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December 20, 2003

mislaid, 4.9 billion $ 

Parmalat, Italy - can anyone tell me how a dairy company fakes a 4.9 billion dollar account (presumably) without any of its accountants noticing?

-more reasons for thinking that transparency is a demand that we ordinary people need to know about because as before the one sdafe bet is 'the average pensioner to be' will be the main loser...

[New York Times]
December 20, 2003
Irregularities Push Parmalat Closer to Insolvency

PARMA, Italy, Dec. 19 - Parmalat, the Italian dairy and food giant, slid to the brink of insolvency on Friday after the company disclosed that a bank account that supposedly held nearly $5 billion of its money did not exist.

Parmalat said that Bank of America had told one of its auditors, Grant Thornton, on Wednesday that a document showing that a Parmalat finance unit in Cayman Islands had an account of 3.95 billion euros ($4.9 billion) was a fake. A Bank of America spokeswoman in London declined to comment.

The crisis at Parmalat, which has been escalating in recent weeks, now dwarfs accounting problems that have roiled European companies like Royal Ahold of the Netherlands, Vivendi Universal of France and Elan of Ireland
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