Vogon Today

Selected News from the Galaxy


I’ll tell you the nonsense of the economist Stefano Micossi

I'll tell you the nonsense of the economist Stefano Micossi

Wrong forecasts, lopsided analyzes and bizarre theses by the economist Stefano Micossi, much appreciated by Carlo De Benedetti and for years general director of Assonime, the association of large public and private companies. Giuseppe Liturri's italics

When last Thursday the ECB decided on the tenth increase in interest rates in fourteen months, our thoughts turned to what we had read just two days earlier on Formiche.net , where the economist Stefano Micossi had expressed a rock-solid certainty. To the question: “ There is a new board on Thursday. Your feelings?” Ours had replied grimly: “ Look, the ECB has already decided not to make increases in September. So we shouldn't expect anything from Thursday's council ." We don't know from what source Micossi had drawn this certainty that melted like snow in the sun, but let's just add that all the most authoritative international newspapers had presented Thursday's council as one with the most uncertain outcomes, but evidently not for Micossi.


At this point we are also concerned about the rest of the analysis which, since the first reading, we had received with perplexity. According to Micossi, a 2024 budget law characterized by prudence, at least in the announcements, is a positive factor. It's a shame that within living memory we don't remember a budget law in the name of open purse strings for everyone. So where's the news? Micossi should know well that since the Economic and Financial Document presented in April by the Meloni government, the path of prudence, in compliance with the rules of Brussels but, above all, of national and international investors, had been taken with decision. Like it or not (we don't like it).

Unsatisfied, Micossi welcomes this approach also because it would provide us with the " benevolence and understanding of the EU Commission, which has already released the third installment of the Pnrr and opened the doors to the fourth. There is no doubt that a prudent Italy has its advantages, starting with understanding Europe. Which, it must be said, has been there so far." A frankly paternalistic and bizarre vision of relations with the EU. Based on a sort of "do ut des" typical of the fish market, rather than relationships between institutions regulated by Treaties and Regulations. Even in this case, Micossi should know that the PNRR installments arrive if Italy respects the objectives and rules. Including precisely the one that allows the Commission to suspend PNRR payments in the event of excessive budget deficits (Article 10 of Regulation 241/2021). So no “ benevolence and understanding ” of any kind. There are clear rules that regulate the functioning of the EU and Pnrr cage and Italy either respects them and collects the installments or exits.


The final pearl is the one relating to the Superbonus . Asked if it was “ an announced disaster ,” Micossi lands on Earth from Mars and notes that “ what's surprising is that the numbers are only showing up now. Even Mario Draghi noticed it and said we needed to give it a rest, but the figures we are reading these days are frightening ."

In short, Draghi was a passer-by on the Palazzo Chigi side. As if he hadn't been head of government for 20 months and hadn't had the concrete power, if only he had wanted, to block the Superbonus, rather than " saying we needed to cut it out ". Who, if not him, could have done it? Indeed, he would have been in the easiest position to do so, as he was free from political affiliations and potentially endowed with that foresight that is usually attributed to great statesmen, not bound by the results of the next elections.

Instead, Draghi did not block the Superbonus simply because a moment later his government would have fallen by the M5S and he would have made many enemies in Parliament for the presidential elections scheduled for a few months. For which he had clear ambitions.

But in the end everything works out. Why demand a correct reconstruction of the responsibilities for the decisions of the Superbonus, if the predictions on Christine Lagarde's decisions are sensationally wrong?

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/economia/stefano-micossi-economista-previsioni-errate/ on Mon, 18 Sep 2023 05:51:16 +0000.