Settling Accounts?

I don’t know how many of you have seen the film The Insider, but Caesar Alierta, boss of Spain’s telecommunications near-monopoly Telefonica, has always seemed to me to fit the bill perfectly. Now the Financial Times announce that he is finally to be charged with an old insider-trading scandal:

C?sar Alierta, executive chairman of Telef?nica, the Spanish telecommunications group, has been charged with insider trading in connection with alleged improper share trades when he was chairman of a tobacco company. The public prosecutor’s office is seeking a four-and-a-half-year jail sentence for Mr Alierta, the most senior executive ever charged with insider trading in Spain. The prosecutor’s office is also requesting the seizure of ?1.86m ($2.27m) of profits Mr Alierta is alleged to have made from trading in Tabacalera shares when he was chairman of the Spanish tobacco group in 1997.

As the FT notes, the case also has a political dimension, since it forms part of the ongoing ‘feud’ between PSOE and PP. The reality is that ‘justice’ is still a very political issue in Spain. Still, you have no idea how happy it would make me to see Alierta finally convicted of something. Adding-on a few racketeering charges might not go badly amiss either.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".