Italy: “A political horror show”


Marcello Di Finizio: “Stop this massacre! Help us Pope Francis”

ROME  – May 20, 2013, a man climb onto a ledge of the St-Peter’s Basilica to protest against austerity measures.

May 2o 2013, Marcello Di Finizio climbs onto a ledge on the dome of St Peter’s Basilica and unfurls a banner protesting against a “political horror show,” an apparent reference to Italy’s embattled coalition struggling with recession and high unemployment. 

Italy is stuck in its longest recession since quarterly records began in 1970, and jobless rates are close to record highs.


Read More:


Growing Your Box

In Troubled Economic Times, be Smart & be Bold: “Grow your Box”

It is within our means not to just survive a recession, but actually thrive in one. The first step in keeping control is going back to the fundamentals, self-management discipline, and keeping a positive mindset. The next business activity to master is your Sales and Marketing.

The first thing you need to change in your marketing plan is your mindset. Today, consumers are still spending money, but they are thinking twice about what they are purchasing. What you really want to do is compete for your share of what is in their wallet, not a market share. The next thing to do is to measure your results.

Make sure you know where your every customer is coming from. This will let you know which marketing strategies are working and which are not. Keep building on the strategies that work and rethink the strategies that are not bringing in business. Then, it will be time to get creative in identifying new ways to market and sell to your target audience. Many people refer to this exercise as “Thinking Outside the Box”. While that is often a great method, a better way to handle difficult times and situations is not to think outside the box. Take it a step further and learn to “Grow Your Box”.

The problem with just thinking outside the box is that, once the crisis or moment passes, we go right back into our comfort zone. True growth really occurs when we take all the necessary steps to make our box bigger, to grow our box and expand our comfort zone through innovation and experimentation.

You are only limited by the size of your box.


Greece deal uncertain as violence erupts

Photograph by Daniel Reese

ATHENS, Greece – Greece’s future in the euro is growing increasingly precarious as violence erupts on the streets of Athens during a general strike.

Thousands of people marched through the streets to protest the cuts, which include a 22% drop in the minimum wage at time when the unemployment rate is over 20% and the economy is in a fifth year of recession.

If Greece’s government fails to meet Europe’s demands, the debt-ridden country faces a chaotic debt default next month that would send shockwaves around the world.

As Predicted: Unrest Flares on Streets of Athens

The Wall Street Journal


ATHENS—Clashes broke out in central Athens Friday as Greece’s major unions launched a 48-hour nationwide strike to protest new austerity measures demanded by the country’s creditors, adding to social tension in a country now in its fifth year of economic recession.

Hundreds of hooded youths in the main Syntagma Square in Athens attacked riot police with gasoline bombs and other projectiles, smashing objects in and around the square.

Police fired tear gas and staged running charges to scatter the youths. At least one person was detained.

Toward a new Worldwide Economic Crisis

- The worsening economic crisis in Greece: Only a prelude to global social disruption and economic times to come

For years, the successive governments of Greece like many others governments of the world today, have been spending money they didn’t have. As a result, the country ran up a massive deficit, reaching an estimated 13.6% by 2010.

To deal with it, Greece started to misreport its official financial statistics and actually paid hundreds of millions of dollars to banks such as Goldman Sachs to have them initiate baseless financial transactions that would hide Greece’s true level of spending and debt. All of this made Greece extremely vulnerable to a financial crisis such as the major recession that struck the world in 2007.

By 2009, Greece was collapsing under its crushing debts, by then estimated to be over $410 billion, thus growing 20% larger than the entire country economy.

The banks Greece had borrowed from were only making the problem worse: To hide the fact that Greece could soon go bankrupt, they started to charge Greece higher rates of interests when the country tried to borrow more money.

As a result, by 2010, revealing the true levels of spending and deficit that had accumulated over the years, Greece was forced to ask for outside assistance and was downgraded to the lowest credit rating in the euro zone.

With investors now viewing the country as a financial black hole, it made it difficult for the Greek government to receive outside help. Accordingly, the European Union allowed Greece to borrow from other European countries as well as the International Monetary Fund, in what became the largest bailout package in recent history. In return, Greece was forced to drastically cut back its spending.

Government corruption, large increases in taxes, and cuts to public social programs resulted in widespread civil unrest during the year 2011.

In March 2012, Greece will begin to default forcing a further restructuring in which the government will only able to pay back around half of what is owed. This will result in the country essentially being removed from the euro zone and Europe as a whole will be economically battered, along with every other countries which are now trading with Greece. The value of the euro will fall stressing the economies of the European Union with Spain, Italy and Portugal suffering the most.

Final result: the ongoing decline in value of the European currency will negatively affect stock markets around the world for years to come.