A documentary film broadcast by the French-German ARTE channel on Dec. 12 shines a spotlight on the role of current ECB head Mario Draghi, who was then head of the Bank of Italy, and of the City of London in first engineering, and then covering up, the Monte dei Paschi banking crisis which became the pivot of the so-called “Italian banking crisis”.
Watching Death of a Banker, an astute observer can only wonder whether Draghi’s famous statement of 2012 — that he would do “whatever it takes” to save the euro at any cost — may have meant than what meets the eye.
The documentary, which can be viewed in French and German on the ARTE website, starts from the mysterious suicide of the MPS head of communications, David Rossi, on March 6, 2013. It reconstructs the dynamic of Rossi’s fall from the window of his MPS office, with the help of forensic experts and witnesses interviewed by film author Moritz Enders, to conclude that Rossi could have never done it alone. It then goes into the reasons why Rossi could have been “suicided”: he knew about criminal actions involving very high-level people, inside and outside the bank.
(Meanwhile, the prosecution in Siena has re-opened the investigation on Rossi’s death and is conducting new forensic analyses and interrogation of witnesses).
Death of a Banker focusses on three elements of the MPS crisis: 1. the bizarre acquisition of Banca Antonveneta from Santander in 2008; 2. the derivatives contracts concluded to cover the losses incurred; 3. large loans to political friends, that became NPL (non performing loans).
Documents show that Mario Draghi, as head of the Bank of Italy, ignored his own supervisors by allowing MPS to purchase Antonveneta and cheated on the real cost of the operation. The trail then leads to London, where another strange suicide occurred: Will Broeksmit, the former “Risk Assessment Manager” for Deutsche Bank London, was was found dead in his flat in Jan. 2014. Broeksmit must have known about the derivative called “Santorini”, which Deutsche Bank had sold to MPS in order to cover its losses.
Former Sen. Elio Lannutti, head of the consumer association ADUSBEF, says in the film that Mario Draghi is responsible for “criminal activity”.
What is not investigated is an ulterior motive Draghi may have had. Indeed, the takeover of Antonveneta occurred in the midst of the global financial collapse, and especially in the aftermath of the ABN Amro insolvency, the largest in European history with over 60 billion euros. To avoid a systemic chain-reaction, a consortium of three banks was put together to take over ABN Amro’s liabilities (including Antonveneta): Royal Bank of Scotland, Fortis and Santander. The latter, however, then found itself in urgent need of a capital injection, which became superfluous once MPS paid some 18 billion euros to purchase Antonveneta.
Remember that Draghi was also head of the Global Stability Forum at the time, and his main concern was to preserve the stability of the financial system “whatever it takes”….