Final Word from Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In mid-2010, when everyone and his grandmother knew that Martin Roman was asecret owner of Škoda/Appian, Roman was elected to the Prague Stock Exchange'ssupervisory board. One of his duties, in essence, was (and still is) to make sure conflictsof interest of the very kind he has did not exist. In a normal country, you say,this couldn't happen. Then you recall that Bernard Madoff was chair of NASDAQ.After MFD presented damn-near proof that Roman failed to report related-partytransactions, Miroslav Kalousek asked ČEZ CEO Daniel Beneš to look into it. YetBeneš was either criminally liable or criminally negligent for allowing the conflict tooccur in the first place. In a normal country, you say, this couldn't happen. Then youlearn that the entire board of Olympus sacked its CEO because he questioned somesimilarly dubious dealings. Where is this normal country everyone's talking about?

Glossary of difficult words

everyone and his grandmother - a colloquial way of saying that something is so well known or assumed that nearly everyone has heard it;

NASDAQ - a U.S. stock exchange;

damn-near - convincingly the case;

negligent - failure to take proper care in doing something;

dubious - suspicious, questionable.

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