On The Road: Italy – Episode 3

Published on
February 8th, 2019
Duration
40 minutes

On The Road: Italy – Episode 3

On The Road ·
Featuring Steve Diggle

Published on: February 8th, 2019 • Duration: 40 minutes

In the final leg of their journey, Grant and Steve travel to Cortona, via Lake Trasimeno – site of the largest military ambush in history – to gain some perspective on Italy’s current stand-off with Brussels. The pair discuss Italy’s immigration conundrum before returning to Steve’s home to discuss the investment implications of what they’ve seen on the road. Filmed December 2018 in Cortona, Italy.

Comments

  • ME
    Mark E.
    20 March 2019 @ 16:34
    This was an excellent series, one of the most enjoyable I've seen on RV. Steve has a particularly good style of presentation; very clear with a precise way of speaking that makes for very easy listening. I would like to see more from him on RV. First class production too; beautifully filmed with excellent sound quality. I will be watching this whole series again at some point.
  • MS
    Matt S.
    9 March 2019 @ 20:15
    No... we do NOT need immigration! What we need is Italians having babies of their own. Give cash incentives if need be to encourage people to have babies. Make it easier to start businesses so people can create wealth. Simplify taxes and lower them so people are wealthier and have more to raise a family with. Oh we NEED immigration is such a spurious argument.
  • CA
    Chad A.
    3 March 2019 @ 08:59
    Bravo Stevie D and Grant ...Bravo!
  • HK
    H K.
    2 March 2019 @ 09:23
    amazing 3 episodes. keep up the good work grant williams and the realvision team
  • FG
    Fraser G.
    22 February 2019 @ 07:09
    This is a masterpiece. Phenomenal content and rigorous, pragmatic discussion. Congratulations RV, Grant and Steve. This helped paint a far deeper and comprehensive picture of the Italian situation than I had previously considered. The insight around the internal factions and divisions helps put a lot of my previous Italian experiences in context. Well done, thank you and keep it coming. You guys are setting the bar very high.
  • JB
    Jason B.
    21 February 2019 @ 23:30
    Steve Diggle says no inflation in Germany? Is he only looking at their CPI?
    • SD
      Stephen D. | Contributor
      22 February 2019 @ 00:57
      I exaggerate Jason, there is some infaltion in Germany, not least in residential house prices where we are most aware as that's our largest business there. But given that we have practical full employment, and 1.2m unfilled job vacancies, and rates that are negative out to 7 years the surprise to me is we aren't see a lot more. Wage growth and general price rises have been really mild considering all those factors. The Phillips Curve would suggest inflation should be much higher, not that that seems to explain anything these days.
  • DS
    David S.
    18 February 2019 @ 22:19
    The Euro is a fiat currency searching for a sovereign. A fiat currency without a sovereign is even more fiat than a fiat currency with a sovereign. If a fiat currency without a sovereign were a good idea, the World Bank and/or IMF would issue the only official fiat currency of the world - buy gold. It is possible that a Euro country could drop out of the Euro as a part of its bankruptcy or debt restructuring without leaving the EU – checkmate! (The only alternative for debt-risk countries is to pay off debt with markedly increased tax revenues – socially difficult.) As more debt-risk countries leave the Euro, the Euro should rise lessening the export advantage of the remaining Euro countries. Without the low Euro export advantage, why not just have your own fiat currency issued by an actual sovereign? Chauncey Gardner, Being There. DLS
  • CB
    Craig B.
    17 February 2019 @ 06:10
    Grant, just FYI I eagerly read your letters for years when you wrote Thing That Make You Go Hmmm... I am a fund manager at TCW in Los Angeles... Always respected your content C
  • CB
    Craig B.
    17 February 2019 @ 06:09
    My second comment...I just have to say again...BRILLIANT... The production quality is insane and the intellectual content is just extraordinary Nat Geo couldn't have produced a better product. This 3 part series alone is going to grow subscriber count meaningfully I'm a 20 year fund manager and I almost never comment on threads like this My next property purchase is a villa near Cortona Truly and authentically outstanding Best, Craig Blum
    • SD
      Stephen D. | Contributor
      18 February 2019 @ 01:30
      Thanks Craig. A shameless promotion here, but one business I DO own in Italy is a company that restores old properties near Cortona! The website is at Onestone.it, and the people who run it are English, the Villa in the final scene is one of ours.
