Industrial policy alla Italiana
From 1964 to 1997, Telecom Italia (and predecessor Società Italiana per l’Esercizio Telefonico) was a state-run monopoly. Then it was (partly) privatized. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecom_I…) Today, foreign pension funds are the largest shareholder (51.68%), followed by Vivendi (23.9%), the state-owned Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (9.89%), and other owners like Italian pension funds (2.16%) vulture financier Paul Singer (0.14%). (gruppotim.it/en/investors/s…)
This article has more information on how — even though Telecom Italia is officially privatized — the government uses its “golden power” to guide decisionmaking. (ft.com/content/d5aa09…) During COVID, Italy is using the state-owned Cassa Depositi e Prestiti to conduct industrial and competition policy. (reuters.com/article/us-hea…) From the story at the top of the thread, the state was all over all the sides of the deal that will lead to centralized broadband provision.
These experiences are worth studying to think about “varieties of capitalist industrial policy,” and see which will have legs in the US. (See this by @JeanneWhalen on how even once state-hating conservatives are ironing out industrial policy ideas.) (washingtonpost.com/business/2020/…)
(Adapted from this thread.)