Final Word from Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Andrej Babiš and Zdeněk Bakala are arch rivals but are more alike than either will admit. They both made part of their fortunes by "tunneling" companies they had 100% control over. (It wasn't until after the NWR/OKD dividend recapitalization that Bakala took NWR public.) The difference is more on the operational level. In the quote from The Godfather about how "the lawyer with the briefcase can steal more money than the man with the gun," Bakala is the lawyer (or investment banker) with the starched shirt, and Babiš is the wise guy who stares down the barrel as he wrenches companies from competitors. Bakala the banker has ring-fenced himself much better than Babiš. Whereas Bakala's greatest exposure is through Bohuslav Sobotka, who tossed him OKD, Babiš is right there in the thick of it. The more he scuffles with Miroslav Kalousek and others, the more his own gun is turned on him. And Bakala is one of the many itching to pull the trigger. [Czech Republic Agrofert audit]

Glossary of difficult words

arch - out-and-out; absolute; in every respect;

to take public - to sell shares of a private company on a stock exchange;

starched - stiffened with starch;

wise guy - a mobster;

to wrench - to pull or twist suddenly and violently;

to ring-fence - to create an effective or comprehensive barrier around;

to be in the thick of something - to be in the most active or dangerous part of a situation or activity;

to scuffle - to engage in a short, confused fight or struggle at close quarter;

to be itching to do something - to feel a restless or strong desire to do something.

PDF Archive

«March 2017»

Choose the year


Tel: 420 224 221 580

Published by

E.S. Best s.r.o.
Ovenecká 78/33
170 00 Prague 7
Czech Republic



FS Final Word