WHY ITALY IS A STABLE STATE. I have posted a number of times—for example, here—-about the ideas of Nassim Taleb, the author of THE BLACK SWAN. “GoldCore” has a summary on the Zero Hedge site of an article by Taleb and Gregory Treverton in the January-February issue of Foreign Affairs.
The Foreign Affairs article, which is entitled “The Calm before the Storm”, attempts to answer an interesting question: what factors make a country or state unstable? The authors propose Italy as an example of a stable state. They arrive at this appraisal by applying this somewhat paradoxical criterion: “Fragility is aversion to disorder”.
Taleb and Treverton identify five characteristics of unstable states and four of the five do not apply to Italy. The five characteristics are:
* centralised decision making….Italy is decentralized.
* lack of economic diversity….Italy is not a one product country.
* lack of track record in surviving shocks…Italy has weathered a number of political crises.
* absence of political variability….Italy has had 14 prime ministerial terms in the last 25 years.
* high levels of debt and leverage….This is the test that Italy fails.