The Big Picture provided two very nice infographics by Scott Barber at Reuter's, putting the musical question "Why Italy Matters" into sharp relief:
It's easy to see just who is most exposed in the pending implosion of the Republic Of Bunga-Bunga, and that a total of $400 Billion-plus in "Non-Bank Private" debt is most at risk if Italy defaults. Primarily French Non-Bank -- Alors!
So, as the West slowly sinks into the steaming pile of a Made-In-Good-Ole-USA financial meltdown, others are ready to pick up our fallen standard of civilization -- their standard might be made of a toxic plastic, and not as pretty as the one we had, and it might have been made by convict slave labor -- but, who cares? The East Is Red / The East Is Red / The Bank Of China Comes Out In The East...
Hey, thanks, Lil' Boots! Thanks Larry Summers! And Thanks Little Angelo Mozilo, and "Tiny" Dick Fuld, and Lil' Lloyd Blankfein, and all the other Masters Of The Universe! Thank you, brave members of Congress! And thanks to all of America's One-tenth Of One Percent -- who never allowed ethical or moral considerations to stand in the way of More for themselves and their clans, and Issue! You're all so awesome and wonderful.
I'm sure you'll understand if all of us down here hope you end up in a basement in Ekaterinburg! Buh-Bye!