n.22 December 2008

It is now obvious to everyone, even the most strenuous defenders of laissez-faire, that the major crisis caused by the subprime loans marks the end of an era.George Soros,one of the best-known and most outspoken financiers in the world, has talked about the need to correct the “unchecked capitalism”of the past twenty years. However, while the past is relatively clear,what awaits us “around the corner”is anything but clear.What do the nationalisation of some American and
British banks and the injections of public capital into French, German and Italians banks presage? What development model is the new American President Barack Obama thinking of when he talks, for instance, of support for the big automobile industry? east devotes its Dossier to these issues,inviting top-level Italian academics and business operators such as Marcello De Cecco, Paolo Savona, Fabrizio Onida, Alessandro Profumo,Loretta Napoleoni,Debora Revoltella and Fabrizio
Coricelli to discuss them.
This issue gives particularly wide coverage to in-depth news reports. Emanuele Confortin travels to India to find out why even tolerant religions take to killing; Massimiliano Di Pasquale returns to Odessa, the setting for Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin; Emiliano Bos follows the traces of the Somali pirates and discovers that pirates there infest both land and sea; Matteo Sacconi takes a train trip from Berlin to Leipzig to excavate the remains of Communist Germany, Giampaolo
Musumeci finds that the Greek island of Samo rivals Lampedusa for the number of illegal immigrants landing there,Rita Fatiguso travels to Manchuria, one of the poorest regions of China, and Claudia Astarita to the Philippines, where destitution nourishes  ignoble traffics, and Francesca Lancini goes to Jordan to take a closer look at the 500,000 Iraqi  refugees whom international public opinion has chosen to ignore and dismiss.
We talk to Peter Kostmayer,a former Congressman who is now President of the Citizens Committee for New York City, about Obama’s election. Kostmayer paints a decidedly unusual picture of “Citizen Barack”.


We know almost everything about Berlin and the mighty effort made by the German government in the reunification of Germany. But what is the former German Democratic Republic like today? How is life there?

Chinese criminal organisations are building an increasingly powerful and widespread presence in Italy through illegal activities such as illegal immigration, prostitution and counterfeiting, not to mention tie-ups and alliances with the local mafia. Olga Capasso, an assistant prosecutor with the National Anti-Mafia Directorate, describes this growing phenomenon and outlines possible solutions, including extensive application of Article 416 (bis) of the so-called “anti-mafia law”

When things were brighter for Alitalia, a pilot in our flagship company happened to have a “close encounter of the third kind”. This is not the usual rubbish about UFOs, because it was revealed by none other than the British Defence Minister himself.

If we do not give in to the temptation of “thinking badly, convinced we are getting it right”, to paraphrase former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti, we can reasonably affirm that the control of finance slipped out of the hands of American official authorities and private-sector managers.

Have contributed to this issue:
Alessandro Arduino
Claudia Astarita
Antonio Barbangelo
Simone Cofferati
Emanuele Confortin
Fabrizio Coricelli
Marcelo De Cecco
Massimiliano di Pasquale
Rita Fatiguso
Maria Cristina Bombelli
Giampietro Garioni
Alessandra Garusi
Francesca Lancini
Giampaolo Musumeci
Fabrizio Onida
Debora Revoltella
Farian Sabahi
Paolo Savona
Piero Sinatti
Donato Speroni
Matteo Tacconi
Maria Elena Viggiano
Mariano Votta
Vittorio Borelli