This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Italian Traditions Provide Buffers To The Crisis

"It has been this high rate of financial wealth and the capacity of Italian families to save compared with other European countries that has protected Italy from the crisis," said Giovanni Sabatini, general director of the Italian Banking Association.

As the crisis wears on, Sabatini says, "family debts are growing, and the capital is being eroded ... But the starting point was very elevated, which still guarantees the solidity of the system."

There is a flip side: While family welfare provides a cushion, it does not allow efficient distribution of resources and leaves the younger generation at the mercy of those that came before. It's not for nothing that Italy is known as a gerontocracy, where the strings are pulled by the elderly â¿¿ from the highest levels of government to big business to the extended family.

"If there were a way to institutionalize the passage of this wealth, things would be more natural compared to the current condition, which is tied to generosity," said Marcello Calabro, who ran the study for Pioneer.

Social buffers have also encouraged many people, like Tartarini, to ignore signs of the crisis and carry on in the hope they can outlast it. And "la bella figura" can create an illusion that all is well when in fact things are falling apart.

"It is a crisis of identity," said the Rev. Giovanni Sandona, coordinator for the Catholic charity Caritas in northeastern Italy. "It is not just an economic crisis."

When Tartarini's world crumbled, he found he could rely on friends and Catholic charity.

These days, Tartarini takes whatever handyman jobs found by the nuns at his Vicenza parish. And friends take him on trips to the grocery store, where they pay for his, too.

Tartarini, in well-worn work clothes and heavy black shoes, spent a recent morning preparing to move with his wife and 25-year-old son from a rented accommodation he could no longer afford into a free vacated apartment belonging to the parish church of Nove, a ceramic-making town north of Vicenza. Caritas has reached out to parishes with empty residential properties to house people who have lost their lodging in the crisis.

4 of 5

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%
YHOO $36.60 0.00%

Markets

Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs