We had a think tank in the men’s bathroom

Economist Vincenzo Zappino remembers discussing economic and political issues with a group of friends of all backgrounds in the men’s bathroom while studying economics at the University of Bologna. This “think tank” took refuge there because it was prohibited to talk elsewhere, and the group–composed of both men and women of all political stripes–would sometimes spend hours there each day. He also mentions the depreciation of the Italian lira during the European Currency Crisis and the failure to prepare the Italian “industrial district” model for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, in part because the country was too distracted by its political scandals.

Storyteller: Vincenzo Zappino

Date of Story: 1993-1994
Location of Story: Bologna, Italy
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 26 February, 2016

This post is part of a collaboration with author Davide Rubini to collect the stories of Italy in the aftermath of the “Bribesville” (Tangentopoli) scandals of the 1990s. Find out more about Rubini’s new novel,  il fischio finale (The Final Blow).