Four years ago Monday David Rossi died, He was the head of communications for the Italian bank Monte Paschi. David, 51, was also the right hand man of bank Chairman, Joseph Mussari, who was the driving force behind Monte Paschi’s 2008 $13 billion purchase of Banca Antonveneta from Spain’s Santander.
As current criminal trials allege, Monte Paschi was in no financial shape to make this purchase. However the bankers on the deal from Deutsche Bank and Nomura Bank allegedly cooked the books with fraudulent derivative positions, which made Monte Paschi’s balance sheet look far better than it was.
This trial is ongoing and accuses among 12 others a DB banker name Michele Faissola, who was a common thread in my series “Suicide Bankers.”
So four years and an overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary, Italian authorities are still ruling Rossi’s death as a suicide and have charged his widow Antonella and a journalist David Vecchi with leaking e-mails during the investigation.
I was aware of these emails between Rossi and the bank’s CEO, Fabrizio Viola.
Two days prior to Rossi’s death, the communications director sent a cryptic email to Viola according to Rossi’s wife.
“I want guarantees of not being overwhelmed by this thing,” he wrote. “We would have to do right away, before tomorrow. Can you help me?”
As I wrote in the story, “it remains a mystery what specifically Rossi thought could “overwhelm” him just before his death, but many have speculated that he was referring to Monte Paschi’s troubled financial position.”
Suffice it to say, Rossi was “overwhelmed by this thing” and to this day I believe his killers have not been brought to justice because of a century’s old custom in Siena when it comes to the bank, which was founded in before Columbus sailed to America.