Final Word from Thursday, June 16, 2005

Five years ago today, an assault squad stormed into IPB and took control of the bank. Within 72 hours, IPB had been sold to ČSOB for a crown. Although an arbitration challenge from the former owner, Nomura, could still prove embarrassing to the CR, it's increasingly clear that ČSOB got the deal of the century. Speculation about how it was done lives on. Was the takeover planned months in advance? Did a leak from a top government official cause the run on IPB that precipitated the takeover? Did Zdeněk Bakala, as Týden asked last week, get a good price from ČSOB/KBC for Patria Finance as payoff for orchestrating the deal? (Nonsense, he said.) ODS used to refer to the IPB takeover as "daylight robbery" but has stopped threatening publicly to do anything about it. Could it be that ODS has finally accepted the Golden Rule? He who has the IPB gold, rules. [Czech Republic Investiční a poštovní banka police Československá obchodní banka international court]


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