Real markets have real customers, who notice when things don’t add up. Fake markets are an invitation to criminals.
The state forced payments from citizens for the wrong reasons, to solve a non-problem with the wrong method.
In this case, state organized crime meets independent organized crime.
Italian police have seized assets worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) from a Sicilian renewable energy developer in the biggest ever seizure of mafia-linked assets.
The assets, including 43 wind and solar energy companies, 98 properties and 66 bank accounts, belonged to Vito Nicastri, a 57-year-old businessman dubbed the “Lord of the Wind” for his prominent role in the business.
“This is a sector in which money can easily be laundered,” Arturo de Felice, head of Italy’s anti-mafia agency, told local media.
“Operating in a grey area helped him build up his business over the years.”
The anti-mafia agency in a statement said it was the biggest seizure of mafia-linked assets.
This was not a free market, but a free-for-all.
Italy’s renewable energy sector has been heavily infiltrated by the mafia because of once-generous state subsidies and lax controls, as well as the availability of land in areas of southern Italy with a strong mafia presence.
As far as Italy’s environment and emissions go, we know that it probably makes no difference whether the renewables were actually running or not. But it does matter if a system feeds criminals. They get empowered at the expense of honest people.