ITALY: The State's Tycoons

For generations, Italy's economy was dominated by flamboyant autocrats who pioneered the country's industrialization and ran their businesses like private principalities. There was Alberto Pirelli, who showed off his tires by sponsoring an auto trip from Peking to Paris, and Textile Mogul Giannino Marzotto, who gave his workers vacations in Russia to disillusion them about Communism. Today most of this individualistic breed is gone, pushed aside by modern management techniques, fractious unions and a long, relentless drive by the state to control, modernize and expand the country's industry.

As state ownership of enterprise has spread, a new kind of tycoon...

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