Before we all settle down for the holidays, I want to give you the latest developments coming out of my award-winning series “The Banker Suicides.”
In the series I document how David Rossi, communications director for Monte Paschi, the oldest bank in Europe, was found dead in a back alleyway of the Bank’s headquarters in Siena, Italy.
The initial government investigation ruled Rossi threw himself out of his office window. The most recent probe ruled that Rossi was hanging from his office window from a ledge and fell to his death.
Neither probe looked at the internal closed-circuit TV security tape from the headquarters to determine who may have been inside the near deserted building that night.
The second probe could not explain fully if Rossi was held out the window and dropped instead of dropping himself from the window.
I am told there will be another investigation looking at what transpired prior to Rossi’s death instead of the mechanics of how he wound up dead in the alley.
Fast forward to today. Monte Paschi is on the verge of collapse as a result of a merger with another Italian bank, which never should have taken place. Monte Paschi’s books were manipulated through interest rate swaps — its alleged by Italian authorities — to make the bank look healthier than it was.
A Deutsche banker mentioned in my series, Michele Faissola and other Deutsche bankers, are on trial facing criminal fraud charges in the deal that ultimately crippled Monte Paschi today.
The Italian government is debating whether to bail out the bank this week, as it faces a Dec.31 deadline to raise capital.
It’s been my contention, which I have this from multiple sources, that Rossi was working with financial authorities in Italy as a whistleblower on this merger at the time of his death.