    • CA
      Chad A.
      3 March 2019 @ 07:59
      Craig, ...heartily agree! Well said. Btw, if you need a property partner in Cortona... beautiful! My wife and I are going this spring. Chad
  • AH
    Andy H.
    16 February 2019 @ 05:21
    wow!
  • TC
    Timothy C.
    15 February 2019 @ 02:24
    I have to ask, why can't you get coffee after noon in Italy?
    • TC
      Timothy C.
      15 February 2019 @ 02:46
      nevermind, I figured it out
    • SD
      Stephen D. | Contributor
      15 February 2019 @ 03:18
      Timothy, it has been something of a running gag between Grant and I that he CANNOT drink a cappucino in Italy after noon, even if in some places frequented by tourists it is available. Italians have very fixed ideas about food and this is one of them. No milky coffee after 11am, espresso only! As you can see, he's not at all happy about this, but thems the rules!
    • SK
      Stephen K.
      16 February 2019 @ 10:15
      The macchiato is often an acceptable compromise.
  • MB
    Matthias B.
    13 February 2019 @ 14:27
    great series, well done to both. Even as a non-italian native, Steve's arguments were considerate and very often to the point, at least that is what I thought. Would it add to the value if a local expert was included in such a discussion? Absolutely. But this is a new format and I am sure that Grant and RV will analyse the feedback and reception and apply subtle changes where necessary to make it even better. After watching, I thought that the comment from Andy in episode one about Grant's investment performance is absolutely misplaced here as it compares pears with apples. Grant as an interviewer with his vast knowledge and skills gets a lot out of his guests. This is very important for viewers as we pay for content quality. I can only recommend to continue this format, it reminds me of the initial RV start. well done!
  • DH
    Dean H.
    12 February 2019 @ 21:45
    Wonderful series.
  • RR
    Robert R.
    12 February 2019 @ 20:15
    I love this. Grant, on to Estonia, ease of doing business, virtual citizenship, and the like. However, I also suggest that you make it a point to walk everywhere you go. You could therefore take on the title of Investment Hiker....................
  • NG
    Nick G.
    12 February 2019 @ 14:07
    Very nice series with some interesting gaps in the narration of history. The first is that Italy is an ancient concept and not a country. Roman Italy stopped at the Rubicon. To the North was Cisalpine Gaul. The DNA of the people was and has remained completely different. After the Gauls came the Lombards, the Visigoths, the Goths...anything and everything NOT Latin. In essence Germanic tribes. This means that the inhabitants of Turin, Milan and Venice have not one iota of common DNA or history with the inhabitants of Florence, Rome or Naples, while they have loads in common with the inhabitants of Munich, Zurich, Geneva and Lyon. Italy is in essence a 19th century creation which has outlived its geopolitical purpose and usefulness. Like all artificial creations, it will break apart and the only reason this is not obvious to people is recency bias. When it does break apart and the debt is fractioned and divided, the trade will be obvious: buy Venetian and Milanese debt, sell the crap out of Roman and Neapolitan debt.
    • DS
      David S.
      15 February 2019 @ 05:34
      Diversity in any country is not unusual. Why not celibrate the difference? DLS
  • JM
    John M.
    12 February 2019 @ 06:20
    What a gorgeous villa! Congrats Steve.
  • SH
    Stephen H.
    12 February 2019 @ 06:00
    Great conclusion to the series of three episodes. Stephen nailed the point eloquently, its about the construct for the discussion - it's not win-lose dialogue - it needs to be about how does the EU as a whole help member countries manage their economies with varying degree's of progression in each business and social cycle. Thought provoking comments and I like that Stephen did not articulate a clear trade, it's messy, risk/rewards are mixed to fairly priced.
  • MC
    Minum C.
    12 February 2019 @ 03:27
    Very well done and a wealth of information for me. I come away with the conclusion that Italy will eventually unite and fully default on its debt obligation. They can't pay it back. They can't grow out of it. And they can't inflate it away. What other option is there?
    • DS
      David S.
