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麻烦终结者

发布者: lorespirit | 发布时间: 2012-11-10 21:54| 查看数: 1460| 评论数: 1|

Guido Rossi has made a valiant but largely fruitless effort to clean up Italian business

为了给意大利商界“擦屁股”,吉多•罗西做出了无畏的努力,可大多都无果而终。

SOME people call him “Guidone”—big Guido. Large in both physical stature and reputation, Guido Rossi, who took over as Telecom Italia's chairman on September 15th following the surprise resignation of Marco Tronchetti Provera, has stood out[1] from the Italian business crowd for more than three decades. Mr Rossi, who attended Harvard law school in the 1950s and wrote a book on American bankruptcy law, made his name as a corporate lawyer keen on market rules and their enforcement. He has since worked in both private and public sectors, including stints[2] in the Italian Senate and as one of the European Commission's group of company-law experts.(1) As well as running a busy legal practice, he also has a reputation as a corporate troubleshooter and all-round Mr Fix-It, and is often called upon to clean up organisations in crisis.

有的人叫他“吉多尼”——也就是“大”吉多。吉多•罗西身材高大,名气也很大。9月15日,在马可•特龙切蒂•普罗费拉突然辞职之后,三十多年来在意大利商圈一直声名显赫的罗西接任意大利电信公司总裁一职。上世纪五十年代,罗西在哈佛法学院学习,曾写过一部关于美国破产法的著作,后来成为一名公司代理律师,因热衷于市场规则及其执行相关的案例而名噪一时。他在私有和国有单位都谋过事,其中包括在意大利参议院干过一段时间,当过欧盟委员会公司法律处专家。除了忙于法律业务外,他还是赫赫有名的排解公司纠纷高手,人称全能的“处理先生”,经常有危机缠身的公司请他帮助排忧解难。

His role at Telecom Italia marks a return to the company he headed for ten months in 1997, during its politically tricky and legally complex privatisation. Before that, Mr Rossi had been sent in to sort out Ferruzzi-Montedison, an agri-business and chemicals group, which had collapsed after magistrates uncovered tangentopoli (“bribesville[3]”). Last year his legal scheming was crucial in ABN Amro's victorious bid for Banca Antonveneta. (2)Most recently, he acted as special commissioner at Italy's football association, where he was drafted in to sort out the mess after a massive match-rigging scandal exploded earlier this year.

他在意大利电信公司所扮演的角色标志着他的回归,因为1997年他在该公司主持过十个月的工作,其时公司正处于勾心斗角的政治斗争和涉及复杂法律问题的私有化过程中。之前罗西曾受命调查了Ferruzzi-Montedison的问题。Ferruzzi-Montedison是一家农业与化工集团,在被地方法官查出存在贿赂问题后倒闭。去年,他作为荷兰银行Amro公司成功收购Banca Antonveneta一案的法律顾问也起到了关键作用。最近他还担任了意大利足协的调查专员,负责调查今年早些时候爆出的涉及面很广的假球丑闻。

Alas, his efforts to bleach football's dark stains produced the same meagre[4] results as his other efforts to get Italian business and finance to change its ways. “Like Italians when tangentopoli burst, fans wanted justice when the scandal broke; but enthusiasm for legality quickly waned,” sighs Francesco Saverio Borrelli, Milan's former chief prosecutor, who headed the city's assault on corruption during the 1990s and was appointed by Mr Rossi to dig out football's dirt. (3)The political muscle of the clubs prevented tough measures being taken against them, reflecting Italy's two-tier justice system in which the rich and powerful can do what they like. “Economic interests in football far outweigh sporting interests,” remarks Mr Borrelli. The rottenness in football shocked even the unshakeable Mr Rossi. “Football did not want rules, it just wanted me to solve its problems,” he says. Despairing of being able to change much, he resigned in September and turned his attention to Telecom Italia.

遗憾的是,与试图帮助意大利商界和金融界“改过自新”一样,他为“净足运动”所做的努力也收效甚微。米兰前任首席检察官萨维利奥•博雷利无奈地说:“当丑闻爆发时,球迷们像当年发生贿赂案时一样希望司法介入,可这样的热情很快就消退了。”博雷利是上世纪90年代米兰打击腐败的负责人,曾受命于罗西负责调查足球丑闻。(涉案)俱乐部内在的政治势力使得(调查组)无法对其采取严厉措施,这也反映出身处意大利双重司法体系之下的有钱有势者可以为所欲为。博雷利说:“足球的经济利益淹没了人们对这项运动的热情。”足球腐败甚至让不可动摇的罗西也感到震惊。“足球不需要规则,它只需要我帮助解决问题。”他说。由于无力回天,他感到很是绝望,于是在9月份提出辞职,从此把注意力转向了意大利电信。

(4)The telecoms giant was in turmoil after a fight with the government over its plan to spin off[5] its mobile-phone unit caused its chairman, Mr Tronchetti Provera, to resign. One of Mr Rossi's first moves after taking over was to ask one of his predecessors' close associates, Carlo Buora, to choose between his job as the company's executive deputy-chairman and his managing directorship at Pirelli, a tyre company where Mr Tronchetti Provera's family is the largest shareholder and which is also Telecom Italia's biggest shareholder. Mr Buora chose to stay at Telecom Italia. “He understood my point,” says Mr Rossi, who believes this has finally cut Telecom Italia free from the influence of Pirelli.

