Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A glass of white and a $430 million loan, please

What would a day be without a litle financial high-jinks?

[WSJ, subs. req'd] When Refco Inc. Chief Executive Phillip R. Bennett needed a loan of about $430 million as his futures brokerage firm began to unravel, a little-known Austrian bank came to his rescue ... Yesterday, the probe into the large U.S.-based firm expanded to Europe as Austrian Vice Chancellor Hubert Gorbach urged his country's central bank to open an investigation into Bawag P.S.K. and its relationship with Mr. Bennett ...

It isn't clear why Mr. Bennett turned to the Vienna bank, out of all banks in the world, for help. At a bail hearing for Mr. Bennett last week, his lawyer said Mr. Bennett had planned a social trip for last week to Vienna with colleagues from Bawag. Wine tasting was on the agenda.

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