The Bocconi University Coup

The story that the (extreme) left- and right-wingers are telling now is that a coup is taking place in Italy. The
“obscure powers” of international finance, thanks to the the Democratic Party and to President Napolitano,
through heavy speculation against the Italian debt, succeeded in driving out the Berlusconi
government, a goverment legitimized by popular vote, and parachuted Mario Monti with his clique of bankers and former Bocconi University graduates. In fact, looking at the economists in the Monti government, there seems to be very little of liberist/Bocconi culture. Let’s look at the names:

  • Elsa Fornero, Minister of Labour, is an expert in pensions. She is a former student of Prof. Onorato Castellino, an expert himself of saving and pensions. Both are (were) very far from ultra-liberist economist, and Ms fornero is Professor in Turin, not Bocconi. 
  • Fabrizio Barca, Minister for Territorial Cohesion, for long at the Treasury, is a leftist who has produced interesting work on the Mezzogiorno. 
  • Piero
    Giarda, Minister for Relations with Parliament, is Professor of Finance
    at the Catholic University, undersecretary Amato, Prodi, D’Alema and
    Dini, and a skilled negotiator with a Catholic backround 
  • As Mario Monti is concerned, a former student at the Leo XIII College of Gesuites in Milan, he is very far from the stereotype of Bocconi / liberal. For sure, in his capacity of EU  Commissioner he fought monopolies quite hard, but for example on tax policy he has always opposed the
    idea of introducing balanced budget rules in the constitution, preferring the UK type of “golden rule”, ie limits to current
    spending net of taxes, that exempt public  investments.

economists seem quite close to the “Catholic church’s social doctrine” (which
nobody knows exactly what it is), more than ultra-liberist / Bocconians! As
for the appointment of the CEO of Banca Intesa, Passera, this is a
serious political mistake by Monti, which exposes the new government to the criticism of being the puppy of financial strongholds. Incidentally, it is not clear what Passera understands about economic development. His statements in favor of infrastructures, highways and high speed trains, very little liberist in nature, do not bode well.