      18 February 2019 @ 21:03
      Italy can increase tax collections. I missed that one too. The whole world seems to be trying to have governments bail them out while trying to avoid paying taxes. I do not see it changing. DLS
  • PN
    Philip N.
    11 February 2019 @ 23:44
    Part of me wants to see the Italians keep all their gold in Italy, ring fence depositors, default on everything, and start over with the Lira. It would be bad for a couple of years but then they would have something they could work with. If they don't the Eurocrats will will abuse their citizens until they do.
    • DS
      David S.
      12 February 2019 @ 01:51
      Maybe Greece too. DLS
    • WM
      Will M.
      16 February 2019 @ 19:19
      Yes I feel the same. Just look at Greece. The Syriza made all the noise about what they were going to do and then once in power realized they couldn't do it without sending the country into social chaos. Yet where are they today? Loaded up with unplayable debt and not much further along to recovery. What a tragedy for the Greeks and yet who went to prison for the lies and theft that occurred? Doesn't feel over for the Greeks yet either.
  • DS
    David S.
    11 February 2019 @ 17:16
    Italy has the third largest gold reserves after the US and Germany. The idea is being floated about using some gold reserves to balance the budget. Brussels has not favored this action in the past. If Italy would sell some of its gold reserves, 2,451.8 metric tonnes, and work on improving domestic inefficiencies and tax collections, Italy should have enough sovereignty to do this. If it cannot make improvements like some mentioned in the video, then it may be a waste of gold. As we have seen in France it is a difficult politically to make the economy more efficient. DLS
    • SD
      Stephen D. | Contributor
      12 February 2019 @ 03:43
      David, by my reckoning that 2,452 tonnes of gold is 78.8m ounces, at US1300 an ounce that's US$102bn, but Italian sovereign debt stands at about E2.2trillion, US$2.5trn, so the gold is only a little over 4% of their total debt. Not nothing but not material either.
    • DS
      David S.
      12 February 2019 @ 05:07
      Your calculation is correct. I believe the idea is to balance the current budget, not pay off the debt. With no growth or Euro inflation, the only way to get out of debt is bankruptcy. Thanks for your response. DLS
    • DS
      David S.
      12 February 2019 @ 21:42
      Sorry, Italy could also increase tax receipts to balance the budget and pay down the debt. Regardless I wish them the best. DLS
  • MR
    Matthew R.
    11 February 2019 @ 16:48
    Thank you - I thought this was well done. I learned a lot and thought it added a lot of value to my understanding of the dynamics involved. I really appreciate the thought and effort and would enjoy more series like this one. In trying to better understand the dynamics of the potential trade opportunities and getting a better understanding of who actually has the leverage in these negotiation -- it was my understanding that the EU is leveraging the debt of all of the member countries to help keep rates low. If Italy leaves the EU then their/EU leverage collapses - is that correct and wouldn't that give Italy a significant amount of negotiating leverage?
    • DS
      David S.
      15 February 2019 @ 05:44
      Since Draghi is buying up eveyone's debt, that is Brussel trump over every debtor nation. Someday bankruptcy may be appealing. Hopefully before then Italy can get its tax revenue in order. I like the concept of the EU, but the Euro must be gone if the EU will survive. DLS
    • WM
      Will M.
      16 February 2019 @ 19:14
      David, it seems so very difficult to believe though that Italy can move toward a tax paying economy, it seems to inbred into the national psyche to avoid taxes and the distortions mentioned by Steve seem so deep and widespread. It feels like a debt train wreck is more likely than not. Such a beautiful country with friendly people great food and wine, strong family bonds and a superb ancient history.
  • fc
    flavio c.
    11 February 2019 @ 13:11
    awesome! very informative! innovated! very nice!
  • DS
    David S.
    11 February 2019 @ 07:54
    Being retired I have had the time to watch the series three times. There is much wisdom within the series for all of us to help in our own investments. I really appreciate Mr. Diggle time, effort and insights. I looked forward for a long time to listen to Mr. Diggle again and he came through with flying colors. I hope to see him again on RVTV. Thanks. DLS
  • GR
    George R.
    10 February 2019 @ 23:12
    Great series. Would like to know what an Italian hedge fund manager's viewpoint might be though assuming there are any?
