions, Zingales says. He calls these disturbing trends the “Berlusconi Spiral,” and offers a foolproof way to fix the pattern.— Posted by Christian Neumeister


You’ll hear the complaint every now and then, when the global economy comes up, that the United States is becoming like Greece, or Spain, or Italy.

But when Luigi Zingales says it, he should know: He’s a University of Chicago economist. He was born in Italy. He studies, among other things, what has set the American economy apart from places like Italy.

And he’s worried.


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