|December 23, 2012
Yesterday, the man planted by Goldman to be Italy's unelected leader in November 2011, officially stepped down and shortly thereafter his government was dissolved in advance of the February 25, 2013 elections. Yet Monti, under whose helm Italy has been in deep recession since the middle of last year, where consumer spending is falling at its fastest rate since World War Two and unemployment has risen to a record high above 11 percent, and whose candidacy is vastly unpopular with the Italian population, moments ago generously offered to continue being Italy's unelected leader: just the way Europe's political masterclass and its central bankers want it, if not so much Italy's people.
After all, the only thing that has stabilized in Europe, however briefly, is its peripheral bond market, which is merely a function of Draghi's willingness to risk future monetary instability and runaway inflation in order to bring sovereign bond yields under control: yields which are only hit record highs because the local governments have proven time and again unable and unwilling to make hard structural reforms (and where austerity continues to be a widely misused synonym for government corruption and incompetence). And as long as yields represent not reality but the motives of a few unelected central-planners, nothing will truly change for the better in Europe.
The former European commissioner, appointed to lead an unelected government to save Italy from financial crisis a year ago, resigned on Friday but has faced growing calls to seek a second term at the election on February 24-25.
Speaking at a year-end news conference, Monti stressed he was not now entering any political movement and that he was more concerned about his policy prescriptions being followed than personalities standing in the election.
Nonetheless, he said that if a political force or coalition offered a credible program that he supported, "I would be ready to offer my encouragement, advice and if necessary leadership."
Asked if that meant he was ready to stand as prime minister again he said: "If a credible political force asked me to run as prime minister for them I would consider it."
In other words, he won't run in the election, much the same way as last time, but he would be happy to continue his job as a PM, very much unelected. But it's not for him, it's for the children... Or perhaps Goldman.
Monti rejected suggestions that he was motivated by personal ambition to win political power.
"If I accept, it's to try to change the moral culture of the country. It's obvious it's not for my personal convenience," he said.
Obviously.... Realistically would Monti even stand a chance if he ran?
Monti has been strongly urged to stand by centrist groups ranging from disaffected former Berlusconi allies to the small UDC party, which is close to the Catholic church.
Monti said he hoped the next government would have an ample parliamentary majority and believed the traditional left-right divide was no longer adequate to tackle the problems facing Italy.
If he does enter the race, he will face strong opposition from Berlusconi, whom he criticized sharply during the course of his remarks, saying he had been "bewildered" by the 76 year-old billionaire media tycoon's frequent changes of position.
While numerous European leaders and Italy's business elite have called for his economic agenda to continue, ordinary Italians, weary of tax hikes and spending cuts imposed to cut a huge public debt, are less enthusiastic.
A centrist group headed by him would probably come a distant third or even fourth in the election and one survey published last week showed 61 percent of Italians felt he should not stand.
Of course, the above would be a valid consideration if any democratic principles were still respected and followed in Europe - a continent that over the past 3 years has become an unelected globalist's wet dream, and where any chance of uprising by the great unwashed is promptly quelled with threats that all accured entitlements (which are non-existent anyway), will be promptly pulled, and the "great austerity" will get even deeper.
So Italy can look forward to yet another window dressing government: one which pretends to do the bidding of the people, yet one which merely relies on the Central Bank's generosity in keeping rates low, while no real reforms continue to be implemented, in hopes that the great credit bubble ver 2.0 offsets any structural economic disincentives, and internal imbalances are merely offset by yet another bout of credit-funded consumption, all of which of course leading to an even faster and more uncontrolled unwind when it finally takes place, this time however without the benefit of the central banks' backstop activity.