    • GS
      GABRIELE S.
      15 February 2019 @ 18:46
      Suggest Real Vision to ask Algebris Davide Serra a viewpoint.
  • DS
    David S.
    10 February 2019 @ 22:57
    The Euro was a bridge too far for the success of the European Economic Union. Without the Euro, each county within the EU would be sovereign and suffer the consequences of its own actions. Interest rates in Greece, Spain and Italy would have been much higher and they could not have borrowed so much on the open market. Counties could have gone bankrupt instead of exponentially increasing their debt – never to be repaid. They could inflate the currency as a normal prior practice. Immigration policies could have remained within the sovereignty of each country or negotiated with the EU. Economic war by Brussel bureaucrats is better than military war - but it still feels like war to me. DLS
    • WM
      Will M.
      16 February 2019 @ 19:10
      Consolidation of the nations debt was the only way the Euro could have made sense. It simply cannot survive much longer. The is no free market for Euro sovereign debt, its dead.
  • NE
    Neil E.
    10 February 2019 @ 18:24
    I don't think you're going to see inflation without wage inflation first. Being almost every industry is some form of an oligopoly now and has labor pricing power, I don't see it happening any time soon.
    • DS
      David S.
      10 February 2019 @ 22:33
      Wage inflation is happening in many places, but it is not the driving factor as it was. The internet and globalization are allowing consumers and corporations to get the lowest available prices all over the world. It is possible to have increasing wages with disinflation or deflation. It is a powerful setup for corporate margin erosion. IMO you can have a growing GDP, disinflation and wage inflation at the same time. DLS
  • HJ
    Harry J.
    10 February 2019 @ 16:35
    Excellent all around. Thanks Grant and Steve. Can’t wait to see what you do next! Regards
  • LC
    Liliana C.
    10 February 2019 @ 16:04
    My God the scenery and Steve’s Villa!!! I Loved it and watched on the big screen at home. It brought back so many amazing memories of my dad’s homeland and now my brother’s home. Thank you!!!
  • B
    Bojo .
    10 February 2019 @ 13:54
    You should be more careful on the road, Grant! One can get shot in Italy for ordering a cappuccino after lunch time. Excellent series! : )
  • SS
    Steve S.
    10 February 2019 @ 10:54
    I watched all 3 episodes in one go and rewinded and rewatched many parts. That's how much I loved it. One point - Perhaps it would be wise next time if you got some Italian's/Locals to give their perspectives. As a Brit, I would hate it if two outsiders/Italians did a 3 episode series about Brexit/British history without having a local perspective and input.
    • DS
      David S.
      11 February 2019 @ 08:04
      I agree with your concept, but I really enjoyed listening to Mr. Diggle tell the story as he sees it - one point of view. He is well educated, experienced and loves Italy. The fact that he could not find a logical way out tells me a lot. This is a classic. DLS
    • AK
      Arthur K.
      14 February 2019 @ 17:43
      GW commented on this point after episode 1. Check it out.
  • KP
    Kaspars P.
    10 February 2019 @ 10:23
    Thanks for the great video! Truly appreciate it! One thing re EU and Brussels. They may not be against Italy's budget in particularly. EU consists of many countries and each and every one is looking at others. If one would be allowed to have loose budget why wouldn't be the same case with others (Spain, France, Portugal, etc.)? Every country is trying to push their agenda and trying their luck yet at the same time looking at other countries. I personally don't view Brussels as an all evil empire. EU is a union and it's moving and shifting all the time, including power dynamics...
    • DS
      David S.
      11 February 2019 @ 08:17
      It is a great video especially for the love of Italy and Italians. I agree with your statement, but there is no way that Brussel bureaucrats can run Euroland. Euroland only exists as a political illusion. It is a nice illusion, but IMHO economically and culturally it could not succeed. I have been wrong often, but I believe the odds are in my favor on this one. DLS
  • Mv
    Matthias v.
