Here is a nice trivia question. In 2008, which was Italy’s biggest business in terms of revenues generated? Was it Fiat- with its impressive automobiles and agricultural equipment? Nope. One of those glamorous fashion houses from Milan? Nope.
The answer? The Italian Mafia.
According to this study, Mafia income increased to $167 billion, up from about 90 billion euros in 2007. To put that in perspective Microsoft made about $60B in 2008. Revenues surged 40 percent in a year when many businesses suffered major losses.
Impressive Segment Results
According to the study, extortion and siphoning money from businesses is the largest source of revenues for the Mafia (an incredible $117B). Other sources of revenues include drug trafficking and selling arms. What is interesting is how the mafia continued to make money even in such terrible times! Maybe small businesses were using the mafia goons as a source of competitive advantage. All this means that the Italian Mafia siphoned off nearly 10% of Italy’s total GDP.
I am wondering how really the researches carried out this study- and didn’t the Mafia try and derail them? Surely, they don’t want people knowing how much they make. All this has gotten me wondering, how much money gets siphoned off in India thanks to bribes/kickbacks etc etc? Now that would be an impressive study.