Italy: The Fleeing Lire

Packed in suitcases and hidden in the false bottoms of automobiles, lire are being smuggled out of Italy at the rate of more than $200 million a month. In any other nation, such a capital flight might lead to alarm or panic. In Italy it is recognized as only another ingenious ploy to cheat the tax collector. No one really worries, because the fleeing lira usually returns to Italy wearing a disguise.

Italians spirit their lire over the border to Swiss banks, which then use the money to open foreign accounts in Italian banks and buy Italian shares and securities...

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