这个电信巨头曾因计划将其旗下的移动电话业务拆分单独运作一事与政府发生争执,直接导致其总裁特龙切蒂•普罗费拉下台。此后,该公司便陷入了动荡之中。罗西上任后采取的行动之一就是要求其前任的死党、卡尔洛•布沃拉要么选择担任公司首席副总裁,要么到倍耐力当一把手。倍耐力是一个轮胎公司,特龙切蒂•普罗费拉家族是其最大股东,而该公司又是意大利电信的最大股东。布沃拉选择了继续留在意大利电信。“他懂我的意思。”罗西如是说。他相信这样意大利电信就不会再受倍耐力左右了。

That looks like wishful thinking, however. Just over a month after resigning, Mr Tronchetti Provera and other investors in Telecom Italia registered a shareholders' pact with Consob, Italy's stockmarket watchdog. This ties Pirelli's stake to those of the Benetton family, Mediobanca, a Milanese investment bank, and Assicurazioni Generali, a large insurer in which Mediobanca is the biggest shareholder; together they hold 23% of Telecom Italia. (5)“Italian business works in an intricate system where many company boards rubber-stamp[6] decisions made by secretive, external pacts. The law allows this,” explains Mr Rossi. Such pacts have long been his pet hate, together with chains of nested stakes that allow businessmen like Mr Tronchetti Provera to control listed companies while owning only tiny shareholdings in them.

然而,这似乎有些痴心妄想。辞职刚刚一个多月,特龙切蒂•普罗费拉就会同意大利电信的其他投资者在意大利股市监管部门Consob注册了一个股东合约。该合约将倍耐力所持的股份与贝纳通家族的米兰Mediobanca投资银行以及大型保险公司Assicurazioni Generali(Mediobanca是其最大股东)所持的股份合并,总共占意大利电信股份总额的23%。罗西解释说:“意大利商业的制度环境很令人不解。许多公司董事会不假思索就批准了那些秘密签定的对外合约中所做的决定,而法律又听之任之。”除了这类合约外,还有嵌套连锁股份,这些一直都是罗西的心头之恨。通过这种连锁控股方式,诸如特伦切蒂•普罗费拉之类的商人就得以在仅持有极小额股份的情况下掌控上市公司。

In 1982, when he was Consob's chairman, Mr Rossi published a book entitled “Transparency and Shame”. Although transparency has increased a little, shame is still largely absent from Italian business. “When I became Consob's chairman, I hoped improvements in accounting transparency and companies' communications would help widen Italy's stockmarket, but there has been little progress,” he says.

1982年,时任Consob主席的罗西出版了一部名为《透明与耻辱》的著作。现在虽然透明度有所提高,但意大利商业界仍然普遍缺乏耻辱感。“我当上Consob主席的时候,希望通过提高帐务透明度和加强各公司之间的沟通来拓展意大利股市,结果却基本上一无所获。”他说。

The good guys don't always win

好人未必有好报

A leftist senator between 1987 and 1992 and a trustee of Libertà e Giustizia, a lobby group set up in 2002 to champion the cause of Italian democracy, Mr Rossi is unafraid of controversy, takes stands on matters of principle and always speaks his mind. John Andrew, chairman of Eidos Partners, a boutique[7] investment bank, who has worked with Mr Rossi on various deals since the late 1980s, says he is “a good straight guy with a first-rate brain, although he sometimes goes over the top[8]”. (Mr Rossi once remarked, for example, that the only difference between the Italian prime minister's office and a merchant bank was that bankers can speak English.) (6)Intelligent, honest and willing to speak out in a country where many stick to omertà, the Mafia's code of silence, Mr Rossi sounds too good to be true. In Milanese circles, some accuse him of being a prima donna[9]. But even if that is so, the sin of vanity would be minor alongside his clear merits.

罗西在1987年至1992年间曾就职左翼参议员,担任过自由与正义组织(Libertà e Giustizia,2002年成立的旨在推动意大利民主化进程的一个游说组织)的委托代理人。他敢于直面矛盾,在原则问题上立场明确,而且总是直言不讳。小型专业投资银行Eidos Partners主席约翰•安德鲁自上世纪八十年代末以来,在生意上曾多次与罗西共事。他认为罗西是“一个智慧过人、性格率直的好人,就是有时候做的过了头。”(譬如,罗西曾说意大利总理办公室与商业银行唯一的不同就是银行家会说英语。)聪明,诚实,在一个许多人说话都坚守“乌默它”(即黑手党的“缄默法则”[注])的国家敢于畅所欲言,这就是罗西,听起来似乎好得不能再好。有的米兰人批评他目中无人,不过即便如此也是瑕不掩瑜。

(7)The wider problem is that at 75, Mr Rossi is a member of a small group of smart, principled but now greying Italian lawyers. In New York, notes a Milanese insider, you can find many lawyers who think like the Harvard-educated Mr Rossi. But not in Italy, which badly needs such people. Earlier this year a former director-general of Italy's industrialists' association, and one of Libertà e Giustizia's first trustees, complained that Italy had just endured five years of lawmaking merely to legalise illegalities. “This country's worst maladies are the rejection of rules and an aversion to change,” laments Mr Rossi, whose own attempts to cure the disease have so far been thwarted[10].

