Thursday, July 28, 2005

Fazio should go

Schadenfreude is not a noble sentiment, but I must unfortunately admit to being overjoyed at the news that the governor of the Bank of Italy, Antonio Fazio, finally seems to be getting his just deserts.

The leaked transcripts suggested Mr Fazio wanted BPI to win the battle, which would destroy his claims to be an independent banking regulator.
“Come as you usually do, through the back door,” Mr Fazio told BPI’s Gianpiero Fiorani in another conversation, to which Mr Fiorani replied: “OK, otherwise there will be problems.”
The impact of the FT front page is quite dramatic so here is a reproduction of it. The quotes next to the picture of him are fantastic.

In the past few days Italian newpapers have revealed the transcripts of various wire-taps that were ordered by all-powerful Italian prosecutors. Amazingly they caught some very juicy bits in connection with the failed ABN Amro bid for Banca Antonveneta and the championing, on the part of the governor of the Bank of Italy, of a rival bid by Banca Popolare Italiana (formerly BP di Lodi). Here is a post I wrote a while back with some background.
At the same time ABN Amro managed today to elect its proposed candidates to the board of Banca Antonveneta because the stake of BPI and its partners was blocked by the Italian market regulator.
Unfortunately it does not seem likely that ABN Amro will make another offer or that such an offer will succeed. I wonder why we Italians always have to think of these things when it's too late. Also see this excellent editorial (in Italian).

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