Commentary: Mediobanca Needs Competitors, Not A Crackdown

Having struggled to clean up its corrupt political system, is Italy now backtracking on reforming its economy? Take a look at what Mediobanca and its 87-year-old honorary chairman, Enrico Cuccia, have been concocting lately. The secretive Milan-based merchant bank is the house bank of northern Italy's huge industrial companies such as auto giant Fiat and tiremaker Pirelli. If you're part of that exclusive club--which means your surname is probably Agnelli or Pirelli--Italy Inc. is working just fine. Cuccia, after all, has been Italy's premier financial alchemist for almost five decades, helping the richest industrial dynasts in the land to stay on their feet in an often hostile environment.

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