    10 February 2019 @ 09:21
    I lived in another southern european country with a similar rich history and I got away with the idea that all are being held hostage by fear and mistrust and lack of capital. This influences to a great extent the way how businesses are run and investments are made. As a northern european who trusts government, has access to capital, can recover his losses from a bad decision by just taking a well paid job or starting a new venture and is generally surrounded by ‘can do’ mentality and efficient government it took some years on the ground to grasp the totally opposite situation in these countries. And there is no believe that the US/UK economic systems are better or even attainable. The middle class disappearing, innovation and outsourcing taking jobs from the many and funneling them to the few in coastal states (or London) is not seen as a way to go by government nor entrepreneurs. Local economists/governmental officials say, productivity investments mean incredible job loss hence political pain in the short term, entrepreneurs have no capital to bare both restructuring and investments in robots and yes banks are often closed to chip in. And where are all these (often illiterate) people going to work? Also the tax base is so small (low salaries, meagre profits) that government can hardly stimulate these changes as 40% of working population and enterprises hardly pay any taxes. So lowering taxes is out of the question, keeping legit, large corporations out of these countries. Government as its accounts are cash accounting based, just stops paying when they hit budget, with all the damaging effects to the rest of the economy. Entrepreneurs still remember the nationalisations of their businesses and keep part of their profits informal. Automation and digitization is therefore also a risk because too much transparancy can hurt you when you get the wrong government. As any misstep as an entrepreneur or a wealthy family means a permanent loss of capital from which you can never recover, enterprising risk-taking behavior is hardly existent from the people that could stimulate the economy with investments. Similarly the government is often run by old ‘insiders’ that will suffer from change. The only way I see this change is by the millenial Italians that have moved ‘en masse’ to northern europe, will return and will demand and exercise change on a very broad scale. Both in banking, business as in government. It is not possible to do this with few or over a long time, then the psychology of fear will bog them down. Until then, muddling through is most likely.
    • DS
      David S.
      11 February 2019 @ 08:26
      I think that most of us agree with you and is half the basis of this presentation. The other half is the inability of the Brussel bureaucrats - which includes the financial heads of many northern European countries - to see that they are making things worse. In fact, the only chance the Euro had was to enforce agreed to budget restrictions from the beginning. DLS
  • Mv
    Matthias v.
    10 February 2019 @ 09:16
    Fantastic series. Thanks Steve, Grant and the RV team. I am waiting for episode 4 diving from the macro into the micro. Investing in Italian/southern european businesses means understanding the entrepreneurial psychology and the way how they look at government, trust, capital and courage to invest.
  • JD
    John D.
    10 February 2019 @ 06:24
    Great journey... Thanks Guys... and BTW Stephen Thank You for Oxford Biomedica...$$$
    • SD
      Stephen D. | Contributor
      10 February 2019 @ 06:35
      Thanks John D, keep a close eye on OXB. I think 2019 could be a watershed year for cell and gene therapy generally, and OXB specifically. I think its virtually unchallenged position as a Lentivector manufacturer is going to be of crucial importance. Now, this is a subject in which I really AM and expert!
    • DS
      David S.
      11 February 2019 @ 08:39
      Stephen D. - OXB is the only stock I do not think of selling. After recouping my initial investment, I am still up 150% on it thanks to you. The combination of Oxford biomedical research and your financial acumen made it an easy decision. Thanks DLS
  • TD
    Timothy D.
    10 February 2019 @ 03:31
    Wonderful inaugural series Grant, some of your best work yet (not to throw shade on any of your previous guests). I don’t know how you keep this pace, but I’m glad that you do!
  • GS
    Greg S.
    10 February 2019 @ 03:28
    Thank you RealVision! These conversation (not only Grant, but all the interviewers) are the main reason I subscribe. I know what it is like to be a "fly on the wall". This set was especially good.
  • GO
    Gary O.
    10 February 2019 @ 00:54
    Beautiful Italy! Everyone is waiting for the music to stop and the bomb going off. We shall see! Thank you Grant!
  • ts
    thomas s.
    10 February 2019 @ 00:02
    Very powerful and palpable, I learned so much... but you danced around the mafia and the immigration issue that directly feeds the underground economy
    • JB
      Jason B.
      10 February 2019 @ 09:21
      interestingly so Thomas....esp the mafia comment...understanding that the mafioso have been in italy for a long time....steve lives there and with a nice drone view of his home, a tricky situation to make comment on for him...
  • WM
    Will M.
