Not long ago, Alitalia was one of the largest airline companies in the world. Today it is a shadow of its former self, having burned massive amounts of taxpayer money before finally entering bankruptcy with few assets remaining. The principal culprit of this debacle was the Italian government. Trying to avoid the political pain a bankruptcy would have caused, the government continued providing subsidized financing to the money-losing airline, delaying the necessary restructuring. Not only was a gigantic waste of taxpayers’ money, but it was a death sentence for the very company it wanted to save. Postponing the day of reckoning weakened Alitalia’s competitive position, making it lose market share it will never regain as a reorganized company.