问题在于,意大利机智、讲原则的律师并不多,而且大多年龄都已老化,罗西也一样,今年也75岁了。这是一个影响深远的问题。一位知情的米兰人指出,纽约有许多律师的思考方式都与曾在哈佛求学的罗西相同,可意大利则不然,而意大利又恰恰紧缺这种律师。今年早些时候意大利实业家协会前任会长和自由与正义组织的一位首席委托代理人抱怨说,意大利的立法之路走了五年,到头来却只是让非法行为合法化。“不按规定办事和抱残守缺是意大利最严重的弊病所在。”罗西痛心地说道。从目前来看,他为了根除这些弊病所做的努力已经失败了。

[注] 黑手党在英文中拼作“Mafia”(马菲亚),在阿拉伯语中是“避难地”的意思,西西里的复仇集团最初就选用了这词汇表达自己。当罗马派来的巡回法庭拒绝审判强奸农家妇女的诺曼底贵族时,马菲亚就会去杀死那个贵族;要是哪个警察头子用卡塞塔来拷打一个西西里人的话,几天之后他就会暴尸街头,而生殖器已荡然无存。这些心毒手狠的人组成的集团逐渐成了比官方政府更大的第二政府。老百姓要伸冤叫屈,再不会跑去找警察,而是去找当地的黑手党头目,他能为你从中调停并解决你的问题。 在西西里,谁要是把黑手党的所作所为向官方告发,那他就必死无疑。因此,西西里人学会了保持沉默,这种缄默后来就叫做“乌默它”。经过几个世纪的发展,“乌默它”成了黑手党的一条法则,即绝对不同任何司法部门合作,违者处死。所以即使西西里人自身受到侵害,也绝不向警方报告。这样一来,政府再别想从老百姓那里得到一点线索,甚至连小孩子也懂得不和陌生人说话。

[QUIZ]

英译汉(将划线部分英文翻译成中文):

[NOTES](OXFORD)

1. stand out (from sth) be easily seen; be noticeable 突出; 显眼: bright lettering that stands out well from/against a dark background 由深色地衬托出很醒目的字. stand `out (from sb/sth) be much better than sb/sth 远远超过某人[某事物]: Her work stands out from the rest as easily the best. 她的工作成绩远比其他人都好.

2. stint n. 1 person's fixed or allotted amount or period of work, etc (工作等)固定的或指定的量或期限; 定量; 定额; 任期: Everybody must do a daily stint in the kitchen. 每个人都应该每天在厨房里干点活儿. * Then I had a stint as security officer in Hong Kong. 我那时在香港做过一阵护卫员.

2 (idm 习语) without `stint (fml 文) without holding back; generously and in large amounts 毫无保留地; 慷慨地; 大量地: She praised them without stint. 她极力夸奖他们.

3. -ville 名词后缀,表示“特性、情况、状态”等。

4. meagre n. a meagre amount of food, money etc is too small and is much less than you need少的,微乎其微的//

--a meagre diet of bread and beans//

meagre income/earnings/wages etc //

--He supplements his meager income by working on Saturdays.//

--a school with meagre resources //

5. spin off

分割:从更大的实体中派生出(如公司或产品)

6. rubber stamp

1 small device for printing dates, signatures, etc on a surface by hand 橡皮图章.

2 (fig 比喻) person or group that automatically gives approval to the actions or decisions of others 机械地赞同他人的行动或决定的人或团体.

7. boutique n. small shop selling clothes and other articles of the latest fashion 精品店(经销时装及时髦用品的小商店).

8. go over the top

超过限额, 跳出距壕, 采取断然步骤

9. prima donna

1 leading woman singer in (an) opera 歌剧中担任主角的女演员.

2 (derog ) person who easily gets into a bad temper when others do not do as he wants, when his idea of his own importance is challenged, etc (因气量狭小、妄自尊大等)爱发脾气的人.

10. thwart v. prevent (sb) doing what he intends; oppose (a plan, etc) successfully 阻挠(某人)成事; 阻止(计画等)实现: He was thwarted (in his aims) by bad luck. 他运气不好, 未能达到目的. * thwarted ambitions 受挫折无法实现的抱负.

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KK 发表于 2015-7-12 07:59:01
Thank you for your sharing.
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