    9 February 2019 @ 22:21
    Fantastic series providing great insight into Italian issues and dilemmas. I knew some of the material but Stephen Diggle's local knowledge and insight into the fragmented nature of the Italian state was just superb. I can imagine some RVT viewers saying "where the investment recommendations?" but the nature of the Italian banking and debt crisis COULD result in a massive debt implosion should confidence be lost and the ECB be unable to stem the crisis. Feels like although Italy may not be able to leave the EU, it doesn't seem feasible that Italian debt at 4% can continue. At 7% the state will collapse. Collapse of Italy will dwarf the impact of Greece debacle. This program showed me just how much risk exists within the EU and its crumbling unity.
    • WM
      Will M.
      9 February 2019 @ 22:22
      AND just look at the very low thumbs down for this series!
  • JB
    Jason B.
    9 February 2019 @ 15:18
    excellent times three.... a great start to the series and please continue your journey across the globe with astute guests... great to see the comments by rv members also...
  • TC
    Trevor C.
    9 February 2019 @ 14:24
    Fanastic; thoroughly enjoyed!
  • PB
    Pieter B.
    9 February 2019 @ 13:37
    The Netflix of Finance:) Super good content. I truly enjoyed this. Massive thanks!
  • KT
    Kay T.
    9 February 2019 @ 13:37
    Really well done series guys, great content and the music/editing is great. World class!
  • ZY
    ZHENG Y.
    9 February 2019 @ 08:51
    Three episodes worth more than 10 flights to Italy, well done RealVision.
  • BL
    Bart L.
    9 February 2019 @ 08:31
    Omg I have sat at that table in Cortona, love the country
    • BL
      Bart L.
      9 February 2019 @ 08:46
      Piazza Luca Signorelli, Teatro Signorelli cafe can’t forget the table cloth and I was there in 2004.
    • LP
      Lynn P.
      9 February 2019 @ 22:03
      The visuals were so evocative, I had to press "Pause" because I was off on a reverie of when I was in Florence and Siena. Next time in Italy, in addition to a return to Orvieto, I will have to see Cortona. Wonder content, exquisite visuals.
  • BL
    Bart L.
    9 February 2019 @ 08:30
    Question does Italy have a consumption tax like GST in Australia? May be a way to get consumers to pay fair taxes
    • SD
      Stephen D. | Contributor
      9 February 2019 @ 16:49
      Bart Italy now has a GST of, I think, 22%. GST is high in all European countries. But a lot of transactions in Italy are done in cash and are ‘black’. It’s a diminishing practice but still very widespread.
  • BT
    Brian T.
    9 February 2019 @ 07:59
    Brilliant! Thanks Grant and Steve.
  • JH
    Jesse H.
    9 February 2019 @ 01:53
    On the euro.
  • JH
    Jesse H.
    9 February 2019 @ 01:53
    ...but the point of having the money in the first place is to help us lead better, more enjoyable lives. There is obviously a lot more to life than money, but Steve and Grant have raised key q’s re. E
  • JH
    Jesse H.
    9 February 2019 @ 01:52
    ...Rather keep that house for the fantastic quality of life and other attributes it provides than sell it and have more capital in terms of a different currency. Fine, you may lose out financially, bu
  • JH
    Jesse H.
    9 February 2019 @ 01:50
    This episode crystallised some key questions for me investment-wise. I totally sympathise with Steve’s final comments, as someone who owns a house in the spectacular French countryside. I would raher
  • PD
    Peter D.
    9 February 2019 @ 00:24
    Interesting. But history did not change at the Battle of Lake Trasimene. In fact Rome suffered an even far worse defeat against Hannibal at Cannae. But Rome was Rome. These were mere skirmishes to the future Empire (it was still a Republic then). After those two battles Rome went on to defeat Hannibal and to rule the entire western world for 500+ years. Not saying Diggle is wrong about Brussels. But history suggests that Europe will squish Italy, just like Rome eventually forced Hannibal to drink poison and later anihilated Carthage. Great series though.
    • RM
      Robert M.
      9 February 2019 @ 20:52
      Those battles were hardly mere skirmishes!!! They forced Rome onto the ropes and then into its last choked breaths. As a people they had to fight for survival and draw on their depths. 'Brussels' is not a people, but a few elites based on an idea (as Steve rightly said). They will fold so quickly when push comes to shove. That's what history suggests.
