Why did the banking crisis in Italy explode in such proportions without the media and the world of politics seeming to notice? Banks have three ways to control the flow of news: advertising investment, financing and ownership of media companies. The media have three ways to submit to the banks: via blackmail advertising, by getting into debt, or by running their affairs so badly they get bought directly. Where the media is on the ball, the economy tends to function better. And in Italy the disappearance of hard news from newspapers has accelerated the relative decline of the Italian economy.