Flush Mafia Invests Big in Recession Italy

It's buying up struggling companies
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted May 27, 2009 2:22 PM CDT
Italy's three mafia groups made a combined net income of $98 billion last year.   (Shutter stock)

(Newser) – 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.”