Complete excerpt from: Business Insider
Anti-crime group SOS Impresa has released a report that calls the mafia "Italy's number one bank".
The report argues that the ability to exploit the financial crisis has lead to criminal groups earning a turnover of 140 billion euros ($179 billion), more than 100 billion euros ($127 billion) in profit, and more than 65 million euros ($83 million) in liquidity.
Increasingly their tactics are including lending to desperate businesses at extortionate rates.
The report writes (translation via Reuters):
"The classic neighbourhood or street loan shark is on the way out, giving way to organised loan-sharking that is well connected with professional circles and operates with the connivance of high-level professionals."
Reuters reports that the output of the three largest organizations, the Cosa Nostra, the Camorra, and the 'Ndrangheta, is thought to add up to around 7 percent of the Italian economy.
SOS Impresa is a group created by the small business organization Confesercenti, who represent over 270,000 businesses. It's estimated that crimes affect their members 50 times every hour