    • WM
      Will M.
      9 February 2019 @ 22:12
      Cannae was a much larger loss by far, some 55-75,000 depending on sources versus the 15-20,000 at oak Trasimeno. These were major battles and not skirmishes Peter.
    • SD
      Stephen D. | Contributor
      10 February 2019 @ 01:16
      Peter. As an historian I accept the correction on the Battle of Lake Trasimeno, history didn’t really ‘change’ and Hannibal could not turn three remarkable military victories into anything conclusive. Rome learnt not to fight Hannibal in Italy, leaving him to wander around the country for two decades with Fabius and his army following him but never fighting him. Then Scipio invaded North Africa and defeated Hannibal outside Carhage itself. What’s the lessons from that?
    • RM
      Robert M.
      10 February 2019 @ 03:20
      Steve, the lesson I draw is: Italians are resilient and can put up with shit for a long time, but not forever. Thanks for the insights and your time.
    • PD
      Peter D.
      10 February 2019 @ 15:39
      Good question Stephen. Perhaps the lesson is that Europe (Brussels) - which has had many long and relatively successful episodes of quasi unity (Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Empire, Byzantium,...even Rome itself) in its history - can safely let Italian, British and French doubters and "gilets jaunes" wander and pout for a decade or two. Then, if needed one day, the weakened doubters can be herded into a modern day Zama. BTW: I may have been right on that one point. But you got the pool and that great view. Thanks for letting us into your life for bit.
    • DS
      David S.
      11 February 2019 @ 08:55
      I believe the metaphor Mr. Diggle addressed concerning the battle was in reference to our investing. How the world played out after is interesting, but the metaphor was on target. DLS
    • RA
      Robert A.
      21 February 2019 @ 00:43
      I have read the “Battle of Cannae” 3 times and highly recommend it. It is amazing how Military tactics and Cultural/Political bias can provide a template over lay for future Economic skirmishes which can easily lead to major end game battles royale.
  • GG
    Guillermo G.
    8 February 2019 @ 22:25
    Grant, you have really hit a home run! What an entertaining and informative video.: history, scenery, intelligent conversations, well edited,...Grant, you are becoming a movie star! What is next? A movie? With shows like these, Realvision is moving up in a big way. Congratulations!
    • HS
      Hendrik S.
      11 February 2019 @ 10:05
      Sheerleader
  • MM
    Mike M.
    8 February 2019 @ 22:08
    great show, learned a lot, thank you. grant, how many cappuccinos did you drink?
  • GF
    Gordon F.
    8 February 2019 @ 22:04
    I lived in Italy for two years back in the late 70s, when I was in my mid-20s, and this series was for me a strong mix of nostalgia and memories of aspects of Italian life I had forgotten. The problems with bureaucracy are not new - it seems that little has changed in that regard in 40 years - and the lack of unity of the people as Italians remains a fact. I remember that every town still had its dialect of Italian that was spoken in the homes and on the playgrounds, even if only the official Italian was taught in the schools. With regard to taxes, I recall being told by a middle-class man that the government assumed that everyone would hide a bunch of their income, and thus just raised the rates on what they couldn't hide. But if you were honest, or unable to hide your income, they would just come and take it all. Sounds like not much has changed in that regard. Overall, a beautiful series, one of the best productions yet for RV.
  • AR
    Abishek R.
    8 February 2019 @ 20:05
    Pat your back, real vision.
  • TJ
    Terry J.
    8 February 2019 @ 18:05
    Absolutely brilliant start to the "On the Road" series. Steve and Grant's debates and discussions were totally absorbing. A brilliant history lesson as so many others have said, and I for one have a much better understanding of the complexities of the European Union and the Italian economy. Sadly it has also served to reinforce my view that the arrogant elites who have always dreamt of a federal Europe, for reasons I suspect have little or nothing to do with ensuring the continent remains war free and peaceful, and rather an important experiment and jigsaw piece of their New World Order objective. The unrest in France and the real potential of a Quitaly suggest to me the elites have underestimated the importance of economic freedom to Europeans in every corner of the continent. Thank you RV