As banks spurn borrowers, Italian mafiosi are lending out their cash stockpiles to profit from the global recession, Bloomberg reports. Long invested in cash-intensive businesses like food distribution, the mafia is using its liquidity to take control of other legitimate businesses—and as a bonus, the three main mob outfits are using the occasion to launder their assets.
Young, savvy leaders are using their annual $180 billion in revenue to buy struggling companies in the tourism, restaurant, car, and fashion industries. “There’s a credit crisis that’s putting many businesses in a difficult position,” warns a Palermo prosecutor tracking the mob’s money. “The banks have tightened the purse strings, and many companies risk going bankrupt. Then there’s the Mafia world, which has vast amounts of cash.”